Someone once told me that every time you read a text, it could mean something different, to which I replied “”Jesus wept” cannot be interpreted any other way. How, then, can the text constantly change?” This person may have been reading the Word incorrectly; they read to use it to suit their needs or desires. They changed the interpretation of the Word based on how they may have been feeling at the moment, but this is not how we should approach God’s Holy scriptures.
In this post, I will briefly explain why it is important to study the Word and how we should approach it.
It is Important to Study the Word because…
It helps us focus on God
Reading His Word lets us set our minds on what He has done. If we approach the Word correctly, that is. Many people read the Bible seeking reassurance about life decisions or feelings, but we should read to learn about God’s character, promises, and will. Yes, we can search the world for guidance, but we should always be seeking to do His will and, as such, should read with the intention of knowing Him more. If we do this, we will desire to do His will, and as such, our desires will line up with His desires, and because of this, we will find reassurance in our decisions.
Faithfully reading can help us with this.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
It is God’s Word of guidance to us and helps us grow spiritually
I am sure you have heard people tell you to “follow your heart,” but if you think about it, should you? Have you ever felt enraged and wanted to punch a wall? I have felt this way, and I also have punched a wall; I felt immediate regret. Needless to say, I should not have followed my heart in the moment. When we read the Word, we shouldn’t be reading to align scriptures with how we feel, but rather to see how God instructs us to be and what to do. It will not blankly state, “Go fold your laundry” or “Go to work,” but it does provide wise directives. The book of Proverbs has many examples of how we can make wise decisions.
By reading, we learn more about Christ; subsequently, if we seek Him earnestly, we become more like Him. Christ sought to do His Father’s will, and so should we. We should use the Word to look at Christ’s examples and pray we can be imitators and shine His light into our dark world.
If we take time to study, context and character we can gleam much from God’s Word.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17
It tells the story of our Salvation
We should never grow tired of reading how God set His plan into action, the plan that will call us to Him. In the Word, we find the story of the gospel and the reassurance that Christ came for us and will sustain us. It should encourage us to desire to spend more time studying God’s will for us.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
2 Corinthians 5:21
How not to read the Word
You should not read without considering context, and you should not cherry-pick verses to suit your desires. Context helps us see who is being addressed and why. This is key in examining what the meaning behind the text is. Since the context does not change, neither will the meaning. Will you possibly come back and learn something new in the same text? Yes, but the meaning will still be the same. We should not use the Word for self-affirmation. The Word is for you but not about you.
I hope this helps you keep your mind on Christ while reading. May your time in the Word be fruitful. This is a topic that I think is deeper than what I covered in this short post, so I plan on writing a more extensive post in the future. Stay tuned!
SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”