Reading and study of God’s word.
The Bible is God’s word. As parents talk to their children in a language in which they can understand, God speaks to His children through the written word. When we prayerfully read it, we can understand it. God is eager to teach us His word.
How much time are we giving daily to read and study the Bible? Each person needs to answer this question. Out of 24 hours / day, how much time are we spending for secular studies / job, family, friends and recreation? And how much time for God?
A house has got 3 parts. Foundation, rooms and roof. Each is important. A house without a strong foundation can come down anytime.
Even a small house will have separate places for cooking, sleeping, toilet etc. If any of these is missing, that affects the usefulness of the house. We design rooms according to our capacity and to meet our various needs.
A house without roof, however strong the foundation or expensive the rooms are, is of no use. It won’t protect us from sun, rain, cold etc.
Similarly in reading the Bible, observation, interpretation and application are very very important.
What does this passage say ? Asking some questions to the passage will help us in that. Who? what? when? where? why? to whom? Sometimes, we need to read a passage again and again to get answer to these questions….For example, a book like Ephesians. Who wrote it? when? where? why? to whom? .. What is the main content? We can ask similar questions even to a verse / small passage.
What kind of passage? Historical, poetic, letter, prophetic…
Look for main people, incidents, teachings..main theme in a passage? Repeated words, verbs, adverbs, nouns, pronouns, adjectives, idioms, parables, … Anything special about the culture, religion, locality,…of the place or people.
What is the meaning of this verse or passage? What was in the mind of the original speaker / author? What did the original listeners or readers understand?
An understanding of the religious, political, socio- economic, cultural, geographical situation of the Biblical period will help us to understand it better.
What does it mean to me? How am I going to apply this passage in my personal, family, social life? Something to believe / do / obey…? What am I doing about it today / this week / this month/….?
Proper observation will lead to proper interpretation. That will help in proper application.
A qualified doctor will examine / observe a patient properly. He / she will examine all the needed reports. This helps in the proper diagnosis of the sickness. Proper diagnosis will help in the right treatment.
If any of these is missing, the patient won’t get the needed treatment.
In our secular studies, how many notebooks/ papers we might have used to write down notes? In the study of scripture, how many notebooks or paper did we use so far?
In secular studies, we knew the importance of writing down notes for understanding, for better study and for future reference. That will affect our mark in exam, rank in the result, admission to a better course. Our job / status / income.. depends on that.
If the amount of time we give to God daily and what we write down daily in our Bible study and the number of insights we write is taken as an indication of our love for God, how important is God in our life?
May God help us in our reading, study and sharing of God’s word. This should transform us day by day. This transformation should be evident in our personal and public life. Through us, our church should be revived and society transformed.