In 1 Timothy 4:7-8 we read that we are to train, that is discipline, ourselves for Godliness. Physical training we are familiar with in our body-image culture, but while bodily training is of some value, Godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. Furthermore, we are told in Philippians 2:12-13 that we are to work out our own salvation knowing that it is God Who is at work in us for our sanctification and for His will.
Our first area of spiritual discipline is Bible Assimilation. We must spend time reading the Bible; listening to the Bible; studying the Bible; memorizing the Bible; and meditating on the Bible. In today’s lesson we dealt with Bible study, memorization, and meditation.
There is no excuse for a Christian in this digital age to not be able to find the tools necessary to study the Bible. Online sites and apps like YouVersion, Bible Hub, Blue Letter Bible, and BibleGateway provide digital resources that would outgun the libraries of many if not most pastors of the pre-digital age. You can look up any passage of scripture, read it in one of scores of English translations, check out the Greek or Hebrew meanings of words, find other passages that related to your initial passage, read commentaries by countless theologians giving you their interpretation of the passage, and that’s all on the first page of a Bible Hub search. If you own a computer, tablet, smart phone, or have access to one of these from a friend or public library you can study the Bible with all of these resources and so many more. Study the Bible!
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. – Psalm 119:11
When you memorize scripture you store it up in your heart so that the Holy Spirit can bring it to the forefront of your mind when you need direction in the midst of a moral dilemma; or when you need confirmation that what you’re doing is right; or when you need encouragement in the midst of a struggle. The Word of God is powerful, but it’s useless sitting on a shelf in the heat of the moment – it must be in your mind and in your heart. Memorize scripture!
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. – Psalm 1:1-2
Meditation is pausing to think deeply about a particular passage of scripture, guided by the Holy Spirit, looking to God for understanding of the meaning
and the application of the passage. We must learn to stop all of the activity in our day to day lives and, in silence, simply think about what the Bible is saying. It’s nothing mystical. It’s nothing new-agey. It’s taking the time to ponder the incredible Word of God – verse by verse and passage by passage. Meditate on God’s Word!
This Bible study was presented to the Agape Life Bible Study Class of the First Baptist Church in Brenham, Texas, on Sunday, May 28, 2023. It is part of a series of Bible study sessions entitled Living the Agape Life – a Bible study curriculum developed by Bob Young with input from the members of the Agape Life Class. Handouts with slide content can be requested at: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Handouts are also available at: fromthebackporch.org .
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