"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me." - Galatians 2:20

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Friday, April 30, 2010

BIBLE STUDY - HOMEWORK???

Matthew 4:4 "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

The term "Bible study" is not uncommon. In fact, we use it regularly in conversation. "I'm going to 'Ladies Bible study' tomorrow." "We have small group 'Bible study' tonight". Or, "What 'Bible study' are you going through right now?" "Have you done your 'Bible study' today?"

Over the years I have had numerous conversations with women in various stages of life with varying depths of maturity. One lady shared with me she didn't like the idea of "Bible Study" because it sounded like homework. Without passing judgment I was really trying to understand her perspective. Initially, I was shocked. However, this conversation caused me to dig deeper into my own life. How do I view Bible study? I know there have been times when I have been guilty of equating Bible study with merely homework. Have I reduced my study time as another item to check off my list? Has study time in the Word become a chore?

I was talking with my friend Kristy about this idea and she said it boils down to our desire. She is right on. Do we view study time in the Word as a 'duty' or as the 'desire' of our heart? When we look at our time in the word as homework it does become a chore; one more item to mark off our list; one more 'to-do' that is delayed until tomorrow. We have reduced our time in the Word to vacuuming, dusting, or cleaning out the refrigerator.

The key verse for today found in Matthew 4:4 tells us, "Man does not live on bread alone but by the Word of God." Physical hunger takes place in our stomachs, but spiritual hunger takes place in our souls where earthly things cannot satisfy. The foods we eat each day provide nourishment to our physical bodies. The Word of God provides spiritual nourishment for our souls. We cannot survive without this nourishment. Recognizing this need in our daily lives is critical to our spiritual growth. Only the Word of God can spiritually satisfy.

When we love God we should naturally want to spend time in His Word. A flip calendar in my kitchen had this quote a few weeks ago, "The Word of God is our Daily Bread, NOT cake for special occasions." Time in His Word will help us grow spiritually. One thing is certain, one cannot microwave spiritual growth. It takes time, obedience, commitment to His Word, prayer, and other spiritual disciplines.

We need to remember who we are learning about when we study the Bible? We study in order to improve our understanding of God. We study because we know God's Word is the basis for Truth and godly living, right?

Recently as I was writing a message the Lord laid on my heart this truth: "Bible study" is not homework, "Bible study" is "heart-work"!! The kind of "heart-work" I need to make sure my heart is where it should be in my relationship with God. The "heart-work" I need in order to not give in to my flesh. The "heart-work" I need to love and respect my husband. The "heart- work" I need to be patient and positive with my children. I need this "heart work" everyday.

Viewing my time in the Word as "heart work" has given me a new perspective towards God's Word. As my friend Lisa would say, "May each of us desire our time in the Word as an opportunity to unzip our heart before God so He can do His work in us."

Ladies, Bible study in not homework, Bible study is heart-work!!


Heart Work:
Ask the Lord to change your heart when you are tempted to view your time in His Word as a chore or a duty. Pray for Him to reveal the 'heart work' He needs to complete in you.
Heart Examination:
Is the Word of God your daily bread, or is it cake for special occasions? What marks the difference between "home work" and "heart work" for you? How can you improve your attitude towards your time in the Word? What are your motives for studying God's Word? Is it to check off your list? Is it to grow in your relationship and understanding of God?
Life Changing Word:
Psalm 119:11 "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."

Colossians 3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom."

Deuteronomy 11:18 "Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds."

Psalm 119:103 "How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

Psalm 119:130, 131, 133 "The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands. Direct my footsteps according to your word."





Copyright 2010 by Hester Christensen. All rights reserved.