STUDY THE SCRIPTURES
Bible Reading: Psalm 119:1-4; John 5:39
Lent is a time where Christians all over the world (at least 50%) take time out deliberately to fast, to pray, study the Word and seek God’s face. It is a time of quiet contemplation of life and also a time for a thorough spiritual check-up. During this period, a serious Christian is focused much more on prayer and the Word more than anything else as the Holy Spirit reveals God’s mind to us about so many things.
What better time to make a commitment to studying the word more regularly. Apart from this being the beginning of a new month, the last month in the first quarter of this year, it is also week one in the Lenten season, so why not take the bull by the horns and commit to taking 30 minutes out of your 1440 minutes a day (about 2% of your day) to study the word; not a lot of time at all when you compare it to the time you spend on the phone talking about things not related to God, or the time you spend watching television in a day, but it is a start. During this period take that 2% of your 24 hours and shut out the world and read your Bible. You can find 30 minutes daily if you put your mind to it and guess what, if you start now, by the time lent is over, it becomes a habit and the joy you get from studying the Scriptures will have become a reality to you.
In my Bible in One Year devotional, Nicky Gumbel says Rick Warren has written, “reading the Bible generates life, it produces change, it heals hurts, it builds character, it transforms circumstances, it impacts joy, it overcomes adversity, it defeats temptation, it infuses hope, it releases power, it cleanses the mind” and I can testify to all of this. So many times when life throws me a curveball and I am feeling down, once I can get into the Word, faith rises up in me as I am reminded of God’s love for me. The peace of God fills my heart as I continue to read the scriptures, hope that everything will work out for my good, in the end, swells up in me and honestly I just get up and leave everything in God’s hands. God’s Word is Life and this Life is the light of men.
This month I will be looking at some verses in Psalm 119 to encourage us on our journey as we make the commitment to give at least 30 minutes daily to reading the Scriptures. I remember when we studied the Book of Psalms at fellowship, it took us almost 3 years (meeting for 2 hours every Wednesday) and I think Psalm 119 must have taken us about 2 or 3 months. Psalm 119:1-4 says “You’re only truly happy when you walk in total integrity, walking in the light of God’s word. What joy overwhelms everyone who keeps the ways of God, those who seek Him as their heart’s passion! They’ll never do what’s wrong but will always choose the paths of the Lord. God has prescribed the right way to live: obeying His laws with all our hearts.” Psalms 119:1-4 TPT.
Here it tells us we can only be totally happy, another version says “blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) when we walk in total integrity and this can only be achieved by studying the Word of God. The Word of God is Life and it brings light to man and so if we constantly study the Word and obey its instructions then we will experience all Rick Warren said about reading the Bible. The Scriptures testify and teach us about Jesus Christ, He is the Living Word and so we need to study the Scriptures to know who we really are in Him, all there is to know about Him and the power He has given us so we can defeat our enemy, the devil, when he tries to tell us lies. David goes on to say, the Word brings joy and directs our path so we will never make a wrong choice. The more we study the Word, the more we recognize the voice of God as He talks to us through the Holy Spirit in our inner man. When we want to make a decision, as long as we put it before God in prayer and wait to hear Him speak to us, we will always make the right decision. In the past, I would get carried away by my emotions and take decisions without asking God first. Believe me, when I say, I regret every decision I have taken without Him, even as it pertains to friendships.
The good thing though is He is a merciful God and when He sees you have learnt your lesson, He somehow changes the situation around for your good. I have learnt now, never to be moved by emotions, no matter what decision I have to take from: should I go to the salon today or not to life-changing decisions, I pause and pray to Him because I know once I introduce Him into the conversation, He will guide me through my decision-making process. As David says, the prescription to living a blessed life is obeying His laws with all our hearts.
Make a commitment to intentionally spend at least 30 minutes (2% of your time) studying the scriptures daily and see how giving Him just 2% of your time will transform your life. No one will need to tell you to increase the time you spend with Him, you will find the time you spend with Him will just grow organically and He will eventually truly become your first priority.
UNDER GRACE UNDER MERCY