Last week we finished off the first of our Lenten series: How to Pray. This week, we begin to take a look at the second part of our Lenten disciplines: How to Study.
It’s a fact … the Bible is daunting. With 66 books – 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New – it’s hard to know where to start. Written thousands of years ago, it’s hard to imagine that it can actually apply to modern times. But the more we study the Bible, the more we begin to realize that it’s more than just ancient stories … it’s the story of us, in the here and now.
In Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster describes study this way:
When we study something, we see it, feel it, understand it, and draw conclusions from it.
We analyze what we are studying in an attempt to understand what it means. In study, we approach Scripture with humility, seeking to understand the intent of the author, and then exploring what it might mean for us today. When we study, we learn to ask questions about that which we are reading.
Study may seem like hard work, but it gets easier over time. Like prayer, there’s no right or wrong way to do it. We’ll likely never perfect the discipline of study, but the more we study, the more joy we will experience. The more we study, the more in tune we become with God’s presence in our lives.
Throughout this series, we’ll explore different ways to study Scripture. My hope and prayer is that this series will offer you a starting point for digging in to the powerful words that make up the Bible.