Tuesday, May 15, 2012

If you don't systematically study the Bible you develop a patchwork of belief

Not much on titles, just ask my congregation! Our country is in a catastrophic moral and religious crisis. It stems from basic ignorance of God's word. And unfortunately the consequences are progressive.

Isaiah 5:13a (NASB95)
Therefore My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge...

First we are exiled or castaway in a sea of moral relativism. No absolute truth makes for a stormy existence. The Bible is supposed to be our moral compass and our guide for everyday life. But if truth is viewed as subjective then what is there to guide our life? Only one-third (34%) of Americans believe in absolute moral truth. The writer of Judges gives this chilling and familiar statement, "and each man did what was right in his own eyes." 

What is the cure?  Systematic study and application of the Bible. I applaud Bible reading and scripture memorization but it needs to be purposeful. Too many of us stick to the stuff we like. It's time to strike out into the unfamiliar. We are to take the WHOLE counsel of God's word, not just the scripture out of context that makes us feel good or justifies what we think is right.

Here is a guide for study:
1.  What does this passage teach me about man?
2.  What does this teach me about God?
3.  What do I like about this?
4.  What do I dislike or find confusing?
5.  What changes or applications do I need to make to my life in view of this passage?
6.  Who can I tell?

Go through the Bible a book at a time, analyzing it a paragraph at a time with these 6 simple questions. Here are two resources to help:
biblegateway. Gives reminders along with a reading plan.
biblestudytools lets you personalize your reading plan.
Or choose a simple one...read a book at a time. Now quit wasting your time and go read.    

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