You might be wondering, “Why write a series on Bible study? Don’t we have enough studies already? We need to DO more, not READ more.”
I get it. That’s what I was saying a few months ago, too.
You see, I come from a family of people who love God, and reading the Bible was always something we just did. But as I grew into an adult, I realized that just because people read their Bibles doesn’t mean they actually practice it.
Truth is, I grew disillusioned with the whole Bible-reading thing. And though I was once an avid student of Scripture, I hardly found pleasure in opening its covers.
Pain can do that to you.
As can boredom. And guilt. And a million other things. There are plenty of reasons NOT to read the Bible.
But over the past few months, God has brought me on a journey of rediscovering the joy of studying the Bible for only one reason: to know and love God more.
And I want to start with that as our foundation today.
For too many years, I read the Bible to learn more about myself: how I should live, what I should do, who I am in Christ, what sort of spiritual heritage I have from all the heroes of the Bible. Maybe you’ve done that too. And there’s plenty of that in the Bible.
But that’s not the main point.
If you read the Bible to come up with a list of rules for how to live, you’re going to miss the most incredible story of love and redemption this earth has ever seen. (Not to mention the fact that you’re going to come up with a mighty long list of ways you’re going to fail every day. Because basically the whole New Testament is about how the Law condemns us and shows us our need for God’s grace given to us in Jesus Christ. You might find something better to do with your time, like taking your neighbor some warm cookies. Just sayin’.)
The Bible isn’t about us. The Bible is about God.
All throughout Scripture, God reveals Himself to us in beautiful stories of personal redemption. You’ll find these themes repeat again and again, like how God is faithful even though His people are not, how He provides for His children even when the situation looks dire, and how He keeps working humans’ good toward His glory. It’s an incredible story that’s drama, suspense, comedy, thriller, and romance all in one.
And this Story is all about God. If you read it any other way, you’ll get bored fast.
Why Bible Study Should Always End in Worship
So we read the Bible to learn about God.
But it’s not enough to know more about God if our minds don’t affect our hearts. Our study of God must lead us deeper in love with God too. Because unless all this information results in God-adoration, reading the Bible is pointless.
Our Bible study each day should culminate not in a list of things to do but in a million reasons to worship. Bible study and worship go hand-in-hand, like peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, and every other cheesy pair you can think of, but better. You can’t have one without the other if you really want to grow in your relationship with God.
Here’s what happens when you have worship without study: Some people want to love God, but they don’t really know Him. God is a caricature of all the stories they’ve heard in Sunday School, a one-dimensional figure resembling either jovial Santa Clause or moody Zeus. They don’t quite know how to reconcile God’s love AND justice, His mercy AND holiness, His omniscience AND His gift of free will. They are all love and little knowledge.
Then again, there’s the other extreme of study without worship: Other people know much about God, but there’s little about Him that moves them. They will explain atonement and transubstantiation in one breath and in the next they’ll yell at the driver who cut in front of them in traffic. Simply put, their knowledge of God is merely a cerebral endeavor; it hasn’t affect their posture toward the One they have learned about. God is a subject to be analyzed and dissected, not a Person to worship and adore. They are all knowledge and little love.
But we are called to love God with both our hearts AND our minds:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
This central truth was pivotal in my journey toward finding joy in Scripture again: As I grow in knowledge and worship of God, I will grow deeper in my love for Him too. And the more we love Him, the more we will worship and glorify Him, whether we’re writing a sermon series, folding laundry, sweeping the floor, or eating a brownie.
Because, yes, you can eat a brownie for God’s glory.
Didn’t know that? Oh, friend, we have quite the journey ahead of us, I can tell.
Let’s dig in!
Each day, you’ll have a short assignment to make this journey your own. Remember that information is pointless unless it actually changes us and our posture toward God.
Most days, we’ll be digging into Scripture. But today, let’s start at the very beginning:
- Find a journal or notebook to write during your #deeperbiblestudyseries. You’ll be taking lots of notes (and drawing, coloring, and doodling, too!).
- In 1-2 sentences, write down your goal for this series. Is it to develop a new habit of reading the Bible? Is it to gain confidence in your study skills? Is it to grow in your knowledge of God? Or perhaps you know enough but you need to learn to worship Him? Or maybe it’s something else entirely.
- Pray over your goal. Specifically, ask God to help you love Him more with all of your heart and mind as you study Scripture for yourself.
- Share this series with your friends and invite them to join us on this incredible journey!