"At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." (Matt. 11:25)
Before you can successfully engage God's most precious Word, you must:
· BRING OUR MIND TO BE RIGHT WITH GOD!
Because, the Scriptures is our primary means of knowing God, learning His precepts and growing in His grace (Joshua 1:7-8; Ps. 1, 19, 119; Matt. 4:1-11, 7:24-29; John 8:31-32, 15:1-11; Col. 3:12-17; 2 Tim. 3:15-16; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1: 22-2:2).
We must be willing to not just read the Bible, but be willing to obey God's decrees! It is not about you, it is about God! Make it your choice and work out you salvation (Philp. 2) hard with a surrendered will to His!
FIRST: PRAYER! (Psalm 119:18)
REMEMBER TO ALWAYS: BEGIN and END YOUR STUDY IN PRAYER and in the meantime be in prayer.
DIRECT YOUR WILL AND SEIZE THE
SECOND: ATTITUDE, Start with the proper approach!
"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." (Gal. 2:20)
For us to become wholehearted, fully-engaged followers of Jesus Christ, we must realize that the purpose of Scripture points to Him (Luke 24:27; Col. 1:16-18). Accordingly, we need to have a good attitude based on seeking Christ and not seeking ourselves. Our minds must be clear and childlike before Him, because when you read His Word you are before the face of God! You are going before a Holy God, so adjust yourself with these attitudes:
· REVERENCE: "But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him." (Hab 2:20, Psalm 89:7)
Prepare your heart and mind. You are not going to a football game!
Be quiet; clear your distracting thoughts and desires away! This is all about the Supremacy and Centrality of Christ; He is our Lord and the center of Scripture.
· YOUR WILL: "My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God." (Prov. 2:1-5)
We must be willing to not only read but to obey God's decrees! It is not about you, it is about God! Make it your choice and work hard with a surrendered will to His!
· ANTICIPATION: "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." (Psalm 63:1)
We must come before God with eagerness and expectancy. This is not a chore; it is fellowship with the Creator of the universe, what better time could there be!
· BE ALERT: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline;" "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." (Prov. 1:7; 3:5-6)
Find a time where you are most alert and awake!
· BE AWAKE AND MAKE TIME: My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. (Psalm 119:148)
To be consistent to read the Bible regularly, we must make the time and keep it up and not make the excuse and keep it up. Early mornings are better than late nights.
· BE IN LOVE: "I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread;" "When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty." (Job 23:12; Jeremiah 15:16)
Fall in love with His Word! Have the appetite, as it was better than your favorite meal! Do not let it be just a duty! The love will increase as we increase in our effort and study!
· TRUST and OBEY: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." (Col. 3:16)
God deserves our trust and submission, for there is no other way to lead a triumphant, purposeful, meaningful and mature Christian life filled with Fruit and impact. Thus, we must see that God's Word and the percepts it contains as true, relevant, authoritative and binding, then we can also see its personal significance, veracity, importance, power, impact and application upon us and those around us too.
In God's eyes it is far more important why we do something right rather than that we just do something, even good.
"Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart;" "He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly." (1 Sam 16:7, 2 Chron 25:2)
Thus we do not want to do the right thing with the wrong attitude and motives.
THIRD: BE OPEN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law." (Psalm 119:18)
A very important point: For this to work you must have a relationship with Christ, with your trust in His grace. Without it, you are programming a computer without any knowledge of its language or design. You may attempt it, but all you will get is gibberish, "foolishness," as Scripture tells us, the knowledge will be hidden from you.
Study with proper sense of our ultimate reality, giving Christ Glory!
- God, being God, is to be the most important Person in our lives, honored listened to, known and worshipped.
- God, being God, should have the primary place in our lives, as we recognize, act with faith, and serve Him with joy.
- God, being God, is to be trusted, loved and enjoyed.
- God, being God, wants to be greater in your life. The greater He is in you, the greater your life, your purpose, your opportunities and your blessings will be.
"The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment." (1 Cor. 14-15)
Remember your Attitude and to_____ before God:
· REVERENCE: (Hab. , Psalm 89:7)
· Quiet YOUR WILL: (Prov. 2:1-5)
· ANTICIPATION: (Psalm 63:1)
· BE ALERT (Prov. 1:7; 3:5-6)
· BE AWAKE AND MAKE TIME: (Psalm 119:148)
· BE IN LOVE: (Job ; Jer. )
· TRUST and OBEY: (Col. 3:16)
· BE OPEN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT: (Psalm 119:18)
Then you are better prepared to enter His presence!
"Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth..." (John 7:17f)
So I challenge you to set aside time each day, the best time you have when you are the most alert and able to go before your Creator and Redeemer.