What does is mean exactly to “study to show yourself approved by God?” Does listening to a message preached on a Sunday morning fit into that? How about listening to famous minister on your way to work?
My dad is an amazing teacher. One thing, among many, that he taught me was to research everything we heard people, preachers, or whoever say. He told us to not take things face value, but look up what a preacher was saying and study it in the Bible for yourself. Weigh words with the written Word of God. I valued that lesson so much, that I passed it along to my own kids.
Weigh words with the written Word of God.
While pastors, preachers, and the like are a blessing to the Body of Christ, they are human and sometimes get things wrong. The problem is that a good portion of people don’t dig into God’s Word for themselves and let Holy Spirit teach them, so they have no idea whether what they hear from someone else is truth or not. They just go on their gut or blind trust. This is really not the best approach. Jesus even gave us a promise about sending Holy Spirit who is the One who should guide us into all Truth:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:26
There’s a lot of noise going on in our world. We are constantly being told what to believe. How do we wade through it all and know what’s true, pure, lovely, above reproach? The answer is to study God’s Word with the Helper, Holy Spirit.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
I get it and yes, here I am telling you to believe me about this. Kind of funny, I know. I challenge you, though. If you don’t want to take my word for it, read the Bible and see what you find.
There are a lot of other benefits of reading God’s Word, too, such as a deeper relationship with God that can not be cultivated through a third party. Encouragement, peace, wisdom, direction are also just a few of the many blessings to be found in the Word of God and experienced on a deep level when you study God’s Word for yourself.
If you are interested in digging more into the Bible independently while being encouraged and assisted in a group setting, our Bible Study on 2 Timothy will be starting August 9th. This study will have new materials posted Monday- Friday and focus on a verse or two each day. Three questions a day will be given to help you dive in and really mediate on God’s Word. Sign ups are going on now.