Guiding Principle #2
Read the Bible daily, study and research
Reading the Word of God, studying diligently and researching is absolutely essential if you want to gain knowledge, wisdom and understanding in order to apply biblical principles into your practical life.
Perhaps you are unable to actually read the bible every day; there are many technological advances that put the bible at your fingertips. For example, electronic bibles and apps are accessible via mobile devices. Pocket-size bibles are still available, pocket-size devotionals, online bibles and devotionals are available at the click of a mouse or button. The Word of God is available to anyone who choose to access it.
Of course, reading your Bible (Word of God) is good, but it is not enough. Become a “student” of the Word. There are many methods to studying the Bible. Three (3) popular methods are:
1) Topical study (gathering biblical information on specific topics)
2) Character study (gathering information and researching on the life of certain people in the Bible)
3) Book study (taking an in-depth look at specific books in the Bible; researching the background, theme, application, etc.).
Why should you study the Bible? You should study for greater understanding of what the Lord requires of His people—His disciples and believers. Additional you should study the Bible for spiritual growth—this simply means developing your relationship with the Lord, getting to know Him through His Word; this is your growing process (1 Peter 2:1-2); study the Bible for spiritual maturity—a level of maturity for effective application of biblical principles (ref. Hebrews 5:11-14); and study for spiritual effectiveness—the application of God’s Word is evident and you can help other believers live victorious lives (ref. 2 Timothy 3:16).
A Christian shouldn’t rely totally on the pastor, bible teacher, or others to convey God’s Word to them. They should study themselves; this gives you your own personal time of fellowship with the Lord. Sure, He speaks to us in corporate settings with other believers in our assemblies, but He wants to talk to you individually. I recommend, if possible, schedule your appointment with Him; set aside study time. Actually, prayer time and bible study can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. I might add, don’t make it laborious, taxing or exhausting; it should be enjoyable and pleasurable to see what God will say to you, and show you, personally in the Word.
As you are reading your Bible and studying you should be in a prayerful attitude of worship and thanksgiving. Your mind and spirit are open to hear His still small voice as you read and study His Word. Part of your prayer should be asking the Lord to speak to you through His written word and show you what He wants you to see and know. As you are reading and studying a passage or an entire book in the bible, ask Him questions. When you are serious about growing in the knowledge of God, He obliges. And it is by studying His Word that you learn. The Holy Spirit will begin to illuminate (shed light on) your mind. I suggest investing in bible study tools, such as a concordance, bible dictionary and commentaries to start with, all of which are available online.
The Holy Bible, which I believe is the infallible written word of God, reveals the will of God for mankind concerning all the issues we will ever face in this life. Respect it as God’s Word inspired by God and useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses His Word to prepare and equip His people to do every good work (Ref. 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
God’s Word is your weapon of mass destruction against the enemy, Satan. Read how Jesus used it when He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness. With a life of prayer, the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God, you will be empowered to defeat the enemy. (Ref. Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).