1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone. 5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” 9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. (Luke 4:1-13)
What a rich time of Bible study we had last week considering the Sermon on the Mount. It was great to explore the mind of Jesus as it relates to the Bible. This week we turn our attention to how Jesus practiced the Disciplines, and we will start with his practice of Bible Study. As a reminder, our theme for the 40 Days of Discipline journey this year is: Be like Jesus. For the remaining 30 days of the journey we will be focus on how Jesus practiced the Disciplines.
The temptation of Jesus as captured in the passage above (Luke 4:1-13) is a classic example of how Jesus used the Bible. Over the next two days we will use this passage to discuss Bible Study and then turn our attention to Prayer on Wednesday. Please read the passage carefully and answer the two questions below.
- Jesus refers to the Bible on 3 occasions during this encounter with Satan. How do we get to the point where we are able to speak the Word into our circumstances?
- How do you guard against substituting Bible reading for Bible study?
February 22, 2016 at 6:05 am
We can get to the point of speaking the Word into our circumstances by memorizing the Word. We shouldn’t stop at memorizing though. We should keep God’s Word meshed into our heart and thoughts, meditate on it, make it a part of our being, and be ready to use it for comfort, guidance, instruction, and any and every circumstance of our life.
One of the ways to help guard ourself against substituting Bible reading for Bible study is by answering the question of what we do with the information we read from the Bible. Do we read it, pray, then forget it, or do we invest sufficient time to read it, meditate on it, memorize verses that “speak” to us, then ask God to help us remember it as we move on with our day, then apply it when a circumstance or situation arises? An answer of “Yes” to the latter, or a decision to answer “Yes”, will help guard us against substituting Bible reading for Bible study.
February 22, 2016 at 8:54 am
In various places in the bible it exhorts us to hide God’s word in our hearts, teach God’s word, preach God’s word, etc. The only way you can do any of those is to have that knowledge available, and that’s by being in the word and studying it and practicing it. What good is it if you study but never produce anything from that studying? We also get to the point where we can speak that word in circumstances by starting small, study one verse and memorize that verse and then practice it on someone when the circumstance arise.
Bible reading to me is like that daily relationship you have with someone that keeps the relationship alive. You learn various things about each other it’s not limited to one subject.
Bible study is like that relationship that needs sit down time to discuss intricate matters, it’s the time that many light bulb moments happen, when you dig deep into the recesses of your heart and mind. It usually focuses on a particular thing. It’s important in a relationship in that it helps to mature it, but it’s not necessarily an everyday event, where as bible reading should be.
If I don’t understand the heart of Jesus through our day to day relationship, I won’t “get it” by substituting bible study.
February 22, 2016 at 10:22 am
Jesus refers to the Bible on 3 occasions during this encounter with Satan. How do we get to the point where we are able to speak the Word into our circumstances?
How do you guard against substituting Bible reading for Bible study?
This is a very interesting one.
Personally I have realized that for you to speak the word, you have to know it and to know it you have to study it and mint just reading it. Before the start of any study in the Bible, I have always asked God to explain his own word to me in the way I will understand, that he should come to my level so that I could absorb it. The reason is that, he is the custodian of his own word and he leads you to where the secrets of his word are buried ad he reveals to those who seek him, that is constantly.
It is apparent that there is work for us to do on our part and then ask him for his grace for understanding.
The second part of the he question relates to reading and studying the word. Whole lot of difference , the second involves digging deep,meditate and practice while the other is much more superficial mostly for leisure and pass time?
May God help us and assist us to continue to study and speak his word I n Jesus name. Amen
February 22, 2016 at 10:59 am
1. First, we need to recognize the power of the Word, and the fact that it can be applied to all kinds of circumstances and needs in our lives. Just as how Jesus used the Word to overcome the devil, we have to know what the Word says and use it to be victorious over the devil. Jesus was tempted with various needs: physical (the need for food); spiritual (the need for worship but in this scenario not worshiping the true God and worshiping with wrong motives); socioeconomic (the need for prestige, honor, wealth, glory, ownership), and the psychological power that goes with all of those. A sound knowledge of the Word helps us to be discerning. I’ve often pondered how easy it would be for us to “prove” who we are (“if you are the Son of God, throw yourself down . . .) by obeying the devil, without realizing what we have done, maybe until after the tragic fact. Simultaneously, a sound knowledge of the Word will teach us humility, without subservience.
2. We can guard against substituting Bible reading for Bible study by not simply skimming the Word, out of tradition, simply to say that we read the Bible daily. Instead, we need to set aside time when we seek God deeply as we study His Word and ask Him for guidance and are drawn closer to Him. When we study the Bible it should convict us of our sins, speak to us to change our ways where needed, give us hope, give us spiritual power, open our eyes to the truth and do many other marvelous things in our lives. Note: We also have to be careful that Bible study is not merely reading a book that some author has written and we spend our time studying what the author has said more than what the Word says, though nothing is wrong with reading extra biblical material. Bible Study is an intimate knowledge of the Word of God, not “cramming” before an exam and soon after the exam we forget.
February 22, 2016 at 10:24 pm
Thanks for the practical approaches suggested including memorizing, reviewing, practicing, setting aside time and asking God for help.