We really are living in unprecedented times. I don’t think I could have imagined a scenario where we would be stuck in our homes for such an extended period of time. We are about a week in and it already feels strange. With that being said, I want to offer a very simple challenge to you; study your Bible. Let me offer five (very brief) reasons as to why studying the Bible is so important.
1. Studying your Bible will shape your worldview
Every piece of information that we come into contact with is competing for space in our mind. And what we think about in our mind, will seep into our hearts affecting what we treasure. In a culture that is responding with fear (and cynicism), we need God’s Word to shape our worldview. If we want to trust God through this, we must allow his truth to infiltrate our minds and hearts. Notice how Paul exhorts us to use our minds to help our hearts in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed (heart) by the renewal (mind) of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
2. Studying your Bible will help keep you from conflict
No matter how much you love your family and how much your family loves you, COVID19 will mean a change in our routine. One of those changes will be how much time we are spending with our families. This undoubtedly will result in an increase in conflict. Give yourself to study God’s Word to help you know how to treat others and walk through conflict. Prepare yourself, each day, to count others more significant than yourself just as Jesus has done for you in the gospel (Philippians 2:4-11).
3. Studying your Bible will help you fight temptation
An increase in available free time could mean an increase in temptation for sin. Whether this be endless hours on video games (Proverbs 6:6-8), sexual immorality (Proverbs 5), or unnecessary conversations with friends (Ephesians 4:29), be ready to fight against temptation to sin. One practical way to do this is to delight yourself in God’s Word by faithfully meditating on it (Psalm 1:1-3).
4. Studying your Bible will remind you of who God is
Many people in our world are responding in fear (insert overused toilet paper hoarding reference here) to this situation. And apart from an understanding of who God is, perhaps this fear is valid. I would be very fearful right now if it were not for God, who neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121:3). I would be hoarding all sorts of things if it were not for God who upholds the universe by word of his power (Hebrews 1:3). I would be panicking right now if it were not for God who promises that not even COVID19 is a threat to his sovereign love tethered to us for all the days of our lives (Romans 8:31-39).
5. Studying your Bible will build your arsenal
One time studying God’s Word may not change us. Even a year of faithfully studying may not seem like it is doing much. But the beautiful and God-designed (Psalm 1:3) purpose for studying Scripture is that it will build an arsenal of weaponry to fight the lies we believe (the liar being yourself (1 John 1:8) or even Satan (1 Peter 5:8)). Overtime, we will grow — in our ability to study God’s Word, in our love for God and His Word and in our practice of faithfully living out the Christian life.
We need the transforming power of God’s grace to get through this moment faithfully. Thankfully, this grace is readily available for us in a book written by God himself (2 Timothy 3:16-17). This is my challenge and encouragement to each of you — be a student of the Word during this moment in your life.