People tend to study for many reasons. Some study for grades, some for their jobs, some even to win money. It is so amazing all the reasons why people choose to study. From a ministry perspective, you will find that many who preach or teach, like everyone else study for numerous reasons. Often the reasons are a cause for problems. I was once told by someone That the key to effective ministry is one key factor; “Don’t study to teach or preach, study to live. For out of your living comes the message that will help you to help others.”
You see, some people study an agenda that is circumspect. They study out of a desire to prove a point. In other words, they have a need to be right regarding a situation. This is a poor reason to study. So often when you study with that as your motive you will no doubt find information that will validate your point of view, often at the expense of truth or even relationships. The danger in this is what creates a Jim Jones or David Koresh movement that leads people to their demise.
You can always find things in scripture to prove your point, be it right or not if you look long and hard enough. That is why it requires more than your own human capacity to read and understand to glean God‘s wisdom in scripture.
When you study with the intent that what you learn helps you to live, scripture unfolds in a way that it teaches you principles that you can then share with others. Those principles become the pillars of your life that hold you up and show others the strength that has built you up. Studying to live takes ulterior motivation out of the picture because its focus is always on keeping you in proper alignment with God. That alignment allows you to also gain a perspective that is not surface, it’s from an elevation to allow you to see further and more clearly than if you didn’t have His vantage.
Studying to live enables you to equip yourself in the process of your own struggles. There are times when you will go through certain tests and trials that are not familiar to you or those around you. You need to know firsthand that you have what you need to make it through when others cannot relate or help. Your struggles are often to build you up so that when others do get to where you are, they have a model for how to make it. They’ve seen you down and see seen you come out golden.
When you study to live, you literally show yourself approved, because that is when God sends the test to validate your. Tests are given to certify that you have obtain or achieved a certain level; like the karate student that must earn the next belt, or the soldier that is tested to, “prove his or her mettle.” Choose to study to live. “For out of your living, comes the message that will help others to live in heir times of distress.
QUESTION: In what ways do you study to live?
- Daily Devotional | “Study To Show Thyself Approved…” (thelivingwordministries.wordpress.com)
- studying the Bible isn’t boring, you are. (efree212.wordpress.com)
- Preaching: The Most Important Duty of a Pastor (johnrconverse.wordpress.com)
- Why Bible Study Doesn’t Transform Us (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)