Recently I led a one-hour class at our church on how to have a Bible party (a.k.a. a personal study and devotion time). The response was very positive.
Thank you so much for the class last night. It’s exactly what I was looking for! Everyone who goes to our church should have been there! It is that important!
I might need a bigger notebook. This just makes you more hungry for the Word!
Then I saw this comment:
I couldn’t make it, but would love the syllabus!
Umm, there was no syllabus.
However, I did give everyone the essential tools for putting on a great Bible party — a blank spiral notebook, a sharp pencil and a Bible. I believe with all my heart that developing the habit of consistent time in God’s Word is an absolute key to growing spiritually. Over the next few days, I’ll share the gist of what we talked about at the class.
It’s time to par-tay.
Three things to get straight before we dig in:
1. The Bible is about Jesus, not you. The goal in studying is not to find yourself in the pages, but to find God. This is not a self-help book where you will find 10 steps to your best life. When you open the Bible, you are putting yourself in a position to receive so much more. Moses said it: “These are not just idle words for you, they are your life.” Deut. 32:47
Study time is not meant to be like an ATM machine, where you withdraw a tidbit to get you through the day. Instead, think of it as making deposits into a savings account that will provide you with an astounding return on your investment.
2. The purpose of studying the Bible is not to accumulate information and facts so you can impress everyone at your next small group discussion. “God has not given the deep things to the smartest people, but to the most eager people.” (Matt Chandler) The goal to grow in biblical understanding is never to say, “I have answers,” but to say, “I love God more than ever.”
3. We desperately need a solid grounding in The Word. In a confusing culture where truth is relative, we need to anchor ourselves in God’s truth. The current secular worldview believes truth is inside of us and is ever-changing. In reality, the truth is outside of us and is fixed. If we give 90% of our time and attention to the world’s interpretation of truth, we will become confused with a skewed understanding. Instead, we need to steep ourselves in the Bible, root ourselves in its teaching, take a stand on its solid ground.
When officials at the federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing are trained to spot counterfeit money, they only study the real thing. They don’t pour over every fake dollar bill. By knowing the genuine article inside and out, anything false that comes along is easily identified. Let’s do the same and commit to becoming students of the Real Thing.
How to Have a Bible Party, part 2: Where Do I Start?