Forming yourself

Bible Study. Are you engaging in a study of the Bible? I don’t mean reading it daily, that is a different issue. Do you spend at least some time each week looking closely into the Bible, either in a group or as an individual? One of the most important things that we need to do as Christians is involve ourselves in the Bible, deeply. And while a daily devotional or reading is important for our spiritual sustenance, equally important is the life giving study of the scripture. Many of us wander from this because it is time consuming, particularly if you are committed to a group that is in a study. Some of us are uncomfortable with Bible Study because it challenges our common understandings and forces us to think differently. Others of us just want to check off that we have been there, done that. And frighteningly, when we open up the Bible we are opening ourselves up to God, and that could be dangerous.

One of the best Bible studies I have ever engaged in was also the most demanding, Disciple Bible Study. It is published by the United Methodist Publishing House, and has a variety of different offerings. Thankfully each are a different color, so most people that have engaged in them may not be able to tell you what they have studied but what color the book was. Disciple I (the red one) provides an overview of the Old and New Testaments, and is priceless in the value it brings to those who commit to studying it. But that commitment brings with it the hefty price tag of 32 weeks of reading through the Bible. 32 weeks. Many people miss out on what God has in store for them, by not making that commitment.

As an individual I have committed myself to following the Revised common lectionary this year (see Thursday posts), which is a quick tour of the Bible. I am using two or three different resources to guide me through the selected texts. And it is time consuming. And it is easy to find any excuse not to do it (easier than finding excuses not to exercise). But when I sit down with the test and spend time with God in the Bible, that becomes a thin place.

Don’t wait. Don’t make an excuse. Find a study and jump in.

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