The Discipline of Study

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stop Look and Listen

We are continuing our series on Spiritual Disciplines. Let me remind us of a few things:

  • These disciplines are simply things we do to place us before God so that He can do a work of inner transformation in us.
  • We are asking God to renew our minds (Romans 12:2)
  • We are replacing old destructive habits with some new life-giving habits
  • We are reading through the Gospels during Lent. You can find a reading schedule here.

The discipline of study involves reading, thinking and studying in order to learn about and understand truth. Many people are confused and hampered in their spiritual life because of ignorance of the truth. Studying helps us learn the truth of God.

Study is a discipline that involves

  • attentiveness
  • observation
  • thinking
  • writing
  • reflection
  • focusing

The Bible
The best thing we can study is the Bible, the Word of God. It is the Bible that is truth, and that has the power to change lives, give us faith, and make us clean. Colossians 3:16 advises us to allow the word of God to live richly in us.

Here are some suggestions for when you study the Bible:

  • Ask God to meet you as you study the Bible
  • Study with an open and humble spirit – allow the Word to change you
  • Use repetition and memorization
  • Concentrate and focus
  • Take notes
  • Use other books to help interpret the meaning
  • Reflect and ask the Spirit of God to apply the truth
  • Study a book of the Bible all at once

In all your study, ask the Holy Spirit to guide and help you. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said in his book Life Together,

“Often we are so burdened and overwhelmed with other thoughts, images, and concerns that it may take a long time before God’s Word has swept all else aside and come through…this is the very reason why we begin our meditation with the prayer that God may send His Holy Spirit to us through His Word and reveal His Word to us and enlighten us.”

When we study, let’s ask God to saturate us with his truth and transform us.