HIDDEN IN MY HEART – 2
I realize these few lessons may be elementary to many followers. It is much needed for my Bible class. Perhaps you may find it useful to use for a class that you teach.
Do we awake in the morning; put our feet on the floor and then are thirsty for Jesus? Does that sound strange to you? David indicated his thirst for the Lord in Ps.42:1. Jesus told us that we would be filled if we hunger and thirst after righteousness which is found from Scripture. Matt.5:6 Perhaps getting up would not be such a drag if we truly were asking the Lord that we might be pleasing to Him that day. Maybe we could even pray that we might be His instrument that day. Rom.6:13 That hunger can be fed by the Word of God. Matt.4:4
Obstacles to accomplish this are different for each one of us. Perhaps we have many obligations with family or other people around us. Of course there are always many things we need to do. Satan provides all kinds of reasons or maybe we should say excuses to keep us from feeding on the Word of God. These temptations are common to man. You are not alone; but we need to be overcomers. 1 Jhn.5:4 When we overcome by faith, we are not doing it ourselves. We pray with faith that God will help us. Matt.21:22 We can overcome with eager determination and God’s help. Habits can be bad but habits can also be good and productive. Feeding on the Word of God and hiding it in our heart is a habit we need and that we should want to form. It takes desire and determination with zeal.
Probably the first consideration would be the time of day. Ps.88:13 Here we find David praying in the morning. While some have a mind much clearer in the morning, others would find other times more profitable. If we do not choose the first thing in the morning, it is easy to let the events of the day to push out our Bible study time and then the day is gone. One lady with a baby was always up in the night with it. She had her Bible already open and beside the chair where she would hold the baby. She was ready to drink in the Word of God. It may mean—get up earlier! Would that be too much to ask, for the Lord that gave His life for you? So plan for a good time you can be alone with God without distractions. Schedule that time as you would schedule a doctor’s appointment. That time is saved for your Lord. That becomes a habit. Eph.5:15,16 Our time is important to God.
Where can you study the best? Find a place that is comfortable but where you can lay out the tools you will need for a real study. Yes, you may need more than just your Bible to get the most out of your study. You are not going to be lounging. You will really be studying. To grow in Christ, you want to be a student of God’s Word. 2 Tim.2:15 Paul was convinced that the Roman Christians were filled with knowledge. This was not a worldly knowledge but spiritual knowledge of Scripture. Rom.15:14 The purpose of our study is to grow in knowledge of the Word.
Now that you have decided on a time and place, it is absolutely necessary to be ready to concentrate on what you are doing. This may sound foolish but first of all, our minds have a tendency to wander. There is also a matter of comprehension. If you read a verse and someone should ask you, “What did you just read?” could you tell them? Now if someone told you something about someone, you might even remember the next day. You remember a birthday, part of your grocery list, who is sick, etc. You understood, thought about it, and were able to absorb it. The same has to happen when we read Scripture. We have our “thinking-cap” on. We think about it, understand it as much as we can, absorb it into our minds and hearts and make the information or Scripture ours. Heb.10:16 If this doesn’t happen, we have just gone through a routine. It has not changed us nor has it helped us grow in Christ. We need to pray that the Lord will help us before we start, but we have to be ready to help ourselves, too. The Bible is powerful. Heb.4:12 If we are really concentrating, the Bible can bring us joy, comfort, convict us, teach us, guide us, solve problems, and literally change our lives. Be able to say what you just read—even to yourself. Our glasses help us focus with our eyes. Our mind must focus on the Scripture as we read.
Is your Bible one that is from several hundred years ago in its translation? It may be difficult to understand if it came over with the Mayflower. The King James is very good but the language is old. Newer versions can be obtained cheaply. Check with someone you trust as to what version might be best for you. If someone is going to get a gift for you, would a new shirt or an understandable Bible be a better request. This could make a big difference in your understanding. Rom.10:8
Now we have a time, place, our “thinking-caps” on, and an understandable Bible on hand. We must have a plan for our study to be the most valuable. You have a plan when you do a craft, cook a meal, or build something. It is haphazard to put the Bible in front of you and just open it to where it falls. Even though it is all inspired by God, the Bible is written with a plan. 2 Tim.3:16 It did not come by man. 2 Pet.1:21
The Old Testament of 39 books is a history of beginnings and of the Jewish people who were the ones through whom the Son of God, Jesus, would come. It is our schoolmaster or tutor (teacher). Gal.3:24 The New Testament with 27 books tells us of Jesus, His church, and the way we should live in Christ to the end of days. One plan might include a portion of the O.T. and a portion of the N.T. Another plan might begin with one of the gospels about Jesus (Matt., Mk., Lk., Jhn.). Then go on with the history of the church in Acts and so on, but Read Your Bible!