Reading the Bible
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Scripture: Psalm 1:1-3
It is surprising how many people simply do not know how to study Scripture. The truth is, genuine Bible study can take many forms, and it can be as uncomplicated as focusing on a single word or phrase in a passage.
For example, if you are reading Psalm 1:3 and come upon the word "prosper," then you might ask yourself, What does it mean to prosper? How does God want me to be successful, bloom, and grow? These questions can lead you to examine the same word in other passages, or to trace the idea of bearing fruit throughout the entire Bible.
For greater insight, incorporate other resources into your study. Consult a Bible dictionary, a concordance, and perhaps a topical Bible to clarify a particular issue. A standard dictionary can frequently be helpful, too, by shedding light on a word's various shades of meaning. Commentaries offer an explanation of a passage's historical and theological background. In addition, Bible software or online resources can open your eyes to the verses' fuller impact.
When studying God's Word, we ought not settle for merely scratching the surface; rather, we should be motivated to dive in with excitement to discover exactly what God wants to teach us. We can achieve this by conducting word studies, by following certain themes or topics throughout the whole Bible, or by doing a book-by-book examination of Scripture. There are many ways to study God's Word, all of which offer a rich experience and the blessing of revealed truth.
There is no other book in the world like the Bible. When we read, meditate, and study Scripture, and then believe, apply, and share its principles, something happens to us. We become living, walking treasure houses because we grow to be prosperous in the things that matter. Money cannot buy the wealth that we have; death can't take it away. Through God's Word, we possess eternal riches.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
Study the first three verses of Psalm 1. Then ask yourself the following questions:
• What man or woman is truly blessed?
• In what does such a person find his delight?
• What is the result of his delight and obedience?
Where do I begin reading the Bible?
It is surprising how many people simply do not know how to study Scripture. The truth is, genuine Bible study can take many forms, and it can be as uncomplicated as focusing on a single word or phrase in a passage. (Watch Where do I begin reading the Bible?)
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