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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Personal Responsibility for the Word

What gets you out of bed in the morning?  
That is an easy question for me to answer.  Getting people into the Word of God for themselves.  What I mean by that is equipping people to sit down with their Bibles and a blank sheet of paper and being able to study the Word and thus meet with Christ themselves.  The focus is on men because based on Ephesians 5:15 – 6:33, men are supposed to lead.  To lead people have to be in the Word for themselves.
Personal Responsibility for the Word
What does that mean?
Further clarification, by studying for themselves I do not mean reading the notes in a study Bible.  In the workshops I do I forbid them.  I give the participants just the text of the book we are studying.  Further, I do not mean by personal Bible study a fill in the blank study.  Why?  In the case of the study Bible, the notes are not inspired, the text is.  By reading the notes one assumes they are right, usually dropping down below the line that separates the text from the notes before one has struggled with the text.  When we do that we are short circuiting the ministry of the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, John 16:13.

In the case of the FIBS (Fill in the Blank) studies, the person who created the study is leading you through their observations.  They are asking you to see what they saw.  I will guarantee that there is more in the passage than they have seen; more that someone doing that study can see…

Why is it important?
For the past few months I have been working through Psalm 119.  This past week I was in Psalm 119:97 – 104.  In there I found validation for what I just shared.  Look at verses 99 – 100.  David says that the Word gives him more insight than his teachers and more understanding than the aged.  That is a big deal.

Studying the Word for oneself puts one in a dialog with teachers and pastors, a conversation if you will.  Rather than being spoon fed, one is comparing what they saw with what the teacher or pastor saw.  Since both parties are gifted by the Holy Spirit and are under His ministry of leading into truth, the dialog will be much richer than the spoon feeding.

Second in the Hebrew culture, well in most cultures, the aged are deemed to have greater understanding.  Here David tells us that observing the Word levels that playing field.  Speeds up the learning if you will.  That is a very good thing.

So What?
The bottom line?  Each of us needs to be in the Word, independently, for ourselves.  We cannot only depend on teachers, commentators, authors of Bible studies, and our pastors to study the Word for us.  We need to do that for ourselves.  That is what gets me out of bed.  If you want help with that, let me know.

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