I live with Bible college students. I work with pastors and counselors. I hang out with lovers of the Word. I go home to family members doused in Bible. It is a dream world, to be sure, but Scripture study is hard when you live in that world. For in that world is experience and practice and assumption and habit.
And it is the habit of Bible-minded people, myself included, to make only theological statements about the Bible. Have you noticed?
Rather than offer a simple, incomplete thought that may be nothing profound or controversial, we feel obligated to present something more. We aren’t satisfied with observation; we want application. And we want it now.
How much we miss! In searching for something “greater,” we exchange the words of God for our own thoughts. In trying to make something sound fancy, we overlook the beauty right in front of us. And in turning everything into a position or argument for debate, we fail to see that the truth is there. Right there.
So instead of speaking defensively to protect our carefully crafted sentences, we must declare it.
Literally. Just say what the Bible says. Word for word. Verse by verse. Read it, meditate on it, ask questions, dig into it, pull it apart. Then when people ask what you discovered in the Scriptures, read the Scriptures. Speak to them the Scriptures. Tell them what the Scriptures say.
You need little commentary, for the Word stands by itself. You need not present a devotional, for the Word is enough. And when you notice how it says this and that, and you show people how it says this and that, even the Scripture-study pros will watch in awe.
For without a second thought, you just showed them what the Scripture says, and that’s what they were trying to do all along.
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