Summary: This message is taken from Psalm 119 and provides principles for helping people to better understand the Bible.
How to Better Understand the Bible (pt 2)
You know…I get pretty frustrated whenever I have a difficult time understanding something.
• And chances are…I am not the only person in this room who experiences that type of frustration.
Frustration can really get the best of us…whenever we lack understanding.
• And you know…I have a feeling that many of us know the frustration that sometimes can set in while we try to make sense of our faith.
This week…I listened to my cousin…who has been plagued with Diabetes since he was a child. Today he is about 50…he has trouble walking and using his hands. This week he said to me “you know…the biggest problem I have with my faith is that I can’t understand why God doesn’t provide a cure for people who suffer with debilitating diseases.
As I listened to him speak…my eyes filled with tears as I watched him struggle with that question.
I don’t want to simply tough questions…but I really believe that The Bible can give understanding to even the most difficult questions in life.
• You see, I don’t believe the problem is a lack of answers.
• I believe the problem is that we haven’t been prepared to find the anwers.
I don’t believe that the majority of people sitting in pews this morning all around our country today…are equipped in how to understand what they are reading.
• We are taught how to be saved.
• We are taught how to share our faith.
But for some reason, we don’t spend a lot of time preparing people for how to get the most out of their Bibles…to understand what they are reading.
Please know…this is my greatest passion in ministry today.
• But it is one of my greatest frustrations as well…figuring out how to do it without a spiritual mutiny.
You know, we are living in a day when having a building, having three services a week, and telling people we are open for business is enough to see the culture transformed. We have to engage our members [even if they don’t want to be engaged] in how to grow in their faith, day in and day out.
And in my humble estimation…that begins with learning how to understand what the Bible teaches.
Last week we focused on step 1
• Step 1 is to spend time praying for God to give us understanding before we even pick up the Bible and begin reading.
• We learn to pray that God would
o Open our Eyes
o Stir our Hearts
o Enlighten our minds
Today, we want to focus on two other disciplines that if applied…could really transform our lives by giving us greater understanding into the teachings of the word.
I. Trade Speed Reading for Meditating. 15,147,148
147 “I rise before dawn and cry out for help; I put my hope in Your Word.” HCSB
148 “I am awake through each watch of the night to meditate on Your promise.” HCSB
I think it is obvious from the Testimony of the Psalmnist….that he had a quiet time.
What we have comprehend the truth….that it takes time to develop an understanding of God’s Word.
• And when you begin to understand the INVESTMENT of TIME that is required.
• It will begin to effect your approach to reading God’s Word.
You see, what I have discovered is that you give time to those things that you deem as valuable.
• As Fathers…we spend time with Family because we value our families.
• If we value down time…then we spend the time required doing those things that enable us to relax.
• If we value cars….we invest the time needed to make sure we care for our cars properly.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense that is we truly VALUE the BIBLE as GOD’s WORD
• Then we will spend the time needed to study and understand.
But if our approach to the Bible is simply reading it out of obligation…because that is what a Christian is supposed to do.
• Then we are going to RUSH and not do what is required to really understand.
There are two things that are needed if we are going to devote the time Required.
A. It Requires a Sense of Anticipation
Now this makes total sense doesn’t it.
• Think about it…if you are going to approach your study of God’s Word right…you must believe that God is going to speak to you.
Let me ask you…is this how you approach your study of the Word?
• That you know that you will hear from God?
If you anticipate hearing from God…you are going to be more motivated to study
• And you are going to be prepared to write down what you learn.