- Religion and Philosophy
Oh How I Love Your Word
Get to Know God
Many people think that Bible Study is not only hard work but it's boring too. I am hoping I can entice you to look at scriptures through different lenses; Fresh lenses free of preconceived ideas about God. Get to know God through the book of James.
This hub is an introductory to a Bible Study I have written on the book of James. The First Bible Study on James is titled 'Life Lessons from the Book of James."
I am hoping you will be intrigued to join me as I open this very practical book and share what God is revealing to me through His word. God has preserved his Word throughout the ages; through its pages we get to know Him first hand.
I will also be sharing some very simple strategies for studying God's word.
The Bible is no ordinary book. It is God's very heart and His instructions for our lives. It is personal, it is inspired, it is God breathed and living!
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
Before we delve into James, if you'd like to take a little side track - I've written a hub sharing the heart of another great Biblical character in regards to God's Word.
The Psalmists Cry
"Oh, how I love your Law! It is my meditation all the day." Psalms 119 vs. 97
What is it about the(The Word of God) that led the Psalmist to this passionate proclamation? Can you relate to his hearts cry? Can you say, I love God's word and I think about it all day long? Do you see the treasures that await those willing to dig into His Word?
As a visual learner I picture sights, sounds and smells which most likely surround the setting.As I read this Proclamation in Psalms 119:97 I picture the writer as a rugged, yet tenderhearted man sitting up on a rock which rests on a hill.
Before his proclamation I envision the Psalmist with contemplation written all over his face. He is reflecting on the truths revealed in God's Word. Meditation on the richness of God's word leads the Psalmist to lift his eyes and as he does his gaze shifts to the pastureland below.
Staring off to the pastureland he continues to chew on all that God has instructed. Zoning in for a close-up you note that his eyes have a far off look, as a man consumed in thought - he see's but he does not see. His thoughts are held captive by the mighty truths, majesty and wisdom of God.
Do you think the Psalmist saw the sheep wandering in the valley below? Did he notice the birds squawking above his head? I picture him so caught up in the treasures of God's word that everything else is blurred. I hear the sheep bleating and observe them wandering in the valley below but, in my minds eye, the Psalmist is oblivious to it all.
Continuing on in Psalms 119 a shift occurs. I picture the Psalmists face changing from contemplation and disconnect to animation as a multitude of emotions rise within him.
Standing to his feet, with an unrestrained heart of passion, he joyously and loudly proclaims, "Oh how I love your Word!" In my minds eye I gaze upon his countenance and am taken aback by an other-worldly joy, peace and satisfaction that shines from within the man.
Be Still and Know that He is God
The Psalmist knew that the secrets of life were hidden in God's Word. He meditated on God's word and kept it foremost in his thoughts and heart. C.H. Spurgeon explained it this way: "Meditation is aptly depicted by the cow's process of mastication (chewing). God has so constructed bovines to bring up previously digested food for additional grinding to enable optimal assimilation of the "cud." Meditation is the processing of God's food for our soul (real soul food!) One might call it "divine thought digestion." "Chewing" upon a divine thought, deliberately and diligently, a process which (enabled by the Spirit our "Sanctifier") provides the vital link between theory and action, between God's Word on paper and God's Word in our life. What mastication is to the physical life of the cow, meditation is to the spiritual life of those created in the image of God."
If we are to find hidden treasures through meditation we will need to STOP our busy lives to carve out time in His word. It's hard in our society to do this but if we are to hear His voice it is essential we learn to be silent and listen - for the Holy Spirit speaks in a still small voice. God wants His children to BE STILL and know that HE is God. Psalms 46:10
In Proverbs 6:21-23 we read, "Bind them (scripture) upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. 23 For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life."
In the book of Jeremiah he says it like this, “But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones” Jeremiah 20:9. This man experienced that burning fire shut up inside his soul. He knew deep intimacy with God. Few of us will ever know the closeness this man experienced with His creator. Jeremiah knew that God held the secrets of life in His word. He understood the lover of his soul is God Himself.
Is Jeremiah's proclamation a reflection of your own love for God's Word? Take time to dig into His word where you will find God himself, your creator, your Abba Father and the lover of your soul, waiting to meet you there.
Be Still and Know That I Am God
Journey with Me
I invite you to join me in a journey through the Book of James. Actually I challenge you to make this study your own.
I know you will be tempted to read what I learned before you do your own study, I too am tempted to read commentaries before I dig into a passage and before I pray for the Holy Spirit to speak to me, but the best way to approach this is to do your own work first.
Here's the problem with sneak previews. The problem in reading someone elses findings is that it clouds your own open heart and mind with their thoughts. So, before you read what I have uncovered through my study, follow the Bible Study Steps and apply them to learn for yourself from God's word. After uncovering truths from your study, compare your findings with the truths I have found; Make sense?
My goal, in this Bible study, is to take just a few verses at a time and look deeply into what the Spirit of God is saying. If you will follow the Bible Study Steps, you will begin to learn one way to study the Bible for yourself. I long for you to pick up the Word of God and dig into it.
There are treasures to be uncovered and the secrets to life are hidden in the word of God. As you study with me please feel free to contribute your insights or thoughts in the comment section.
I look forward to gleaning wisdom and application that will CHANGE your life and mine. May God Bless our determination to stop everything and spend time with Him. One thing I know; Your life will be changed as mine has been changed through spending time with God.
Life Lessons from the Word of God. James 1:1-4. C'mon now - Let's DO this!