Today my sweet friend and fellow Yahoo Bible study member, Beth Farley, is back talking about a verse I have long loved. The Word of God is unlike any other book we will ever encounter. Hebrews 4:12 tells us it is “living and active,” and I’ve found this to be quite true. When we open God’s Word, the Holy Spirit comes along side us, making our reading a two-way communication between us and our Creator. At times, certain verses will appear to jump out at us, drawing our hearts or pricking our conscious. At other times, a passage will evoke a strong desire to stop what we are doing and pray. And yet other times, a verse or passage will prick a curiosity–no, more like a yearning–to go deeper, searching for the truth and heart of God. Our time in Scripture can become many things, but it is never, never intended to be a solitary or mindless affair. To the contrary! It is to be an intimate love affair between us and our Creator.
Hidden Treasures by Beth Farley
I have to admit, that I feel very unworthy in sharing on this scripture because I must admit, that I don’t know what it really means? It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. NKJV
I did some digging and I can only pray that I am on target. For you that are participating in this study, if I am way off, please forgive me. If I am on target, Yay! Please, please share your comments.
Let me try to break it down. It is the glory of God to conceal a thing – This has been understood as referring to the revelation of God’s will in his word. We have been talking every week and praying that we would all seek out God’s will for our lives and do what He wants. There are some things that are hidden from us such as parables, allegories, metaphors so that we will continue to seek but His will is always readily available for us to see…if…we open our eyes and hearts.
In order to know God’s will we must really spend time with HIM and really get serious about studying HIS word…Before I became ill, I went through another rebellious time of not being serious about staying the Word of God. I read it from time to time, but I was not intent on studying it and applying it. I know that being in God’s Word is His will for my life, no matter what! I am really ashamed of how I can get so lethargic in spending time in the Bible. When raising my kids, I was in the Word every morning. My children would wake up and find me on the couch, by the fire, with Bible and paper in hand. Now that they are adults they comment about it in positive ways. Back then though, they didn’t like it because it was taking time from them. I am thankful that I never gave up on that time with Him when they were in the house.
When I got divorced, and let me tell you, God was right there with me as I went through that difficult time in my life; He didn’t give up on me, but I gave up on being in the Word. When I had to move, I struggled finding a new trustworthy church that I could step into and they would not judge me because I was divorced. I carried that “D” on my forehead. I carried it way too long. I rebelled and stayed away from the Bible. I was hurt, broken, lonely and scared. How would I have ever known what he wanted from me if I didn’t seek him daily? His will was to know that I was walking in forgiveness and no condemnation. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).
I don’t know why I have through my rebellious times. It irritates me. I am not proud of the few times that I have turned my back on God. I was not ever angry, just lazy, stubborn and scared. Come to think of it though, I can think of more times that I have remained in the Word than times when I shut the Word out. That’s a good thing. I guess I shouldn’t dwell on the negative here but rather the positive.
So again, if I am off on my interpretation of the verse, please set me straight. I am not one that is so prideful that I can’t be set straight on things. I am one that wants to learn as much as I can about God and stay committed to Him; allowing Him to reveal His will for me each and every day. How about you? Do you have times when you’ve taken a dive in your commitment to reading and studying His word? If so, what helped put you back on track? I know we are coming to an end of our study shortly, and I want to remind you that the prayer board is still open. If you have something you would like for us to pray about, please let me know; if you have a personal request and would like to just share it with me, I would be honored to pray. I can’t tell you what I would have done without the many who have prayed for me over the years at different times of my life. The power of prayer; it’s a beautiful thing. The power of the WORD; it’s a beautiful thing.
Beth Ann Farley is a dear friend of mine and one of our Yahoo Bible Study group members. She is married with three grown children. She lives in Kansas City, MO where she serves as librarian. She loves to read, write, decorate and spend as much time as possible outside with her Peek-A-Poo. Beth is a lover of the Lord. “He is my-everything and I can’t start a day without visiting with Him.” Beth came to know the Lord when she was 30 years old and has served Him on committee’s such as Missions Outreach, Local Missions, Diaconate Committee, Youth Committee, and was a church secretary for several years. Beth loves Women’s Bible Studies, has hosted several in each one of her homes that she has lived in and has led a few as well. Beth is now taking time in life to move forward with her writing in whatever way God directs her.
Visit her online at: http://firsthalfday1.wordpress.com/
Let’s talk about this. When reading your Bible, do you allow yourself enough time to really absorb what you are reading? To pray over what you have read? What are some tools you use to dig deeper into a passage?
Here are some tools/tricks I’ve learned to get the most out of my Bible reading time:
1. Begin with prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to use His Word to speak to you, guide you, correct, and grow you, then, read expecting God to communicate with you.
2. Ask questions: Who was the original audience? Who wrote the passage? What might the passage have meant to the original audience? (Sometimes these questions lead to a bit of a historical investigation.) What is the universal and/or timeless truth revealed in this verse or passage? What does this verse or passage show me about God (His character, heart, desires, etc)? What does this verse or passage show me about myself? Is there a specific action I can take or that this verse or passage points to?
3. Follow bunny trails. Many Bibles have foot notes or verse references in the inner or outer columns of the text. If a passage mentions a previous account or character in the Bible, take the time to review the event/person referenced. If you notice a verse reference in the text, footnotes, or inner or outer columns, take time to read the correlating/supporting verses.
4. Read the passage in a few different translations. (You can find alternate translations online at Biblegateway.com or Biblos.com
5. If a particular verse stands out to you, look it up in the Lexicon. You can find a Lexicon on Biblos.com
6. Read a commentary or two expanding on the verse or passage. You can find commentaries on Biblegateway.com
(If you would like help using any of the above tools, please, shoot me an email at jenniferaslattery(at)gmail(dot)com. I’d love to walk you through it!)
Do you have any other tools or resources you like to use to go deeper into Scripture? Tell us about them!
Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, on Living by Grace, or join our online Bible study. We’d love to have you!
Click to join ProverbsStudy