Great blessings belong to those who live pure lives. They follow the Lord’s teachings.Great blessings belong to those who follow his rules! They seek him with all their heart. Psalm 119:1-2
You must obey all his laws and commands that I give you. If you do this, you will have a long life in that new land. Israelites, listen carefully and obey these laws. Then everything will be fine with you. You will have many children, and you will get the land filled with many good things—just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised.
Listen, people of Israel! The Lord is our God. The Lord is the only God. You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Always remember these commands that I give you today. Be sure to teach them to your children. Talk about these commands when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road. Talk about them when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them on your hands and wear them on your foreheads to help you remember my teachings. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates. Deut. 6:2-9
If you wear the name Christian, in that description, you declare yourself to be a follower of the Christ, his Father, and his ways. But the more I observe fellow Christians, the more I see they don’t know how to follow because they haven’t read the book.
A recent study found that 80% of church goers don’t read their Bibles regularly. WOW!! Why aren’t we in the book?
The psalms say that we will receive great blessings by following his teaching. Moses told the people to teach them to their children and to talk about the commandments of God in every part of daily life. Is that how you would describe your daily life?
There are some barriers to Bible study that I think discourage people from even beginning their journey into the good book.
1. I Can’t Understand It
Most translations of the Bible are written at a 4th grade reading level. Some religious elite have made us believe that we need them to understand. But it’s not so. God intended for all his people to cherish his word.
The Apostle Paul, who wrote a majority of the New Testament, said,
This is my prayer for you:that your love will grow more and more; that you will have knowledge and understanding with your love. Phil. 1:9
If you have trouble understanding, start with prayer. Then make sure that you have a translation of the Bible that you can read fluently. Go to your local bookstore and hit the shelves to find a Bible that is a match for you.
2. I Don’t Have Time
The God of the Universe penned a love letter, a story of a great battle in which he sacrificed his son to rescue you. Make time for him.
“The Lord, the Mighty One, is God, and he has spoken” (Psalm 50:1)
3. I Have To Read a Whole Book At a Time
When I first became a Christian, over 20 years ago, I knew so little that I believed the whole book to be written in one-liners, like Proverbs. I didn’t know that there was a story or context to the verses. There is value in knowing the context of the story, but there is also value in reading just one verse at a time and savoring each word.
Break it down in to parts that you can digest. It’s like they say, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
4. I Don’t Have Alone Time
If you are a mom, you are probably right, you don’t have alone time. I don’t have much either. But I have made my children part of my Bible study. I sit with them and share the words of life together. I do also demand time that they do not disturb me. Years ago an older mom told me that she had a special chair in front of a window in her home. Her children were trained to not disturb her when she sat in that chair because that was her time with the Lord.
5. I Don’t Know Where to Start
Picking up a Bible for the first time can be intimidating. Trying to figure out which end is up can be overwhelming at first. Don’t let that stop you.
I suggest starting with the life of Jesus, which is found in four books we call the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There was a king in the Old Testament, David, who penned some of the most intimate prose to the Lord ever recorded. We call them The Psalms. Whatever you are going through, the psalms will speak to your heart. The Book of Genesis tells us about the beginnings: the beginning of the world, God’s promises to his people, the nation of Israel and the future of our salvation.
6. Our Hearts Don’t Desire It
As human beings, we do what we want to do. Maybe your lack of Bible study boils down to a heart that doesn’t desire to know God. Ask him to change your heart.
“Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment” (1 Pet. 2:2).