How to Study

In the last study we talked about reading Proverbs along with the New Testament. Let's expand a little more on the idea of reading and how to read to improve your Bible study. In 1 Tim. 4:13 Paul told Timothy to give a great deal of attention to reading.To learn more of God s word, you need to read it, read it, read it. Okay, you knew that. You're saying, "I read it. I just don't get it." Well, let's look at how we can go about our reading to make it more fruitful.

First, we must read with regularity. Notice Acts 17:11 where Luke s record commends the Bereans because they regularly studied God s word to investigate the apostolic message.Note the key element here of frequency.They didn t just give God s word a cursory glance.They searched God's word and they searched it with regularity. You need to be regular in your reading of the Bible to help you learn more. Next, note Col. 4:16 where Paul directed the church to share the letters they got from him so more people could have them read in their hearing.This underscores the importance of reading God s word. The more frequently you read, the more you will glean from what you read. It is a slow, but sure process.

Second, you need to read with the expectation of understanding. That may sound odd, but follow this thought. In Eph. 3:4 Paul spoke of the Ephesian Christians reading so they could understand. Read with the expectation of understanding something, even if it's only the most simple point you understand. In the early stages of your reading, there will be a great deal you don t understand.But you will get a few things out of what you read.As you read, keep a journal, like your own commentary.When you encounter something you think you understand, make a note of it, book chapter and verse.Don t feel bad about all the things you don t understand.Just note the things you do.If you have a question about part of it, note that in your journal.You will use this later.

For now, read a lot, and keep your journal.If you ll commit yourself to reading five chapters in the New Testament every day, six days a week, you can be through it in less than three months!In a later study, we ll come back to your journal and use your notes. We'll also talk about things to look for as you read.

ag00372_.gif (12590 bytes)!!Hey You People!!

Are you up for the challenge?

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In the above article we issue a challenge. Read five chapters a day from the New Testament. You'll be through it quicker than you think. Will you do it? I'll do it. Let's do it!

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What Does It Mean To Be Successful?

In the eyes of the world, success is defined by how much wealth we accumulate. We know that's not true in God's eyes because in Lk. 12:15 Jesus said, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." Life isn't about how much you can put together.

As far as your finances are concerned, the "good life" is a life of integrity. Prov. 19:1 says, "Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool." Prov. 20:7 adds, "The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him." A life of integrity in business is one that is best, and brings great blessing.

We understand the ultimate goal in life is to have a heavenly home. But we also know that while we live on this earth we must conduct our business to live. Part of our quest for heaven involves being faithful and true in our earthly business. Like Jesus said in Lk. 16:11, "If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?" To enjoy the true riches of heaven we must be honest and fair in how we handle our resources here on earth. That is what it means to be truly successful.

NOTE: In the previous studies we've talked some about "doctrinal issues". We generally think of doctrinal issues relating to how we worship. But the above article is just as "doctrinal". Doctrine has to do with what we teach about morals too. So it's appropriate to think about the doctrine of how we live. However, we plan to have more information about our beliefs and worship in future studies. Stay tuned.

Question For This StudyIs there a tribe or family of people we can read about in the Bible who were "Teetotalers"? Does God ever applaud a people for completely abstaining from alcohol? You know I like trick questions, so think about this carefully.
Answer to the Last Question

Technically, Jacob did not steal Esau's birthright. In Gen. 25:29-34 we learn Esau sold his birthright to Jacob. Heb. 12:16 speaks of Esau's act as carnal and wrong. Yes, Jacob was a trickster. But he didn't steal the birthright, he bought it.