Today’s Bible Study Tip #4 — Remain Flexible

 

Bible Study Tip #4

Bible Study Tip #4

Because we are creatures of habit who like our creature comforts, I’ve encouraged us to create an inviting environment for studying our Bible and to commit to studying it at the same time every day.

At the risk of sounding contradictory, I would now like to encourage us to put all that to the side — for today.

Imagine right now that it’s 6:00 am, and you’ve received only a few hours of sleep, but your baby is awake and crying — again. (Some of you don’t have to imagine this. It’s your current reality.)

Next imagine you’ve been working over-time for a week to meet a critical deadline. You’re exhausted and still have too much work left to do.

Now I want you to imagine you’re into your third night of sleeping on the fold-out chair next to your mom’s hospital bed. You’ve been up throughout the night caring for her, keeping her company during the day, and struggling to accept what the doctors just told you. Your mom has terminal cancer, and your remaining time with her on earth is short.

And finally, I want you to imagine you’re lounging in a chair beside your husband of twenty five years at the end of an event-filled day. You’re having the time of your life on an adventure tour, with just about every second of your day filled with excitement from sunrise to sunset.

Each of these different circumstances have something in common — they are from my own life, and during each of these times, I didn’t study my Bible.

Horrors!

No, not really. It’s ok.

We’re actually allowed to not study our Bible. Maybe I’m not allowed to split an infinitive, but I know I’m allowed to not study my Bible. I got that from the apostle Paul, who got it from God.

“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”
— Galatians 5:1

If Bible study has become a duty you have to check off your To Do List every day or else you’ll feel guilty, then you’ve gotten tied up in slavery to a “law,” and you need to add “study grace” onto that To Do List of yours.

This leads to Today’s Bible Study Tip #4:

Bible Study Tip #4: Remain Flexible

Bible Study Tip #4: Remain Flexible

If you’re having one of those days, weeks, or years, your time in the Bible may consist of nothing more than clinging to verses you’ve memorized in the past through the hard time, and singing praises to God in the crazy, fun times.

You may not be in the presence of your Bible, but nothing can keep you from the presence of God — even a coma. Seriously. He can reach you there, too.

In every circumstance, place, and time of life, God is with you. Reach out and talk with Him right where you are, resting in His grace, free from guilt.

To be sure, God is a righteous God who demands obedience and holiness.

He has commanded us to study His Word. We can’t neglect it and expect to remain strong in our faith or strong in the face of trials. It would be absurd to think otherwise, but . . .

God’s righteousness is equalled by His grace and mercy. 

“so that, as sin reigned in death,
even so grace would reign through righteousness
to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
— Romans 5:21

Pursue Bible study, but don’t be a slave to it. Be obedient, but remain flexible.

In the times when it seems impossible to get alone with God and study His Word, ask Him to create that window of time for you. Never doubt that He is able and faithful.

Then watch and see what He does.

If He creates it, out of obedience and gratitude to Him, take every bit of the time He gives you. 

If He doesn’t, then know you’re not supposed to stop whatever it is you’re doing, nor feel guilty about it.

Pursue Bible study, but don’t be a slave to it. Be obedient, but remain flexible.

_____________________________

If you feel others might be encouraged by this message, I hope you’ll share it with them. Too many of us expect too much of ourselves, and that can be just as bad as — and sometimes worse than — expecting too little.

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