SHOW YOURSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD.
Those are the words of the Apostle Paul, inspired by the God for whom we should study, to his brother, his son Timothy.
And to you and to me and to all.
Once the heart is redeemed, cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, then comes the mind, the ability to think and to reason in a Godly way, on Godly Christ-like things and to learn how to train up that mind, make it fully effective, and use it to the best of your ability:
FOR ALL THINGS GODLY AND CHRISTIAN.
Many of us fail to do that. To train the mind, to really STUDY is difficult, time-consuming, a matter of real priority and commitment, difficult at first, especially when we begin to run the mental race and fight the mental fight of faith, which God requires.
But there is no substitute for the study of scripture, none whatsoever. We cannot simply digest THE VERSE FOR THE DAY, or read a chapter a day as though it were enough. Daily devotionals may help but they seldom rise to the level of the scripture demand, the Godly demand, of real and true:
So, the scriptures tell us clearly that if we do not learn how to study those 66 books, our way, with the special and individual intellect which God has given us, each of us so very different, we will not be approved by God as worthy disciples functioning for HIM with all of our might, and to the best of our abilities. It is our Christian duty to learn how to think, to use the mind, to reason, to testify, to tell all what we believe, not as someone would, not as anyone else would, but the very best of us, you and me.
We cannot be compared to another. Most of us are not scholars, theologians, biblical analysts, or teachers of the Word. We are lay people, saved by grace, therefore fully desirous of serving our Lord but only to the best of our individual talents, capabilities, and intellect. We are not the Apostle Paul, nor Billy Graham, nor the Pope, nor Charles Spurgeon. We are different. We have our own mission, our own priorities, our own abilities as God has given them. We study to show ourselves approved unto God in
terms of the abilities He has given us to do just that. THAT AND THAT ONLY, NO MORE!
But we need to constantly learn how to THINK. Scripture tells us that it is our Christian duty to think on the good things in life, the good things offered to us by our Lord, the blessings, the positive, and to grow intellectually and spiritually, grow every day, to improve the mind, the brain, the ability to reason, which God has given us. So that, when the right opportunity arises for us, for you and me, we are ready, READY to give an answer, to explain who we are, what we believe, and why, and how we have been transformed. That, for most of us, is not standing behind a pulpit or on a street corner, or even necessarily talking to strangers. We can do all those things through Christ who strengthens us if that is the right thing for us to do, but that might not be our gift, our talent, and the way our mind, redeemed by the blood of Christ, requires us to live, and grow, and learn, and become fortified as better Christians mentally in every way.
We should be what God intends us to be and not what any man or woman wants us to be or thinks we should be. We should be ready to give a reason for what we believe, what God has laid on our mind and heart, and how with aggressive, committed, prioritized study, we learn and grow in THE WORD OF GOD.
Alone, by ourselves, the study we do is only partial. We need, in fact, we must have the guidance, the inspiration, the explanation of:
THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Therefore, before we enter the Word of God, before we STUDY, we must through prayer invoke the intercession, the intellectual partnership of the Holy Spirit. We must ask that the Spirit awaken us, stabilize our focus, make every inspired word of God meaningful, and know that every word in those 66 precious inspired books is the words, THE WORDS, of eternal life. They are indeed precious, unique, the words of the living God, and it is those very words that we must study, constantly study, so that our mind can be trained up in the way in which it should go, and when the wiles of evil and the culture of this world try to bring us down, plant doubt, or guilt, or spread diabolical disinformation, we know and only have believed, that knowledge dominates our mind and we will not go astray, mentally or spiritually. The mind, the brain, the intellect, firm in the Lord, cannot be changed by the forces, the evil of this world. It stands on the rock and any such attack only strengthens belief, and to the extent we are intellectually capable, our mind is totally infused, injected, energized with the Word of God and intellectually:
WE WILL NOT BE MOVED!
So then, we can come together and reason, the mind at work in the things of the Lord:
COME NOW, LET US REASON TOGETHER.
So that, whenever we are with one or more, whether in the household, among friends, in study groups, at church, anywhere and everywhere, if the opportunity arises, we are ready to reason together and offer a reason which God has given us, which the Holy Spirit has given us, to explain who we are (Christian) and what we believe, the truth of scripture and our Lord Jesus Christ.
You matter. You are endowed with the ability to think. You can, no matter who you are or what education you have had, learn how to STUDY TO SHOW YOURSELF APPROVED! But that takes work, commitment, time, and energy. Will you put the work in that is necessary to train your mind and really STUDY? Will you today allow the Holy Spirit to show you how?
SHOW YOURSELF APPROVED UNTO GOD.