Read...Understand...Obey

It is always crystal clear when the Lord is trying to teach me something.  He will use several people to tell me the same thing repeatedly in different ways.  That was especially true this weekend.  I have been reading through Jen Wilkin's Women of the Word and I've continued to underline and exhale aloud at many points.  I have heard countless times about the need for a Quiet Time and the need for personal Bible study, but it has not been until the last few years that I have really been taught practical ways to do this.  

This past weekend it was clear that I needed another reminder of this.  So often we open our Bible, read a chapter or so and say done.  Most of us do not take the proper time to actually study God's Word.  In Jen's book, she used the analogy of marriage.  When we get married, most of us can't imagine loving that person anymore than we do on our wedding day.  The more we get to know someone and learn about them, the more we love them but more importantly the more we understand them.  There are lots of things that I know about Greg now that I did not know on March 24, 2012.  I am thankful for that.  I'm thankful that marriage and Bible study are processes.  They take time, they take nurturing, and they take a desire to want to learn and experience more.  

Our Young Married small group is going through a transition in leadership right now, so Pastor Jason taught our class yesterday.  We were studying Nehemiah 8 and he was talking about how we should study Scripture.  He used the phrase read, understand and obey.  A lot of people simply just read their Bible and say check, I'm done.  I think we have greatly missed it if that is what we do.  Pastor Jason said our study of the Word and learning more of who God is should not end at reading.  We should then understand what we are reading and put that understanding to obedience. 

One of the discussions that followed was that of how this is demonstrated in parenting.  Parents tell their kids to do something.  The kid hears what his Mom or Dad has said, but do they understand what they were instructed and do they actually do what they were told.  Many of us think that just by reading we understand automatically.  There are some places in Scripture that are relatively easy to understand, but there are lots of places that are extremely difficult to understand.  

Thank you Jesus for reminding me this weekend that I need to read, read some more and probably read some more.  I need to be a student of your Word.  I need to have the same desire to learn and grow that I do to learn about other interests and hobbies.  I need to take what I learn and obey.