The Mississippi Baptist Foundation  |  est. 1943  |  Psalm 24:1
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This article is the third in a series of reflections from a father of three recently married/soon-to-be-married adult children who are beginning new chapters in their lives. Thank you for reflecting with me!

     As a third-grader, my oldest son Dan (now 31) brought home his weekly bundle of school papers for his parents to review. The grade on one paper was a little below the norm for Dan so Joyce and I immediately began to quiz him in an attempt to understand the reason(s) for the score. We learned that the paper not only was a test (which carried more weight than a homework assignment) but that this particular test was an open book test!!!  In other words, the students in the class could simply open the textbook in order to find the appropriate answers. Upon further inquiry, the student explained that he had not opened the textbook. Somewhat puzzled, I asked Dan “Why didn’t you open the book?” Dan quickly responded, “I thought I knew all of the answers.”
     Sadly enough, many Christians mistakenly believe that they have all of the answers. This apparent confidence is confirmed by the fact that less than 50% of the individuals who say that Jesus Christ is their Savior participate in Bible study (Sunday School/Life Group/Small Group) on a weekly basis. (I recognize that COVID-19 has hampered weekly Bible study gatherings but the fact remains that a huge percentage of believers don’t study their Bible.)

     The results of failing to open The Book are numerous. First is the inability to adequately respond to challenges by non-Christians many of whom represent religious cults or sects. When religious-sounding talk begins, people often agree with what is being presented because they do not have a firm foundation in the Bible. Involvement in Bible study will help guard against being “infants tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of doctrine (teaching) and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14). Christian, what do you really believe?

     Second, involvement in life-application Bible study helps prepare our hearts and minds to deal appropriately with the many challenges and opportunities that we must periodically face. Trials and tribulations are abundant. Individuals rooted and grounded in the Word of God are better prepared to remain strong even amid difficulties. Christians, how firm is your foundation? Concerning the blessed man, the psalmist wrote, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night” (Psa. 1:2).

     Third, opening the Bible on a regular basis enables us to understand more about Jesus and in turn enables us to become more like Him. Jesus grew in “wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). Christians are admonished to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever” (2 Peter 3:18). Christian, how well do you know your Savior? How much have you grown?               
     Let me challenge you, even in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, to renew your Bible study efforts. Growing like Jesus grew involves (1) opening your Bible, (2) reading and meditating on God’s Word carefully and prayerfully and then (3) applying biblical truths to life. Make personal and group (Zoom, etc.) Bible study a priority this week. You’ll be glad that you did!