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Faithlife

Bible Study – The Key to Getting to Know the One You Love

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Bible Study – The Key to Getting to Know the One You Love

When I hear a couple who have known each other for a matter of weeks declare an undying love for one another and a desire for marriage, I inwardly cringe. You see, my concern-o-meter gets tipped into the red zone simply because a first blush of intense romantic feeling does not necessarily guarantee a long and enduring relationship. It is far too easy to be caught up in the moment and have no basis for building a lasting and maturing relationship.

What I counsel is that such couples truly need to get to know one another before making any life altering decisions. Such a couple needs to discover the unique strengths and weaknesses of one another and their relationship. Getting to know the basics such as the likes and dislikes that each holds. The significant values that they may or may not share. Even how each person views the significance of the Lord in their day-to-day lives must all be carefully examined. Key to it all is that each partner needs to ensure that they truly get to know the other.

What does this have to do with Bible Study? To quote the apostle Paul, “Much in every way.” Too many Christians respond to the Lord Jesus with impassioned promises, only to find their fervor fading and the relationship crumbling. What is at the root cause of such failed relationships with the divine lover of our souls? One significant problem is that too few Christians take the time to really get to know their Lord and Savior. This is where Bible study comes into play.

Bible study, the concept itself can seem pedantic, intellectual and anything but exciting. Yet Bible study is at the very heart of coming to know the heart and soul of our God. In the Old Testament Moses encouraged his people by charging them with these words, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” [Deuteronomy 6:5] (ESV). In the New Testament Jesus picks up on this theme as he declares these very words to be at the heart of the greatest commandment. But how can you truly love someone that you barely know? Moses advice is equally instructive as he followed up with this encouragement, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” [Deuteronomy 6:6-7] (ESV). At the center of loving God, is getting to know Him through His word, which brings us back to Bible study.

It is through Bible study that the individual encounters the living God and His living word. The apostle in Hebrews puts it succinctly in stating, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” [Hebrews 4:12] (ESV). Through His word, God helps us to look not only at the fun and exciting parts of being a child of God but also at our responsibilities and our shortfalls. Only by coming to God’s word in Bible study is there a chance for personal agendas to be put aside. As the apostle James puts it, “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” [James 1:25] (ESV). Bible study becomes the key that unlocks this aspect of the divine-human relationship. Through studying His word, God speaks to our hearts, shows us His expectations and calls us to a deeper relationship and commitment.

Nurturing a relationship with God in Bible study means deliberately planning occasions to spend extended amounts of time with the word of God. Bible study pushes an individual beyond simple devotional style reading which can opt for a simple, “What strikes me today?” attitude. Instead, Bible study forces the Christian to ask the question, “So what do you really mean here Lord?” By looking more in depth at the word of God, the Christian begins to move onward to deeper maturity and greater discoveries. The end result of all of this becomes a relationship that grows beyond the first blush of excitement, and has the potential to mature through the years. The foundation for such an enduring relationship begins with nothing less than Bible study.

Submitted by David Langer

Last Updated: 11/29/2006

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