COLUMN: Let’s talk about Bible study

Published 6:00 pm Saturday, June 10, 2023

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Shortly after committing my life to Jesus Christ, I began studying the Bible more seriously. Unlike many future pastors, I had some skepticism about this several-thousand-year-old book and what it could say to me in the modern age of computers and the internet. 

Larry Davies

After many years of Bible study and reading the Bible from cover to cover at least once each year, I’ve come to better appreciate how much the Bible can say to all of us. What I first thought were inaccuracies turned out to be misunderstandings on my part. Are there still parts of the Bible that I question? Sure! Any serious student would say that. But I found answers to convince me the Bible is Godly inspired, designed to guide our lives as we struggle with life issues. Praise God.

In the Bible, a young pastor named Timothy was struggling and faced many pressures and challenges but a more experienced pastor named Paul wrote several letters filled with Godly wisdom. “Cling tightly to your faith in Christ and always keep your conscience clear.” (1 Timothy 1:19) “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them and give thanks.” (1 Timothy 2:1) “Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives tales. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness.” (1 Timothy 4:7) “Until I get there, focus on reading the Scriptures to the church, encouraging the believers and teaching them.” (1 Timothy 4:13) “Keep a close watch on yourself and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right and God will save you and those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:16)

The lessons from Paul to Timothy are abundant and clear:

Cling tightly to your faith — always put God first in everything we do. Pray for all people —prayer should be the foundation of our life and ministry. Train yourself for spiritual fitness —spiritual discipline is an all-important part of faith. Reading the Scriptures — still the best way I know to discover God’s love and grace. Encouraging and teaching others — emphasis is on relationships not activities or programs. Stay true to what is right and God will save you — putting our ultimate trust in God.

What about you? Maintaining a Christian lifestyle is about so much more than attending church, singing in the choir or serving on a committee. A Christian lifestyle is more about who you are, how you act and Whom you serve. Question: What priorities are you neglecting in your relationship with God? What needs to change in your life? When can you start? How can the church encourage you?

Our church is currently spending 30 days praying about our future. I can’t think of a better resource than to be guided by God’s Word. There are several ways to study and use the Bible. The more you read, the more you begin to understand there are themes that run throughout the entire Bible to guide you. Picking a few verses can help but can also be misleading. 

Here are six questions to answer as you struggle with Scripture: What is the passage saying and what does it mean to you? Why is this in the Bible and what’s happening before and after the passage? What does this say about God and is that consistent with the whole Bible? How do you believe Jesus would respond to this issue?What does this tell me about people then and now? How should I live my life based on what I have read?

While the Bible will not likely give us a clear answer to every question, God’s Word can prepare you to think and pray about the issue and how it impacts your life, your ministry, and your church. 

Remember there are often differing opinions on what the Bible says and means but over the years, I’ve discovered those differing opinions can also guide and shape us. Most of all, remember the grace and love of Christ is the glue which holds us together and guides our church into an uncertain future.

My prayer is for you to be guided by the teachings of Scripture and the life of Jesus and to know how your contribution to the church and greater community matters. My prayer is for you to better appreciate the grace and love of Jesus for all of us, imperfect as we are so that we use our resources wisely as a church to serve Jesus Christ.

Rev. Larry E. Davies can be reached at