Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
When I was a young boy I loved baby food. Peaches were my personal favorite. I didn’t think anything could ever beat that taste. Then when my own children were eating baby food I thought I’d treat myself to a taste of their peaches. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. What had once seemed like such a wonderful food item turned out to be bland and almost tasteless. What happened? The food didn’t change, but my taste did. I guess if I would have stuck with baby food from then to now I’d still like it – it would be the only taste I’ve ever known.
The more we mature in the faith the more we need spiritual meat. Processed and simplified Bible truths are OK, but we need something deeper and stronger to feed our growing souls. Unfortunately many Christians stick to the simple stuff. They read devotionals and use lesson plans that are about the Bible, but don’t get into the Word themselves. They let others chew their food for them instead of chewing it themselves. Sure we are busy, but there is no quick way to take in the truths of God’s Word. It takes time to read and observe a passage of Scripture, looking for things you haven’t noticed before. There’s no fast way to unearth the gems of the Bible which only come to those who do careful and thorough interpretation. And only precise and insightful application can cause the truths we have been studying to become part of our daily lives.
When we rush we try to do application before we carefully observe and thoroughly interpret, it’s like leaving a doctor’s office with a cure before any examination has been made. A good doctor observes the patient, then interprets what he discovers. Only then is diagnosis accurate and helpful. We want a doctor to take his time and do a good job when checking us, and God wants us to do the same when handling His Holy Word. When we interpret a passage, we study God’s Word, but when we apply it to our lives we let His Word study us! Very little that we do in a day will be take with us to heaven – but what we learn in the Bible and its application in our lives will be ours eternally. Don’t spend all your time on daily activities, invest some in eternity. Spend some quality time in the Bible today.
1 Corinthians 3:1-3, “Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly — mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?”
2 Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
- Have you ever tried journaling your Bible study, writing down the personal applications the Lord impresses upon your heart? Try it today. It’ll help you have better results and will be worth the time.
- When is the last time you studied a passage just for your own edification, not for use in a lesson or message?
- Which step of Bible study – observation, interpretation or application, are you weakest on? What can you do to improve in that area?
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on May 25, 2008