Give Attendance to Reading
If you are privileged with a Sunday School class, do not be satisfied with only studying the guide you have been given; study thoroughly the lesson Scriptures before consulting the guide. Moreover, read all you can from reliable writers on the subject, always remembering the fallibility of such commentaries. Study the subjects or chapters that may be the focal points in your Bible readings in your assembly. If the practice is to have a brother open the subject, do not leave it all to him. Even if you do not say a word during the meeting, you will have a better understanding of the message being presented if you study during the week. New thoughts will be acquired, and a fuller appreciation of the Scriptures will be enjoyed. If you are a brother, and are permitted to make a few comments, you may have enjoyed something from your study that you can contribute to the benefit of the others, and further increase the enjoyment in your own soul.
Acquire the habit of asking questions, especially of the Christians in your assembly who know their Bibles, and from ministering brethren who are visiting you. Always compare their answers with Scriptures to be sure that the comments complement and not confuse the subject.
Satan is showing the subtle side of his nature in our day. He has dozens of agents disguised as Christians who are promoting contradictory and blasphemous cultish beliefs. You may become a target of such misguided zealots who will delight in trapping you through their private interpretations of Scripture. How can you prevent succumbing to this form of Satan’s wiles? By knowing your Bible better than Satan’s representatives know theirs.
Remember the Lord Himself answered Satan by quoting Scripture. He did not use any other repellent than is available to us. This should encourage us. “Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph. 6:11). Particularly if your locality is infested with such trickerous persuaders, you might prayerfully devote time advantageously in studying especially Scriptures in the light of their statements, to learn just what their errors are. You will become strengthened yourself, and by God’s help will repel more easily their fiery darts.
Beware also of those who deny the authenticity of Scripture, or those so-called Bible critics who enjoy pointing out supposed contradictions in the Bible. Many make charges from hearsay, and are unable to cite specific cases of which, of course, there are none. There are imagined ones, but no real ones. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” is often applicable in both spiritual and temporal realms.
Perhaps you have heard of rapid reading courses, perhaps you have taken one, or possibly you have read articles on how to read faster with equal or better comprehension. Such methods are of no value in the study of the Holy Scriptures. In reading the Bible, nothing should be scanned, nothing gulped, no assumptions made, but every word should be read carefully and considered prayerfully.
Remember we are living in enemies’ territory. The tempo at which we live is such as to discourage taking the time to study spiritual things. The world lives a paradox. It is in turmoil, expresses a desire for peace and tranquility, yet ignores the Prince of Peace. Some, quite blatantly, antagonistic to spiritual things, conclude by their own diagnosis that there is nothing beyond the grave. Others have a form of godliness only; yet, the answer is available, the only answer to the world’s needs, the Word of God. This the world will not accept as the cure for its many ills.
All of these factors influence our lives, often more than we realize, and compete with our good intentions for our attention. Let us not give the world the satisfaction of having enticed us away from our prerogative of using the channels available to us through which God can speak to our hearts.
Let the Psalmist’s words be true as applied to each of us, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psa. 119:105). Let us also remember Job’s declaration, “I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food,” (Job 23:12).
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Feeling our weakness makes room for God, but feeling discouraged makes room for the enemy.
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There is more in Jesus Christ to make us glad than in all the world to make us sad.