Tag Archives: Studying the Bible

Have you “Googled” God’s Word?

Using the phrase, “to google something,” has become a commonly accepted figure of speech for “searching for something online,” whether someone is actually using the Google search engine or not. It carries with it the meaning of seeking to find information from a massive online database whereby questions or curiosities may be settled.

While this usage is of immense value on many different levels, there is one area that one should be immensely cautious in “googling:” the area of religious doctrine and practice. You see, it has become commonplace in today’s society to simply look across the broad spectrum of information available through massive online databases in search of the preacher, commentator, or author that is going to give someone the answer he or she desires to the question under consideration. The reasoning may be lousy, the logical processes non-existent, and the arguments may simply be a re-hashing of what one person has heard from another; but if it gives the answers one is looking for, it is too often considered sufficient.

When it comes to matters of belief and practice, should we not be much more careful in our quests for discovery? Should it not be the case that, instead of travelling into the endless shallows of man’s wisdom, we delve into the depths of God’s? It is about time we stop worrying so much about what so-and-so says about it and instead focus more on what God says.

When was the last time you “googled” God’s Word first in seeking the answers to Biblical questions? If you have access to the internet, you have access to the greatest level of biblical resources in the history of mankind. Your ability to understand God’s Word is limited only by your own desire and the amount of time you are willing to devote to it. There are many good translation tools, language tools, dictionary tools, and others as well (many of them free) that make it possible to read, study and understand God’s Word as he gave it.

If you want to know what a word means in Scripture: do not go to Mr. I’m-Smarter-Than-You-Because-I-Have-A-Ph.D., find the word in the original language by means of a concordance or interlinear translation and look it up for yourself. If you want to understand a concept or topic as used in the Bible: do not look up what “[insert religious group] preachers say about [insert concept/topic].” Look up what God said about it. See what the words pertaining to that topic mean, where they are found in Scripture, what the Bible says about the purposes, applications, and interactions of the concept/topic, and whether or not they are always used in the same way for the same purpose.

These things can be done with every word, phrase, or topic in the Bible. This does not mean that commentaries, articles, and the like do not have their place (hence the reason for the writing of this one), especially in areas of background knowledge about ancient societies that are foreign to us today. However, if the only reason you believe something is because a preacher or commentator said it, your faith is not truly in God and his Word, but in the preacher or writer from which you read it.

I have found over the years that the Bible is its own best commentary. God has given us everything we need to be able to know and understand his will for us. Some areas are more difficult than others, some require more time and effort to understand; but we have to be willing to overcome our own tendencies toward laziness and study it for ourselves, not rely on someone else’s studies for our own pseudo-understanding.

So, have you “googled” God’s Word recently?

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Are You a Bible Addict?

We live in a society that uses the term addict for just about everything. We have coffee addicts, internet addicts, sports addicts, chocolate addicts, and those are just some of the possibly harmless ones, not taking into account any inherently serious or sinful “addictions.” However, do we even know what an addiction is? Webster defines it as: “To apply one’s self habitually; to devote time and attention by customary or constant practice; sometimes in a good sense.” Therefore, the idea of addiction is that the stated action or object is one to which time is habitually devoted on a daily/regular basis. That being said, are you a Bible addict?

If someone took away your Bible(s) would you notice? Would it have an effect on the normal processes of your day? Would you even miss it until the next time you attended services? It is unfortunate, but many people are far more addicted to their magazines, television shows, secular books, and favorite activities than they are the word of God. Nevertheless, the Scriptures are adamant that such should not be the case.

The apostle Peter wrote: “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation– if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Pet. 2:1-3 ESV). Christians are to be like newborn babies when it comes to the desire for God’s Word.

My wife and I currently have a two-month old son in the house and it brings this point home with full force. The first thing my child wants to do when he wakes up is nurse. Every couple of hours during the day his attention is once again turned to the filling of his stomach. Most nights he falls asleep nursing in my wife’s arms and even continues the suckling motions in his sleep.

How closely does that description match our desire for God’s Word? Do we wake up thinking about it? As we go through the day are there constantly occasions where we think about, consider, and desire to partake of various aspects of Scripture? Are our closing thoughts of the day on what God would have us do, of praise to him, or consideration of some aspect of Scripture? These things should be true for the devoted servant of God.

The psalmist would often bring to the forefront this kind of devotion to God’s Word. He stated, “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psa. 119:10-11); and again: “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day” (Psa. 119:97); and also: “I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments” (Psa. 119:131).

We should be so devoted to God’s Word that its absence is almost immediately noticed and felt. It should not be days between occasions when we seek out the Scriptures; it should not be that the only time we consider matters of Scripture is when the preacher is in the pulpit. Rather, it should be so heavily ingrained into our daily routine that being without it leaves the day unfulfilled. There is no doubt, we need more Bible addicts.

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