So, it’s a day late. Perhaps this is a reflection of the crazy-busy nature of my life. Or perhaps it’s just because my brain is small and I forgot. Who knows.
Anyway, here’s the latest #standorfall. The heading’s given it away, as usual. This week I’m working on #study. Now, the word study might remind you of things like exams, school and handing in homework late (or maybe that’s just me). But study is something we do all the time. We don’t just study stuff in our lessons at school, we study people, we study the world around us and we’re learning all the time from our study. If you’re in a relationship with someone, there is a sense in which you’ll study them (hopefully not in a stalker sort of way) in order to develop your friendship. You’ll learn about their likes and dislikes and act accordingly. You won’t even necessarily be studying them deliberately, but it’s just a natural part of relationships. It happens automatically most of the time.
It’s kind of similar with our relationship with God. We can study Him in lots of ways. And we learn about Him so we can develop our relationship further. The most obvious way is learning about Him through the Bible, and that’s going to be my focus for #study this week.
When I was at school, there was a verse on the front of our exercise books that said, ‘Study to show thyself approved unto God.’ That’s from the King James version, and I reckon someone put it on the front of our exercise books because they saw the word ‘study’ in the verse and thought it would remind us to work hard. It’s not a particularly good translation of the verse though, because it makes is sound like we have to study if we want God to like us. That’s complete rubbish, and a bit of an upside-down way of looking at things. Actually, God does love us massively, and studying Him is just one of the ways we can improve our relationship with Him.
I’ve got two aims this week for my studying, and they will both just require me to make a bit of time.
1) I’m going to try to set aside a bit of time every day for reading my Bible. I have been very good at this in the past, but right now, it’s not something I’m managing to fit into each day. If I really believe that my relationship with God is important, then there’s not really any excuse for failing to make time each day for this. I need to get back into the habit of doing this daily. I’ll be using Explore notes to help me (there’s even an App these days!)
2) I’m going to make sure that, at some point this week, I set aside one longer chunk of time for studying the Bible. For me, probably about an hour would be good to aim for. I’ve got about a billion books to help with this (ok, perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration) but they’re no help at all if I don’t use them! I’ll pick a book of the Bible (tempted by Joel at the moment, but we’ll see) and read a Bible Study guide to help me get to grips with it and study it in more depth.
The point of these two exercises is not to simply learn more, or to find out interesting stuff in the Bible; the point is to grow in my relationship with God. So I’m also going to write down a couple of things I’ve learnt about Him and my relationship with Him.
That’s the plan.
Have you got any important plans for the week?
Is there anything we can help you with or encourage you in?