Unfortunately, the things that we desire, whether it is a better job, to make the Olympics team, or even to lose weight, doesn’t come by osmosis. It doesn’t just happen. It takes work on our part. It takes a level of commitment and discipline.
What it takes is unnatural to us, which is why it is so hard. Recently, I was so encouraged by the sermons I heard during one of our morning and evening services. Both called on us to commit to something that does not come natural to us.
Study, Do, and Teach were the principles of application from the first sermon from Ezra.
For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statues and rules in Israel. Ezra 7:10 ESV
Like Ezra, we must be deliberate in studying the Word of God; not studying for studying sake, but studying to do the things that we have learned. Teaching or sharing what we have learned not only helps to spread our influence, but also reinforces for us what we have learned.
How often have we admired someone because of what they have accomplished, be it a promotion, losing weight, or making it to the Olympics? Being that we are now in the Olympics season, we know that not one of those who make the Olympics qualify without great sacrifice and much investment of putting their bodies through what it takes to achieve that level of competence.
It takes that same attitude and commitment to be a disciple of Christ. The Apostle Paul describes it this way:
Know ye not that they who run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown, but we, an incorruptible. 26 I, therefore, so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air; 27 But I keep my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. I Corinthians 9:24-27 KJV
Why is it so important to study the Bible? Because we must be prepared to contend for our faith because there are many false teachings and false teachers that have permeated the church.
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 3-4 KJV
During the first century of the church, false teachings and false teachers were already being found within the church, and false teachings and false teachers exist today. The teachings usually will have some truth in order to entrap those who are not astute in the Word.
But if we study, do and teach, then we are better able to contend for the faith. This does not come by osmosis unfortunately. It doesn’t come by merely being an owner of the Bible. It’s like having a gym membership but not going. We must commit and then do.
At my old church, me and another friend were known for really knowing the Bible, and although, I do know many scriptures, my friend could easily recite so many passages. That ability took deliberate action on her part.
Study, do, teach and contend.
This is something that we all can do. This is something we all must do.