|Posted on March 5, 2013 at 12:45 AM|
I remember a long long time ago a conversation that I had with a member of a congregation. And this person explained that the reason why they didn't go to Bible study was because they didn't understand the Bible. After recovering from my initial shock and confusion, I asked, "Well, do you read and study it on your own ?" "No," the person replied, "I told you I don't understand it so I don't bother. I get what I need on Sunday." I was incredulous ! I was also incredulous when another individual said similar things about prayer. They don't pray because they don't understand prayer. That would be like saying "I don't talk to my wife because I don't understand what it means to have a conversation and I don't want to learn." That would reveal the depth of my relationship with my wife. Our unwillingness to be engaged in Bible study and prayer is a good measuring tool for our relationship with the Lord. In the Season of Lent, in which we engage in a 40 day period of self examination to root out sin patterns and obstacles to growth, it is important that we discern what roadblocks we have towards the study of scripture and to praying. In Acts 6 it says that the Apostles "devoted" themselves to prayer and to the word. the Greek word, proskarteresomen that we translete as "devoted" means "to be contant", "to pay steadfast attention", "to continue all the time in a place", "to persevere" and "to adhere to". To be devoted to something is more than a casual committment. It becomes everything. The reason it becomes everything is because of who these things point to. The study of scripture is not for the primary purpose of knowing infomation but knowing the Messiah-King, Jesus Christ. The purpose of prayer is not about getting stuff, but is about getting real close to Jesus. Prayer and the study of scripture are the measuring sticks of how devoted we are to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. What is needed is not more information on how to study the Bible, nor more teaching on how to pray. What is needed is that we change our mindset and be DEVOTED to the things of prayer and the study of His Word. Just devote yourself to the effort. By being devoted, prayer and scripture becomes the air we breathe. In this Season of Lent, ask yourself this question: How devoted am I to prayer and to the study of scripture ? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you become more devoted !