I have decided to go through a manual on searching the scriptures which was written by my pastor and taught in the bible school. I wasn’t attending the bible school when he taught this manual, so I decided to go through it during my personal study time. I am hoping that blogging about it might help me to chew on it a bit further and also be of interest to some of you.
This study is so rich and so exhaustive though, already I am wondering how to condense lesson 1 to something bloggery. I guess it is an impossible task. What I’ll do is just pull out one aspect of the lesson and leave the rest for another time, or perhaps never. 😀
Lesson One is on Recognising our need to study the word of God. It starts with the passage in Hebrews 5:12 where Paul tells the hebrews that they should be teachers themselves already yet they are still babes. They have not become skillful with the word of God because they have not studied and applied it in their lives. The word unskillful there means to be ignorant, inexperienced, unable to pierce through a matter with the word of God. Babes are unable to fend for themselves spiritually. They still need someone to feed them, burp them, and give them a spiritual diaper change every now and then. We need the word of God to help us grow in maturity in Him.
In Luke 10 we encounter the famous story of Mary and Martha. It says that Martha was encumbered with much serving. The word there means to ‘pull or drag around, or be distracted with care’. Interestingly (to me) it comes from the same root word ‘to be pierced through’ that the word ‘unskilful’ comes from in the passage above. Martha cannot ‘pierce through’ her issues using the word of God, instead, she is being pierced through by her circumstances.
The word ‘serving’ there is ‘diaconia’ in the Greek – which is a derivative of the same word that we get the word deacon from. It means to give service, but with particular reference to christian ministry as a teacher, pastor or a deacon. The implication here is that you can be distracted from Jesus even by ‘good’ things. How many christian leaders are worn out and encumbered by the work of the ministry yet lack that one thing that is needful…time spent at Jesus’ feet?
Our churches today place a great emphasis on serving…but the importance of getting a strong foundation in the word of God is often downplayed in comparison. We are not primarily ‘saved to serve’…we are saved to be in right relationship with Jesus, to sit at his feet and learn of him, to allow him to deposit his word in our hearts and finally to form us into a people who will have something of substance to give to a hungry and dying world. The cart cannot come before the horse.
One thing is needful…we need to be like Mary, who chose that good part which shall not be taken from her. There is a choice involved. I can choose to be busy, even with all the good stuff, (oh boy, as a mom there are plenty distractions, believe me) or I can realise that I have a real need to sit down a bit and listen to what Jesus has to say.
Can you hear the tenderness in Jesus’ voice? “Sumi, Sumi…you are troubled and anxious about many things…but you should do the one thing that will furnish what you need. Come and sit here by me a little bit and let my words speak life into your situation and your heart, and help you to grow in me a little more.”