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Sep 06, 2021 08:00am
7 Ways to Learn Bible Truth
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Almost overnight and about eighteen months ago, our everyday vocabulary took on a number of new words. Before then, most of us had never used the word pandemic in a conversation. But suddenly, it was everywhere. The word coronavirus was new to most of us. And just as we were getting accustomed to it, the terminology changed to Covid. Sometimes I feel like the line from that old Bob Seger song, “I wish I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then”.

Another word that exploded onto the scene was the word unprecedented. It seemed to perfectly describe the sudden situation in which we collectively found ourselves. Most of us had never had to deal with a pandemic before. It was overwhelming. The uncertainties, fear, and anxiety that rolled through our land were indeed unprecedented to us.

And the frequency of the use of the word unprecedented was indeed unprecedented!

But was it accurate? 

Were we truly dealing with something that had never ever happened before? Clearly it had never happened to most of us. But just as clearly, it had happened to others before us. In fact, over the long arc of human history, it has happened many times. And with that history, we do have reference points and we can find guidance.

If we are willing to look.

IS ANYTHING TRULY UNPRECEDENTED?

It seems to me that there is nothing we deal with in this life that is truly unprecedented. It has happened to someone, somewhere, at some time. And again, with that history, we do have reference points and we can find guidance.

If we are willing to look.

Over the course of my school years, I studied Georgia history (my home state), American history, and world history. I wish now that I had paid more attention. There are lessons from those histories that are relevant today. I truly believe the adage that when we ignore the lessons of history, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes.

And indeed, we are seeing those mistakes repeated right before our eyes.

But beyond the lessons of secular histories, we also find a portion of human history recorded in the Bible. Lessons that were specifically chosen and directed by the Spirit of God to be placed there. Out of all the events of history, God thought it was imperative for those words or events to be captured on its pages.

And I know of no author with better credentials than God!

I wish that I could say I enjoy reading the Bible just because I enjoy reading it. Many people do, but I am not one of them. I read the Bible for the lessons that I learn there. Through those pages, I find example after example of historical happenings that have relevance to my life today. I see consequence after consequence that I do not have to learn the hard way.

My daily devotional times are to me like a personal mentoring session from the God of the universe. Mentoring sessions that are beyond priceless.

And the lessons modeled there go far beyond just personal lessons for us individually. There are lessons to learn for our families, our churches, and any other human entities. There are mistakes modeled for each one that we do not have to repeat. In those historical stories of human interaction, there are reference points, and we can find guidance.

If we are willing to look.

LESSONS FOR OUR NATION

The same can be said about our national life. Throughout what we refer to as the Old Testament, we read a very detailed history of the nation of Israel. We see time after time where the nation turns its back on God and suffers devastating consequences. That biblical history is not included there simply as a history lesson on Israel. It is included in the Bible as a picture of consequences to any nation that turns from God. It is there as a lesson to America in the present day and age.

Unfortunately, it seems to me that it is a lesson that is being ignored.

And those history lessons show us that there will be consequences. In fact, it seems clear to me that there are already consequences. And unless “we the people” demand a return to godly principles in our governance, future consequences are inevitable and predictable. But the lessons shown there also show us that there is always grace when we turn back toward God.

In the pages of our Bible, there are reference points, and we can find guidance for our nation.

If we are willing to look.

So if you’ve stuck with me this far, maybe you are interested in starting, or adjusting, your Bible study habits to more intentionally look for reference points and relevant guidance for right now. Maybe you want to turn what may have seemed a chore into the daily excitement of being personally mentored by the greatest coach of all times. Maybe you want to learn from the experiences of others recorded in the Bible instead of having to learn those lessons the hard way.

You can if you are willing to look.

A PRACTICAL APPROACH

1. Develop some type of daily Bible reading plan. One chapter a day is a good start. You can begin anywhere, but I usually recommend the book of John as a good starting point.

2. If you are a person of faith and prayer, combine prayer with your reading. Ask God to highlight the exact lesson that He wants to reveal to you that day. And pause as you read to give Him space to do that.

3. If this is all still experimental to you, just look for one point or example in that chapter that seems to have relevance to you at that particular moment. Maybe one point of reference for something that you are going through or one piece of guidance that seems to stand out.

4. Jot down the thoughts that come to your mind as you focus on that one specific point. It is in those thoughts that you may find the specific lesson God has for you that day.

5. Pause for a few moments to consider how to apply that revealed lesson to your daily life. Jot that down also.

6. Seek to follow through on the point of application that you jotted down.

7. Stick with your reading plan unless God directs you otherwise.

So regardless of whatever you may be facing today, be encouraged that there are others who have faced those same things. There are reference points and guides available to you.

If you are willing to look.

But always know that there is indeed one truly unprecedented thing in this world. It is the 

UNPRECIDENTED GRACE available through faith in Christ.

There has never been and never will be anything else like it. And it is available to you.

If you are willing to look.

“Seek and you will find.“ (Matthew 7:7)

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