The Importance of Studying

Last night, I spent some time in the “thinking spaces” of my life. I got a good walk in, then did some shopping. While doing some shopping, I came across a book that seemed to be of solid value for one of the brothers that I disciple. I was right in the value, but might have been quick in giving it to him.

He and I got together twice today. The first time it was to check on a family issue and just kick back a bit. At that point, I took him the book and we talked about the value of knowing what you are talking about when it comes to Scripture. Not just a simple reading of it, but understanding how the text connects to itself and life around us. From that understanding will come the means to explain Scripture to others in appropriate manners.

Well, let’s just say that I was a bit ahead of things giving him the book. Nevertheless, its in his possession to read as he goes through some homework that was assigned from me.

On the second visit, I wanted to display a point about the value of study and so I put on Steven the Levite‘s To Die is Gain LP and specifically the song QnA (Questions and Answers). Here’s the lyrics as he’s posted them online (line breaks I did for readability):

QnA (Questions and Answers)
(2 Tim 2:15; 4:3, Prov 30:5-6)

Does it make sense for me to enter a prayer circle and say “amen” at the end when I didn’t comprehend what they were sayin’? (hmm)
Was the Holy Spirit given to Christians so when the rhythm is quickenin’ He can hit ’em and get ‘em shakin’ and wigglin’? (ya listenin’)
If in the house of God hats are forbidden then how come the high priests weren’t permitted without them? (Uhh)
And furthermore, did the Lord say he’d dwell in the four walls or in the hearts of those he secures? (that’s raw)
Can I be blunt for a minute? If it’s a sin to get drunk then what kinda Spirit makes you a fumbling idiot? (consider this)
And when did it become known of the Holy Ghost to take control of folks and do things that the scriptures don’t promote (Umm)
And I hope you soak this in when you hear it: am I suppose to be your sin offering if you slay me in the Spirit? (where did they get it)
And finally, whether it’s rhymed or preached are you dividing the Word or trusting your heart that it’s divine or tweaked?
No I’m not beefin’ with any denominations just relayin’ the questions of a confused congregation and if possible, I’d like to give you some logical goggles with which, to examine the epistles, prophets and gospels specifically,
First Corinthians fourteen: sixteen
John fourteen through sixteen,
back to First Corinthians chapter eleven,
Acts seven verses forty eight through fifty
Titus chapter two: one through six please
First Corinthians fourteen: forty
Leviticus chapter one and three and four: verse four B and fifteen and twenty-four and twenty-nine and thirty-three
and once again back to First Corinthians fourteen: forty
then Second Timothy two: fifteen
and First Peter three: fifteen,
and Jeremiah seventeen: nine
it’s time to rewind so you can write ’em down if you missed it
Acts seventeen: eleven, don’t get it twisted

Now, if one reads this and notices the two stanzas, there’s an importance to studying and interpretation to the Scriptures that’s presented here that values not just the reading of the text and theology, but the understanding of it in its historical and modern contexts in relation to the original and current audiences. If you will, we use the Scriptures to evaluate and set direction towards how we understand today what it is we do. And where they don’t line up, we ask questions both of the Scriptures and of the times we live in – looking to get a clear answer.

Now, my bro didn’t do too bad with these. He didn’t do great either. At the end of the time he admitted that there were a lot of these questions that he didn’t know and that he needed to study the Scriptures more in order to understand them. And this is good. In light of things, I too needed to go back to the Scriptures and study more because these questions are a constant towards how we should be approaching life and faith.

In the mist of this time that I’ve not been plugged into a (single) local church, I’ve been asking a lot of questions and answers – similar to how Steven has placed these. A lot of these questions are taking me back to the basics of understanding the simple things about the Scripture and what we have or haven’t done in living through them.*

Other things have shown me that this time while great for evaluation will mean nothing if they aren’t eventually shared within the context of the entire Body. I wish that I could say that in this city that there is one Body – but there isn’t. There are a lot of silos and in looking for the threads, I’m finding thin pickings within my own stables.

Eventually, we get to a point when studying where we simply just live out whatever it is we’ve been engrossed in. In giving the book to my bro (and the questions afterward), I hoped that he would see being more intentional about studying the Scriptures would cause some of that cohesion that has been sorely missing. I’m a part of having to change the man in the mirror as well, hence I too am getting back to the grind, hoping that my obedience in not being so zealous for others could cause a humbleness that rocks His spark to better things.

Until that point, we/I get studious about understanding life and Scripture as much as I’m afforded. And if I could be so bold, not everything comes out great as God’s will really does come across as a cruel joke at times. But, the key is that its His will, and studying the record of His doings only keeps that clarity. The better I know the Truth He presents, the easier it will be to ascertain in my life travels how to respond to myself, and those around me who are also growing in Him.

Fear God and love His commandments, this is the entire duty of man. Getting off all of the fluff that we’ve added over time is like a second job sometimes.

*If a person were to boil down the Scriptures to simple points it would be to “Love God with everything you’ve got, and love your neighbors with everything else that remains.” In doing this, we aren’t anymore living by a code or rules, but they are living through us – finding life not in their being a statue for living, but in the fact that we give life, and these rules for living and being are a reflection of what can happen when we are consumed by His love beyond our own. Such is the promise of Scripture, being born again in Him to live again through Him. The rules we’ve seen in the Scripts are only a small part of a much bigger life. If one studies long enough, this point is very easy to see.