Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why Study the Bible? Part 2

Studying the Bible will help you become a more mature person. What is maturity? Webster defines maturity as “achieving or completing a state of natural growth and development; to be ripe.”

At the beginning of the summer, the Kirby’s decided to try their hand (again!) at farming. We bought four tomato plants. Originally we placed the tomato plants in the front yard, but the local Marietta deer were feasting themselves on our plants. In order to solve the deer problem, we moved the plants to the backyard. However, our backyard is covered with tall pine trees which blocked the sunlight in the morning and late afternoon hours. This created a huge problem for our plants because they only received 3-4 hours of sunlight during the midday.

Because of the lack of sunlight in our backyard, growth and maturity of our tomatoes were stunted. It is the same when you receive a lack of “Sonlight” from God’s Word. The more time you spend in God’s Word meditating and applying it to your life; you will become a “riper” Christian.

What are some of the marks of a “ripe” (mature) Christian? One mark is stability. When you study God’s Word, you will not be swayed by the turmoil in your life. Though you are not immune from difficulty, you will learn how stand strong in the midst of your trial (Psalm 1:1-3; 19:7-11). Another mark of maturity is conviction. As you study the Bible, you will know the truth and not be swayed by false teaching (Ephesians 4:14-15). A third mark of a mature believer is discernment. When you cut your spiritual teeth on God’s Word, you will learn how to discern truth from error and apply the truth to your life (Hebrews 5:11-14). Howard Hendricks writes, “The mark of spiritual maturity is not how much you understand, but how much you use. In the spiritual realm, the opposite of ignorance is not knowledge but obedience” (Living by the Book, 20-21).

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