The past few months I’ve been trying to learn something new.
My husband and I own a small farm just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. Not long ago, a rescued horse found his forever home with us.
I knew a little bit about horses but not enough to train and work with him on my own. I asked around and came across a woman who has spent her entire life with horses. She’s essentially the horse whisperer, and everyone around our little area knows her, even the horses.
The first time she pulled up to our white barn to meet me and my horse, Tennessee, I asked her how many lessons it would take for me to really get a grasp on working with him. I thought maybe three or four.
She laughed — not to mock me but to dispel my overachiever, naïve sense of this learning process.
That was about 20 lessons ago, and I still have a long way to go to learn what I need to learn.
I think you’d agree that learning to do new things is challenging. As children, we enter into new things with that unstoppable sense of belief that we can do anything! But then, after some years of failure and frustration in our lives, taking the chance on learning something new is hard.
And so we think, Why bother?
Sometimes studying the Bible feels this way. There is so much to learn and understand, and often, we just don’t think we’re smart enough to study the Bible on our own.
We can lose our motivation to study because things get complicated in our minds.
Second Timothy 3:16 definitely gives us a good dose of motivation to stay in a posture of wanting to learn new things about the Bible: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
When Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, his mentee, Paul was explaining that it is a blessing to understand the Word of God. In fact, the three things he mentions in this one verse are powerful reminders to stay motivated to keep learning:
- Learning more about Scripture helps us learn more about God because, as Paul reminds us, these are God’s breath-inspired words.
- Learning more about Scripture changes us because it allows us to see what needs to be changed in our lives. Here Paul is referring to the part of Bible study where the Lord reveals to us our sin.
- Learning more about Scripture teaches us how to persevere in life. For every hard and trying situation we will face, there’s someone in the Bible we can learn from through their process with God.
Learning to ride a horse and learning to study the Bible aren’t exactly the same. But both require a commitment to the process and a plan to press on, even when we feel frustrated or don’t understand everything.
I had to find someone to teach me to work with Tennessee. And guess what? We have a teacher, the Holy Spirit, ready to help us understand God’s Word. Inviting Him into our study and learning process is powerful. Today, we can start with this posture in our hearts and simply ask the Holy Spirit to show us something new about the Bible.
We don’t always need a pastor, a Bible teacher or anyone else we consider a “Bible expert” to read our Bibles with us. Those people are great to help spur us on in our study process, but you can do this. Pray. Open your Bible. Read. Study. And look for what Paul reminds us only God can do through His Word.
God, help us today to listen to the Holy Spirit as we read our Bibles. Teach us what we need to learn, and help us grow. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
John 14:26, “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (NLT)
What do you find the hardest about learning about the Bible on your own?
What is something God is teaching you through His Word right now?