Believing what is right has been the source of many arguments, frustrations, and turmoil. The reasons are many. One reason is that there are many who have heard what the Bible says and there are many who are aware of what the Bible says. Then there are those who know what the Bible says and interpret it one way while there are others who have interpreted it another way. This has been true ever since humans have studied scripture. In Jesus’ day, there were several different fractions of theology that taught about God and life differently. Each fraction had very intelligent, well studied people who were simply seeking the truth. We still find this to be a problem today. So, the question looms, “How do we know what is right and true?” How do we make sure we are not following a teacher who is in error? How do I stand before God, rightly knowing Him and believing Him to be everything I seek? I ask these questions because I genuinely desire to stand before God honestly, having told others about Him correctly and believed correctly myself.
Take a look at John 8:31-33:
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus is clear that we need to study His person. We need to carefully seek to understand and know His teaching as well as the rest of the Bible. If we are to seek truth and to know Him correctly, we can’t lean on worship music, a powerful devotional, or even a great preacher. While each of these are helpful, it is by sitting and studying His Word, asking hard questions about it and thinking from multiple angles that we will gain understanding. We have to pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us in our study. That we won’t come to false or biased conclusions but that we would be correct in our understanding. This is why it is helpful to learn to study the Bible for myself. To seek understanding and truth to the best of my ability. If done by the leading of the Spirit, this will not only inform me, but it will also help me appreciate Jesus more. It will help me recognize the significance of Him becoming a man and dying for me. Ultimately, it should help me to love Him with greater depths and teach me to surrender more of who I am to Him.
Believing correctly is not about being right. Nor is it about my influence with others or even my own well-being. While each of those are influenced by a correct understanding the main purpose is to seek God with all that I am and present myself as a living sacrifice. That means each day I seek Him. Each day, I rest in His presence. Each day, I work to know what He said and why He said it. It comes a little at a time. With a consistent focus, we can grow a little deeper each day.
1. Consider your daily schedule. When is a good time of the day for you to read a chapter and spend some time in reflection?
a. Set a reminder on your phone for each day of the week to stop and spend time with Jesus.