Do you own a Bible? If you do, you possess inestimable wealth. The Psalmist appraises the God’s Word as more valuable than “fine gold” (Psalm 19:10, 119:127).
Whether black gold or fine gold, to realize its full worth, you have to dig for it. It’s the same way with God’s Word.
Sadly, many of us are content to merely read the Bible. Consequently we forfeit the wealth that lies below its surface.
“Ezra prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD….” (Ezra 7:20) The Hebrew for “seek” is to “search diligently.” Ezra didn’t merely read the Word — he dug deep.
One may say: “But Ezra was a scribe — He was a professional Bible scholar.” The first believers in Jerusalem weren’t professional scholars, yet, “they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine.” (Acts 2:42). Later, the Bereans were commended by Luke because “they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily” to know whether Paul’s teaching was true or not.” (Acts 17:11)
Bill Hybels initiated a survey to assess the strengths and weaknesses of his Willowcreek Community. The results were published in an extensive document called, REVEAL. Along with many strengths, a glaring weakness was revealed. Bill Hybels puts it this way: “we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become self feeders.”
Willowcreek is not alone. Across nearly every spectrum we’ve done a poor job at producing “self feeders.
The essence of the great commission is to “make disciples.” (“disciple” = “student, or apprentice.”) This implies doing research, mining the depths, moving beyond the superficial. That’s why Paul said to his disciple Timothy: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Let’ study the Bible for all it’s worth (I recommend Gordon Fee’s excellent book on this subject: http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Bible-All-Worth/dp/0310246040).
Come back in two days and check out PART 2 of God’s Word — Gold worth digging?