I love the Word of God. Bible study is a deep passion of mine. The story of God. Learning the text, the context, the story, the lessons, etc. All of it. As an extension, I love what the Bible can do to bring me into a deeper communion with God. The Psalms are my prayer book. Any part of the Word has such a deep place in my heart.
In Bible college I took Bible Study Methods from a professor who had a love for the Word. In a four-week summer class he gave us several basic methods to use throughout our lives and ministries. When the class ended, he gave us the challenge to go through each Book of the Bible and outline it. Have some basic notes. Get the basic understanding of each book. Then, spend the rest of our lives becoming experts in particular books of the Bible.
I took up that challenge. I determined to finish that project in 18 months. When I was leaving school a few months early, I made an appointment with the professor and brought my notebooks to him. He asked, “What’s all this?” I said, “It’s what you challenged me with in that class! I’ll be done in 6 months with this phase. Then, I’ll spend the rest of my life studying a few books of the Bible every year. You have equipped me like you’ll never know.”
He said softly, “In all the times I’ve taught that class, no one has ever taken me up on that challenge.”
I was stunned. At the time, the school was operating primarily as a ministry training school. NO ONE had gone out to study the Word like that? And we were filling pulpits?
Part of being evangelical is a dedication to the authority of the Word of God. It’s not something to simply say. It needs to be lived. I don’t always meet that standard, but I know I have a deeper passion for the Word than I did 23 years ago when I finished that class. That professor ignited a passion that the Spirit has not let die down, and I am deeply grateful.