Our website’s name and vision comes directly from Scripture. Our key verse is:
Ezra 7:10 – For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.
He set his heart
Studying God’s Word is not something which happens automatically. My guess is lately you have asked someone “how are you doing?” to hear them reply, “I am very busy.” In fact, almost every person says they are very busy. The world is full of stuff to do. Some of these these things are worth doing. But the world is also full of distractions, vying for our attention. It is easy for us to be diverted from serious Bible study. Many people spend more time (or we could say waste more time) on passing pleasures than they do on the Bible.
- How much time do we spend on television and movies compared to studying Scripture?
- How much time do we spend on surfing the internet and social media compared to studying Scripture?
- How much time do we spend our hobbies compared to studying Scripture?
Our Bibles are always there waiting on the shelf to be opened. But because they are always there, we are often not urgent in our Bible study, thinking “I will do it later.” Spurgeon once said that many people’s Bibles have so much dust on their covers you could write “condemned” in it.
If we want to make spiritual progress, like Ezra we must set our hearts on learning God’s Word. It is first a desire, a commitment. Then this desire will lead us to action.
The first step in following God is knowledge. A person must know God. A person must have knowledge of the truth. We find that in the Bible. The Bible is an amazing thing. The infinite, eternal, Creator of the universe is completely different than us. He exists outside of our realm of comprehension. And yet, He has chosen to make Himself known to us. He has chosen to reveal His nature, His plans, and His purposes to us. That is an amazing privilege.
Philosophers throughout history have pondered about the great mysteries of the universe, trying to understand them. But their limited minds get in the way. We cannot know or understand God apart from His divine revelation. Meditating under a tree or around a table or under the stars doesn’t work.
But Scripture is God’s inspired Word, breathed out by Him. It is a priceless treasure. And it is worth diligently studying. In Hebrews 5 Paul rebukes his readers because of their spiritual lethargy, saying that they have become “dull of hearing.” When they should consume meat, they are stuck drinking milk like babies. Their problem is they have no desire to study and know God’s Word and therefore they don’t grow. They are perpetually spiritual babies, which is unnatural.
People like this may have questions about the Bible. But finding the answers is too time consuming. It is easier to put it out of mind, so they do. God calls us to be diligent students of the Word.
2 Timothy 2:15 – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
We should be asking questions of the Bible and seeking out the answers. We should be meditating on Scripture, pressing on to ever deepening understanding.
Philippians 2:16 – Hold firmly to the word of life.
Studying God’s Word is one way you can grasp God’s Word, standing firm on the truth in the midst of the tidal forces of cultural change and relativity. Without a firm understanding of the Bible, you will be like a person who builds his house on the sand.
Read: Hand of the Word – 5 Ways to Get a Better Grasp of God’s Word
Here at Study and Obey, our vision is to give you inductive Bible studies of every chapter in the Bible to help you study every chapter and every verse in depth. We haven’t finished the whole Bible yet, but we have completed over 30 books of the Bible and by God’s grace will finish all one day.
To Do It
One of the key problems in the church today is passivity and spiritual lethargy. Churches are filled with people who go, and sit, and listen, and return home… unchanged by what they have heard. Some Bible studies are the same.
1 Corinthians 8:1 – Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
Knowledge by itself does not help anyone. Ezra set his heart to study God’s Word and to do it. Without action, the knowledge is worthless. James calls out people who are “hearers” of the Word, but not “doers,” comparing them to people who look at a mirror and forget what they look like (James 2).
Our goal is not only to help you study the Scripture, but to obey it! What is one important question you should ask in every Bible study?
What should I obey?
Your Bible study group should ask this in every study. Your pastor should emphasize this in every sermon. You should ask yourself this every time you read the Bible.
To help you think of how to obey text written two thousand or more years ago, our Bible studies contain many practical application questions and suggestions. We hold to the principle that there is one interpretation, but many applications. The Bible is absolute truth. The meaning does not change based on the listener. But there are infinite ways to apply it. Rather than telling you how to apply it, we offer some suggestions or questions to guide you. And the goal for every lesson is that you will choose at least one thing to obey.
God wants to transform you, the way you think and the way you act. We pray that the studies we have prepared will help encourage you make real life changes. And we pray that obedience to the Word will become a lifestyle as you always ask yourself the question, “what should I obey?”
To Teach It
If the name Study and Obey and Teach was not too long and cumbersome, we would have chosen that instead. As it is, our vision is that you will study, and obey, and teach God’s Word, just like Ezra.
Ezra 7:10 gives us a wonderful model. It wasn’t enough for Ezra himself to study and obey God’s word. His vision was then to teach others to do the same. That is spiritual reproduction. That is multiplication.
When believers obey the Word and then teach others to do the same movements can start. Individuals lives are changed. Then families. Then communities. Even entire countries.
Teaching is not just the job of the pastor or the missionary. Every believer is called to be a teacher. God wants all believers to pass on what they have learned about God.
Hebrews 5:12-14 – About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature.
Paul is rebuking his readers because they are not teaching. This is the same group mentioned above as being spiritually lazy and lethargic. The clear implication in this passage is that teaching others is a natural and necessary part of the process for every growing Christian.
So first we study. Then we obey. Then we teach. When we teach, we help start that process again in the next person. Then that person studies, and obeys and teaches and the cycle continues. And that is how God’s kingdom grows. But when we do not do any of the these three principles, the cycle is broken and growth does not take place, either in us or the body of Christ at large.
Where are you in this cycle? Do you need to become a better student of the Word? Do you seek to obey daily what you learn in Scripture? Who is someone you can pass on what you have learned to?