BY REV. DORAL PULLEY, Today’s Church Tampa Bay
Reading, Studying, and Researching the Scriptures is like the Allen Keys used to install nuts and bolts in furniture assembly. They come in various sizes to fit various nuts and bolts. Like the Allen Keys, the scriptures help you assemble your life with good things because there is a scripture to fit every situation. The real power of Reading, Studying, and Researching the scriptures is their practical application to your life. “Be doers of the Word and not hearers only deceiving yourselves (James 1:22).” Jesus read the Word, and he applied the word to himself. He connected with the written Word and made it the living Word. The Word of God is not just facts, stories, and information. The Bible is abundant with principles that empower you to lead a holistically healthy, balanced, and well-rounded life so that you become the living Word read by all people (II Corinthians 3:2).
Reading, Studying and Researching the Scriptures are central to the life of every disciplined follower of Christ Jesus. Jesus said, “if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed (John 8:31).” The only way you can follow Jesus, who represents the Christ consciousness unfolding in humanity, correctly is by practicing and living the principles of the scriptures. Scriptures are guidelines and reference points for everything you need as a disciple. When all else fails, you can rely on the scriptures to give you clear direction and instruction. The foundation of the written scriptures is the oral tradition. As the oral tradition transitioned to written form, it became a part of the worship experience for Jews.
Jesus was a person who attended corporate worship regularly, and he participated in the services. In Luke 4:16-21, Jesus was on the program to read the scriptures. Following his footsteps, we incorporate scripture reading as a part of the order of worship today. It is a vital part of the service. Say “yes” if you are asked to read the scriptures, and don’t be afraid to volunteer to read the scriptures publicly. Reading the scriptures is as simple as opening the Bible or a Bible app and reading it. Read the Word every day, even if it is no more than a verse of scripture daily. Various Daily Devotionals incorporate scripture verses. Reading the scriptures empowers you to defeat negativity in your life and is a great beginning to your holistic growth and development. Once reading the scriptures becomes a regular practice in your life, you are ready to go to the next dimension by studying the scriptures. Studying the scriptures helps you comprehend the meaning and how to apply tried and true universal principles in your life.
Important questions to ask and answer for yourself while studying are:
- Who is speaking?
- To whom is the author speaking?
- When was this written?
- Where is it written?
- Why is this being said?
- How can I apply what I AM reading in my life?
Attending Bible Study, Sunday School Classes, and taking Ministry courses are excellent resources to help study the scriptures more in-depth. “Study to show yourselves approved unto God, workers that need not be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15).”
In addition to reading and studying the scriptures, research takes us even deeper into biblical understanding. Researching the scriptures helps you discover the original language, review various translations, and compare the Bible with other sacred texts. Reading, Studying, and Researching the Scriptures is a Prayer Tool because the scriptures are a vehicle for God to speak to you and for you to speak to God.
Rev. Doral Pulley is the senior pastor of Today’s Church Tampa Bay, 940 5th Ave. S, St. Petersburg (Staybridge Suites) and 5107 North Central Ave., Tampa.