Day eight for my cold and this is the first day that I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel. I went to the doctor Tuesday and he pronounced me to have a viral infection that will just have to run its course. He did inform me, however, that even after the cold goes away I would have a cough for another week or so.

I had to miss the Bible Study groups I belong to on both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and that got me thinking about the study of God’s word. Both evenings as I lay in bed I realized how much I missed the sheer pleasure of gathering with fellow Christians to study the Bible. As we banter back and forth searching out the exegetical meaning as well as the application of Scriptures for our lives, the Bible becomes very real and takes on a dynamic quality. There is something about having a plurality of ideas to consider that makes a person become serious about why they hold the position they do Scripturally. Many times people have pointed out details and ideas regarding texts that I had never noticed or thought of and I have become a richer Christian from listening and learning from my study mates.

Reading and studying the Bible in the privacy of your own home through personal devotions is rewarding and it is where a great deal of personal growth and knowledge is developed. There is something special about the smell of fresh brewed coffee, a warm summer early morning and the study of the Gospel. It is almost as if they were made for each other. Over and over people will tell me about the great things they have learned in their personal studies. My friend Brian and myself find we can talk for hours over discoveries from our personal devotions.

I have been blessed to have a number of friends who not only enjoy Bible study groups and are willing to share their findings in their personal devotions, but seem to spend a good deal of their free time studying even further in the Scriptures. When I am around these people the Bible always seems to become a central topic of discussion and before we know it we have journeyed off onto all kinds of interesting topics and discussions. We share favorite authors, research, readings, DVD’s and Internet information for spiritual growth.

The church service is another place where we can connect to the Word of God. Take a pen and paper to church and write down the major points of the Sermon. Mark the texts down and look them up when you get home when you have more time to reflect upon them. The central point of the church service should be the proclamation of the meaning of Scriptures for the edification of the congregation. If the pastor has done his duty by preparing an informative and instructive talk we would do well to pay attention and learn from it.

In North America we have become a Biblically illiterate nation. It’s not just the general public that knows very little about the Bible, but even Christians are confused over the basics such as what it means to be saved. When asked about the Atonement, the role of the law, grace, righteousness and sanctification many Christians were left speechless. In a world of feel good sermons, word of faith ministries, and the prosperity gospel it is imperative for us who profess to follow Jesus to dig deep into the Scriptures and study for ourselves. Find a Bible study group and get involved, find time for that devotion, listen to Christian CDs on the way to work. A star athlete understands they have to practice and hone their skills. It is the same with Bible study. We don’t grow spiritually by occasionally looking at the Bible every month or so. We grow when we feed on the Word.

If you are interested in getting more involved in studying the Bible you might enjoy the studies we have done on the Book of Galatians here at thebeggardanced.com Just go onto the blog, click on check it out and in the drop down menu you will see Galatians. Scroll through to the bottom to find study one and away you go. Also in the digging deeper section of the menu you will find the studies on the Book of James. Over the coming months we plan to have studies in Acts, John, Romans and Ephesians available at the blog. And please share with us the things you are discovering in your studies as we are all growing together in our spiritual journey.