It’s Saturday night and, like most weeks, my mind goes to the activities of tomorrow which includes the time I’ve been given to meet with a small group to study God’s Word. It’s an important hour in my week. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to confess that I didn’t always feel this way.
When I committed my life to Jesus 17 years ago, one of the major changes in my life was that I devoured God’s Word. I read and studied every day. I invested $80 in a new Bible, used a highlighter, a journal book, and a commentary. I studied more in the next two years than I ever did in my high school and college years combined! I didn’t know it but that was a gift from God that kept on giving and even today, I could not put a price on it because the next seven years would be years of tremendous hardship and trials. I am convinced that if I had not had that two years of spiritual boot camp, I would have collapsed under the assault.
Unfortunately, after those seven years I was lazy and hit-and-miss in my study time. Life became busy and I had many new demands. So many reasonable excuses! Until I entered a season in which I am now. My life has become more isolated. I am not able to walk the city block to take me to the room where this Bible study group meets. I pray that I will be able to do so one day soon. But this temporary obstacle has shown a light on how valuable is the gift to be able to meet with fellow Believers and learn from our LORD and each other.
My personal Bible study time is important. Having that intimate study when Jesus speaks just to me, is priceless. But – As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17 (my paraphrase) is also vital to my spiritual health. If my study is limited to only myself as a student, then I can easily fall into the pitfall of my own wisdom that dulls the conviction of God. I need others to stay sharp in His truth.
And so tomorrow I will attend class with the help of modern technology, via speakerphone. Soon, I hope it will be by Skype and I will be able to see their wonderful faces. And I pray in the future, I will walk back into the group. And I also pray that I will never take my study time for granted or forget the importance it has been in my life.