How to Study the Bible

Psalm 119:18

Read and study the Bible as two young lovers read and study each other’s letters. As soon as the mail brings a letter from his sweetheart, the young man grabs it and without waiting to see if there is not another letter for him, runs off to a corner and reads and laughs and rejoices over it and almost devours it. If he is a particularly demonstrative lover (may the Lord make us demonstrative lovers of our Lord Jesus Christ) he will probably kiss it and carry it next to his heart till the next one comes.

He meditates on it day and night, and reads it over again and then again. He carries it to town with him, and on the street car appears very quiet and thoughtful, until at once a twinkle comes into his eye, out comes the letter and choice portions are read over again. He delights in that letter. Read in Acts 17:11 KJV what the disciples in Berea did: “They received the Word with all readiness of mind.” A frank and noble mind is open to the truth, and wants it more than gold or pleasure or fame or power.

“They searched the Scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11 KJV). Precious things are deeply hidden. Pebbles and stones and autumn leaves abound everywhere, but gold and silver and precious stones are hidden deep in the bowels and rocky ribs of the earth; shells cover the seashore, but pearls are hidden in its depths. And so with truth. Some truth may live on the surface of the Bible, but those that will altogether satisfy us and make us wise unto salvation are found only after diligent search, even as for hidden treasure. “Search the Scriptures,” (John 5:39 KJV) said Jesus.

“They searched the Scriptures daily.” Daily, not spasmodically by fits and starts, but daily, habitually. They dug into the Word of God.

Read and study the Word not to get a mass of knowledge in the head, but a flame of love in the heart. Read it to find fuel for affection, food for reflection, direction for judgment, guidance for conscience. Read it not that you may know, but that you may do.

Finally, do not be discouraged if progress in the knowledge of the Word seems slow at first. It is like learning to play an instrument or master a trade. Keep at it, keep at it, keep at it!

Happy shall we be, if, like David, we can say, “Your Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11 KJV).

Samuel Logan Brengle, Heart Talks on Holiness


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