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Get to Know Your Bible

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Have you read stories of lost or buried treasure? Actually, the Bible contains spiritual riches awaiting your discovery.

Transcript

Have you ever read stories of lost or buried treasures? Legends and myths of infinite wealth have circulated down through the ages. Treasure hunters will spend a lifetime searching for buried treasure, lost gold mines or sunken treasure ships in hopes it will make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. Books tell one story after another of history’s lost treasures.

Have you ever wished you could find a treasure of wealth that could solve your problems and make you happy? Of course you have! We’ve all wished we could find that pot of gold.

Do you realize you have such a treasure–probably in your own home. It’s a different treasure than you might have imagined. It is the treasure of wisdom, knowledge and understanding from your Bible. Study this Book and you are guaranteed to find wealth and treasure of a spiritual kind. It’s right in front you–waiting to be found. But how well do you really know your Bible?

On this edition of Beyond Today, we will give you practical steps to mine the true spiritual treasure from God’s Word–the Bible. Join us on today’s program as we help you Get To Know Your Bible .

One of the most enduring stories of modern times is The Count of Monte Cristo . It’s a story set in Napoleonic France of a man named Edmund Dantes who is wrongly accused of a crime and imprisoned on an island fortress. His imprisonment lasts 14 years and ends when he manages an ingenious escape. He leaves the prison with a map to a buried treasure on an island called Monte Cristo. He learns of the treasure from a fellow prisoner, the Abbe Faria.

Dantes makes his way to the island, finds the horde of hidden treasure, and creates a new identity as the Count of Monte Cristo and then he sets out to use the wealth to bring revenge on those who falsely accused him. In the end, he gets his revenge but is unable to recover all parts of his past life. It is a fabulous story and it endures for many reasons, one of which is the hoard of wealth he finds and uses for multiple purposes.

Again, have you ever dreamed of finding hidden treasure? We all have. But have you considered that you might have a treasure waiting to be found right in your home in the pages of God’s Word, the Bible?

We can begin by looking at the book of Proverbs in chapter 3 . Here’s what it says, “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her” (Proverbs 3:13-15 Proverbs 3:13-15 13 Happy is the man that finds wisdom, and the man that gets understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies: and all the things you can desire are not to be compared to her.
American King James Version×
).

You see, these spiritual treasures, spoken of here in the book of Proverbs, are unique. They’re different kinds of treasures. They’re treasures of wisdom, knowledge and understanding. And they are the treasures that really count. The Bible makes them all available in abundant amounts, but achieving them takes real effort.

Now let me ask a question. What are the benefits for you in studying your Bible? Well there are several.

You know it’s been read over the years, the Book, as a guide to life. It’s been used as a source of spiritual understanding and there are even many, many examples where the Bible has been used as a book of history. That Book, the Bible, has been around for a long time. Wise men and wise women through the ages have read it. They’ve studied the Book.

Abraham Lincoln said, “I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this Book that you can by reason and the balance by faith, and you will live and die a better man. It is the best Book which God has given to man.”

Sir Isaac Newton said, “There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history” and that from a renowned scientists.

Queen Elizabeth in her old age said this, “To what greater inspiration and counsel can we turn than to the imperishable truth to be found in this Treasure House, the Bible?” 

Every American President has been sworn into office with his hand on a Bible. The Bible has been translated into most world languages. It’s been carried and distributed to every corner of the globe. Men and women gave their lives to translate, own and read the Bible.

The Bible has been argued over. It’s been banned, burned and cherished. People in captivity have cherished copies of the Book smuggled into their cells. It’s a book with a message that works. It can change your life. When you understand its truths, when you put them into practice, they will change and transform you. They will give purpose to your life. The Bible is like no other book.

The Bible is a living book. It works into your life. It makes you a better person. It connects you to the mind of the God of Creation and the One who wants to give you eternal life.

Your study of the Bible is the key to satisfying the hunger and the deep need for meaning and purpose. It has answers to the big questions gnawing at your mind right now.

In the book of James it says, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21 James 1:21Why lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
American King James Version×
).  

You see, we study the Bible so it can get into us; be implanted into our life, in every part of our life. The time spent with God, in a study of His Word, should be the most valuable part of every day.

Your study of the Bible is the key to understanding the hunger and the deep need for meaning and for purpose. It has answers to the big questions gnawing in your life right now.

In the book of John, chapter 6, one of the apostles, Peter, answered Jesus Christ when others had left Him. Christ said, will you now leave me as well? And he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68 John 6:68Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life.
American King James Version×
). The words of eternal life, think about that.

The Bible gives instruction on how God intends to give eternal life–forever. It shows us how God will bring salvation to mankind. Read its words and you will find the road to eternal life.

In 2 Timothy chapter 3 it says, “But you”–as Paul speaks to another minister, he says you—”must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14-15 2 Timothy 3:14-15 14 But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them; 15 And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×
).

Now again, I ask, what could be more important than learning the words to eternal life? There’s nothing. Nothing is more important. The Bible is the book that contains the words of life for today and eternal life in God’s coming kingdom. You can study the Bible for this valuable knowledge and it can make a difference in your life as no other book, no other area of study, will. They are living words.

Notice another statement, where we have been reading there in the book of Timothy. Here Paul again says to Timothy, a very profound thought. He says, about the Scripture, about the Bible.

It says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for…”–three things, for— “…doctrine, for reproof, [and] for correction, [and] instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 2 Timothy 3:16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
American King James Version×
).

Notice this again: doctrine, reproof and instruction.

Now what’s doctrine? Well, very simply, doctrine is teaching about how to worship God and what God is doing with the creation. Doctrine includes teaching about the law of God, the Kingdom of God, teaching about faith and salvation, the resurrection and eternal judgment. If you don’t have a solid doctrinal understanding, you will be swayed by false religious teachings. That’s why doctrine’s important.

You know, doctrinal subjects are not topics that really come to your mind or most people’s minds when they think of Bible study. Frankly, most people today want soft spiritual subjects. They want quick inspiration when it comes to Bible study. But studying at the great teachings of the Bible, it takes time, and it takes some effort, but it’s rewarding. If you want to understand the message of the Book, and God’s plan for humanity, you must understand what the Bible teaches on the great truths of the Word.

Now…Next. Notice that this verse also talks about reproof and correction. What it’s saying is the Bible shows us what’s wrong with our lives. I know that might be a little difficult at times. Let’s face it. The human race has struggled for many generations with some very big problems. By ourselves we have not found a permanent solution to war, or the suffering that it brings.

Many basic problems of human relationships still create all kinds of strife. The Bible shows us the cause of those problems and the solution that lies in a change of the human spirit and the human heart. It shows the uncomfortable truth that sin, the transgression of the law of God, is at the root of our problems. Turn away from a way of life that violates God’s law and you will begin a journey toward recovery.

The third point, that that verse shows us, is this: It shows us a way of righteousness. It teaches us what to do and how to do it in a right manner. This flashlight serves to illustrate this principle. You know we all have flashlights around the house. We turn them on. We use them to find our way down the stairs when the lights go out, or into the backyard looking for one of our pets, or something that’s been left outside at night. They are a source of light that shows us a way through the darkness so we don’t stumble over things and fall flat on our face. That’s how the Bible works with our daily walk of life.

The Bible equips us to do good works. Books like Proverbs contain wisdom of the ages. You can, you can spend a lifetime pouring through its pages always learning something new about how to live your life with sound judgment and understanding guiding you. King David recognized God’s Word as a lamp unto my feet. The Bible, it says as “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalms 119:105 Psalms 119:105Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.
American King James Version×
).  It shines a pathway for us to follow through on, in an often dark and very hostile world.

Well, you might be asking at this point, I need something. Maybe there’s some helps out there that I could find? Well, how do you study the Bible? What is a good way to go in-depth into the Scriptures to learn really what it says? And what types of Bible study will work best for you?

Here is where we can help. One of our long standing missions on Beyond Today is to direct people to the Bible. You already know that we challenge many long held and cherished beliefs that people have. We point you to the Bible for the answers. We believe the Bible has the answers to the big questions of life. Our desire is to help you study and discover the deep truths of the Bible.

So today, on this program for the first time, we are offering our 12-lesson Bible Study Course to you. There is no cost as with all of our other publications. It’s offered free of charge, as an education service to any who desire a deeper study of God’s Word, the Bible.

This is Lesson 1: Why the Bible is the Word of God . Every month you will receive a full color lesson that takes you through a dedicated topic. We’ll also have other topics that will be covered. This is Lesson 2: The Word of God, the Foundation of Knowledge .

Now you can enroll in this Bible Study Course . You can begin a study that can change your life for the better. You’ll finish with a deeper understanding of the Bible than when you began. It will improve your life.

Our Bible Study Course is free. You can call toll free right now at 1-888-886-8632. Or you can go online to BeyondToday.tv to order the Bible Study Course . Again, no charge. Totally free. We offer it to you as an educational service.

And if you’re on the social networks, then go behind the scenes by joining our Beyond Today Facebook page or following us on Twitter. Now later on this program, I’m going to tell you about an online companion of this course that will interest those who wish to study online. Stay with us to learn more.

Right now we are going to talk with a group of people who are avid students of the Bible. We have brought in some students from the Ambassador Bible Center who are spending nine months going through a program of Bible instruction. We thought their insights and experiences would be a helpful discussion.

Darris McNeely:
So ladies and gentlemen, thanks for being here. Welcome to the Beyond Today set. What have you found to be the, the best way for your personal study of the Bible? Connie?

Connie:
It helps to know how to use a concordance, because the language that the Bible was written in is not our language. And some of the words just mean a little different, have a little different meaning and so we can get the clear understanding. So that’s really helped to dive into exactly what those words really mean.

Brent:
Yeah I personally like to be really, really closed in on one subject. I can’t be multi-topical or anything like that because I, I go off and I try to study too many things at once. So I have to really narrow down on one thing. And then I like to, I like to go through almost every passage that I can find on that one thing. Pick out the point, the key ones, and then create like a chain reference on that. Just like…

Darris McNeely:
So it’s a topical..

Brent:
Yeah it’s a topical…

Darris McNeely:
…kind of a topical approach…

Brent:
A topical approach and on my own so I can really be focused without any distractions.

Darris McNeely:
Amber?

Amber:
One of my favorite ways to study the Bible is to just pick out a random book and go into an in-depth study of what that book says and learn from it. And I feel like that way, you learn things that you weren’t expecting to learn and it’s easier to understand. And that way you can use other reference books. You can use Bible commentaries, to go into that specific book and get different opinions on what that book is talking about.

Darris McNeely:
Amber opens up an idea there that, when she mentions a book that she might just pick out and like to, to study through and through that you get a lot of the historical background. You may focus in on a particular author but, is there a book or a particular writer of the Scripture that you found to be among your favorites? Tim.

Tim:
Yeah I really like the book of Psalms too. You know it can be so inspirational to read them. And David’s written a lot of the Psalms as we know and it’s just really inspiring to be reading that book and it’s been very helpful. When you’re down or maybe depressed a little bit, you can read that and it’s a good lifter-upper.

Darris McNeely:
Studying a particular character of the Bible is another favorite method that might people have, do you have any favorite characters, any other favorite characters that provide inspirational or instructive type of study for any of you? Chelsea?

Chelsea:
I was just going to say that I think Hebrews 11 is a great place to start because it lists the heroes of faith.

Darris McNeely:
Yeah.

Chelsea:
And so if you’re ever at a loss, you’re trying to figure out who you should study about, that’s a great place to start.

Darris McNeely:
Have, You should mention that covers a number of individuals by name from the Old Testament. And it’s a jumping off place if you want to go back and read their whole story, back in the Old Testament. Those individuals are kind of like a hall of fame of faith, aren’t they?

Group:
Yeah…

Darris McNeely:
Amber do you…

Amber:
I was going to mention Jeremiah. I find him to be a…

Darris McNeely:
One of my favorites! One of mine.

Amber:
Yeah, he’s one of my favorites too and when you study him you realize he’s gone through so much. And you know, at some point he feels like he can’t go any further but God always gets him through. It’s really encouraging to know that God gives us strength when we turn to Him in prayer and studying His Word.

Darris McNeely:
Is there any single biggest lesson that you’ve gone through in your life that’s helped you in your study of the Bible? Connie.

Connie:
I think the Bible, tends to be one that you can apply in all, all life-lessons, or all of life’s trials and we tend to find anything that we’re going through in the Bible. And I think that’s very important to know that it’s timeless. And you know, it may not talk about the computer, but, there are things that are applicable in the Bible today.

Darris McNeely:
You know, we’re all human and our best intentions sometimes get derailed because of jobs and other problems and we may slack off our Bible study. We may go for a period of time where we don’t and it may be a struggle to keep that up. What helps you to get back into study of the Bible from a time where you may have let down. Amber?

Amber:
I think what’s most important is you have to pray about it too. Pray for encouragement and pray for, you know, energy to do it. It’s really easy not to, but you have to set aside a specific time to do it and just force yourself to do it. There are other things that you want to do, watch a movie, something…

Darris McNeely:
Right.

Amber:
But, if you make that time, eventually if you force yourself to do it, even within that study, once you force yourself to do it, it gets better. You find that you want to be in the Bible study. And you want to be reading it and you enjoy it so…

Darris McNeely:
Very good. Brett.

Brett:
I find that it’s really helpful to set yourself down with a schedule. Because you know, you may, you may make a commitment to yourself to read it in your spare time or when you feel like it, but frankly, if that’s what you do, you’re never going to get to your Bible study. Other things just come up. So, setting down a schedule is really important but, but the most important thing about it is that you need to stick with the schedule.

I find that daily study is very important. And I used to think that every time you sat down with the Bible you had to go into an in-depth, you know, long drawn out study of something, you know, that’s really, you know, life-changing in your life. And, what I found is that, really, just getting into a little bit of Bible study every day, whether it’s just a few verses or a chapter, is really helpful. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out thing. Just a little bit every day really helps to build that relationship with God.

Brent:
Yeah…

Darris McNeely:
Brent?

Brent:
In 1 Peter, we’re told to always be ready to give a defense for the hope that’s in us. And that’s ultimately one of the things that I think about when, when I slack off in my study now and then, I really think about, I need to be able if somebody comes to me, I want to prove why I believe this and why, why I am here. I mean, I’m not here for family or any other reason, because of tradition. I am here because I believe this is the truth and so I want to study it and prove that it’s truth.

Darris McNeely:
Yeah Brent, your question or your answer there leads me to one final question, maybe we could explore just a little bit here. And that is, how do you know–as you’ve studied either topically or word or by character–how do you know that you’ve come to the point in your Bible study where you have heard, really, what God is saying to you or wants you to know at this particular time from His Word, the Scriptures, at that time? How do you know when you’ve come to that point?

Tim:
You know I can be readin’ a verse sometimes and it just seems to be going over in my head. And I sit there and I’ll keep re-reading it and just, it just still doesn’t make sense sometimes. And then, maybe I’ll do a word study on it like I mentioned earlier, or else I’ll just ask God, you know, to help me understand this. Just go to Him in prayer for sure and then it just seems to come to you sometimes, you know, in those instances.

Darris McNeely:
Good. Very good. Brett?

Brett:
I find a lot of times that when you sit down and you pick a specific topic you want to study, that a lot of times, that’s not the topic God has in mind and so you’ll see that through your Bible study something will jump out at you that’ll divert your attention somewhere else, and you’ll end up on this chain in a completely different direction. And I think that seeing that is when you really know that God has His hand in your Bible study and is leading you to study what He wants you to study.

Darris McNeely:
Good. Very good ideas. Very, very helpful input that all of you have given here today. I think it’s going to be very, very helpful for the audience to get this type of up close and personal perspective from people who devoted their life for a period of time to studying and delving deeper into the Word of God. So, it’s been a very helpful discussion.

I’d like to remind you that we have an offer today, on today’s program, for our free Bible Study Course . And also when you order your Bible Study Course , you’re also going to receive a free subscription to The Good News magazine. This magazine contains important articles to help you understand God’s plan. The articles in each issue are going to also be designed to take you into a deep study of the Bible. You’ll find them and many articles that’ll be helpful tools for your Bible study.

You can call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. You can also visit us on the Web at BeyondToday.tv where you can research online for any of the articles that will help you in your walk with God and your study of the Bible.

So request your free subscription today. And as always, all of our publications are provided free of charge as an educational service to you.

And I might also mention on this program, that if you have many of the popular eReaders that are available today, you can download The Good News magazine and most of our booklet inventory on either, an iPad or the Nook, or the Kindle, some of the other popular eReaders with the iPad from the iBookStore, or from our own Beyond Today site for the other eReaders and get them instantly. Again, no charge, no follow-up whatever.

And of course, you can remember to join us on Twitter, on Facebook. Go online. Leave us a comment. Or even set your DVR or your Tivo to record Beyond Today and watch us at your convenience.

How should you begin a Bible study program? Several time-tested Bible study methods have proven to be very helpful. One is to simply just read through the Scriptures book by book, and fixing the context of the verses and the chapters in the book clearly in your mind.

Another, as was mentioned in our discussion with the students, is to do a word study, to find out what various words or expressions mean in the Bible. A word study is an examination of many or all of the verses that contain a specific word or phrase from the original Hebrew or the Greek.

Helpful tools for Hebrew and Greek word studies could be a concordance such as Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible , or an expository type of dictionary, such as Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. And of course, in today there are a number of different programs available for our computers, Bible computer software that offers so many different tools for your use and your aid in studying the Bible.

But of course, perhaps the most important, ultimately, is to read the Bible for inspiration and for encouragement. The book of Psalms and chapters 5-7 for instance, of the book of Matthew–known as the Sermon on the Mount–are very inspiring sections of Scripture.

Perhaps the best way to fully grasp the Bible truths, though, is to study specific topics. Many people assume or reason an entire belief or doctrine from one single scripture. But that is generally not the way to understand God’s Word. Biblical teachings or biblical doctrines are best understood in the light of all the scriptures on a particular subject.

Unlike most books, the message of the Bible is, in some ways, like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Only when all the pieces are arranged as they should be, and as God intends, can a clear picture emerge. Consider the example of Jesus Christ, who quoted dozens of relevant scriptures from all parts of the Old Testament to make His points. The first chapter of the book of Hebrews is another, where pertinent passages from the Psalms, from 2 Samuel, from Deuteronomy and Isaiah. Another example is what Paul said in 2 Timothy chapter 2, where he said, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Sometimes it just takes work and study to understand God’s Word as the truth that it is. To fully understand what the Bible has to say on any given subject, we must look up all the verses that bear on that topic. And then, rather than with other human interpretations of God’s Word, you will have God’s own explanation of what He means.

So, we hope we have piqued your interest to start your own journey of discovery through the Holy Scriptures. We recommend that you send for our free 12-lesson Bible Study Course , which follows the subject study method we’ve talked about today.

And for a survey of the entire Bible, we also invite you to join our day-by-day Bible Reading Program . This program, this Bible Reading Program, covers the entirety of the Old Testament, in a very readable fashion, starting with one of the most fascinating of all biblical books, Genesis. Through the Bible Reading Program you’ll learn about the background and the author of each book, the many intriguing people whose lives that the Bible records for us, and the crucial lessons that God wants us to learn. So we welcome you to join us in this program.Again, no charge, free through the internet.

We also have a section online called Bible Study Guides that offer practical answers and real hope for you. You can find those online at FreeBibleStudyGuides.org . That’s FreeBibleStudyGuides.org . So you can see, we’ve got a wealth of information available for you. Another treasure, if you will, that’s available on our online resources as well as in print for you to use to study God’s Word.

Through studying the Word of our loving Creator, and by learning to follow His instructions, the otherwise unanswerable questions of human existence will be answered. Wonderful and awesome mysteries beyond your imagination, that are hidden from ages past, will be unlocked and opened to you. You may well find that your outlook on life will be altered, because you will learn the very meaning of life, the reason for which you were born, and the way our Creator wants us to live. It’s all waiting for you in the pages of God’s inspired Word, the Bible.

What should be our attitude toward the study of God’s Word? The Almighty says “…This is the one to whom I will look, to the humble and contrite [repentant] in spirit, who trembles at my word (Isaiah 66:2 Isaiah 66:2For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have been, said the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.
American King James Version×
, New Revised Standard Version).

God tells us we must set our hearts to truly seek Him. We must have proper fear or awe of, and a deepest respect for His Holy Word. Each of us must come before the Holy Scriptures in humility, ready to learn and to live by what they tell us.

When we take this approach, we will be ready to reap the deep spiritual treasures of the Bible. Thanks for being with us on Beyond Today . We invite you to watch us again next week. And please, encourage your friends to watch, and if you missed any part of this program or you want to review it, you can do so at BeyondToday.tv where you will find all our programs archived.

For Beyond Today, I’m Darris McNeely. Thanks for watching.