“For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” — Ezra 7:10
Ezra experienced God’s goodness as he studied, obeyed and shared God’s Word (Ezra 7:9-10). Reading God’s Word is a good start, but we are called to go deeper. The New Testament states it this way: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, ESV).
The phrase “rightly handling” has a basic meaning of “to cut a straight line.” Some illustrations of that would be a downhill skier picking the right lines to successfully race down a slope, a football player choosing the right angle to run down and tackle an opposing player, a military unit cutting a straight path through a wooded area for troops to efficiently pass through, or a hunter correctly butchering an animal in order to preserve the most meat.
What are some basics of studying God’s Word? While there are many, here are a few:
1) Mark your Bible — underline/highlight repetitive words or phrases in a passage, verses that are meaningful to you, key places and names, etc.
2) When reading a book in the Bible, make note of who wrote it, to whom it was written, and why it was written.
3) Make use of the many good online and software Bible study resources; a very basic and useful one is BibleGateway.com.
— Jeff Totten, Detroit Tigers chaplain
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