The Tulip Driven Life Podcast

Monday, February 25, 2013

Finding Time To Study The Bible When You're Busy

By: Thomas Fletcher Booher

I am privileged in so many ways. I have the privilege of studying books on theology and the Bible itself in a Bible college. Right now, studying the Bible and learning theology is my job. I have family and a wife who is helping provide food, shelter, and clothing. Yet even I, the one who believes he is called to be a pastor, doesn't read his Bible enough. Why is this?

Well, it is because I, and most of us, don't put Bible study at the top of our priority list. What do we put ahead of that? Usually work. Why do we put work ahead of Bible study? For some it may be because they love their job more than their Bibles, but for most it is because they think if they don't make work the top priority they won't be able to provide for themselves and/or their families. After all, doesn't Paul say he who does not work shall not eat (2 Thess. 3:10)?

Indeed, he does. But the question is not whether or not we should be working at all. Certainly, we should. Rather, the question is how much should we be working? The answer, I can promise you, is not so much that we don't have time to dedicate good hours to the study of God's Word each day.

What frees me to say this? Several things. Even in this economic recession we are still wealthier than about 95 percent of the people who have ever lived. If I am thirsty I don't wonder where I can get water, I don't even go outside and draw it from a well. I walk outside my bedroom door, shuffle a few steps into the kitchen, and turn on the faucet. Good, clean, pure water. Food? I turn and open the fridge.

We are in much greater danger of forgetting that God has graciously provided our food and water for us than we are in danger of going hungry or thirsty because we are wanting to know God more through studying His Word. And I have a much better assurance of this than simply the fact that we are wealthy people.

I have assurance from God Himself in His Word. His assurance allows us as believers to operate on a different timetable than the world does, especially Americans. Consider Luke 12:22-31

Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
“And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.

Jesus is speaking to people who had nowhere near as much financial security and rest as we do. We would be of the richest people of Jesus' times, the ones that Jesus accused of storing up treasures for ourselves on this earth rather than treasures in heaven. We would be rebuked for not being generous enough with our giving, and of being too concerned with making more money. This strikes close to home for us because frankly it is true of almost all of us. Few that read this will be able to in good conscience say, "That's not me, I have taken time out of work and making money to ensure I have time to study the Word and teach it to my family."

We need to have trusting, resting faith in Christ that when he says if we seek His kingdom first He will provide for our physical needs, that He means it. This doesn't mean don't work; it does mean seek first the kingdom of God. Make Kingdom living the priority. Make fellowship with the saints and study and thinking upon the things of God the work of your life, and then your job that earns money will be put in its proper place- and size. 

The freedom we have in Christ frees us from worry over physical things to focus on the spiritual needs that we have and to be generous to the poor and needy with our money and time. When we do this, we are storing up treasure in heaven, money in heaven that will last forever and not pass away when we die like all our possessions that we collect here on earth. Let us repent of our neglect of God's Word due to our sinful worry and anxiety of where our basic necessities for living will come from, and let us trust God to take care of us as we seek to live for His kingdom, righteousness, and glory.

No comments:

Post a Comment