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Bible Study: March 20, 2016

NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.

This week’s Bible study is adapted from the YOU curriculum.

Bible Passage: Psalm 119:97-104

Discussion Questions: Why is it important to study the Bible? If you could gauge your love for God by the time you spend in His Word, how would you measure up?

Food for Thought:

Whether we’re looking for a good hotel, movie or novel, we study online reviews and make purchases based upon the star rating. But some reviews can be misleading. We need not count “stars” before making a decision in life. The Bible is the believer’s ultimate source. It will never lead us astray. Why is it so important to study the Bible? When we let God’s Word fill our hearts and minds, it provides guidance for everyday life; it’s where we should turn first for a “five-star” experience. Simply put, the Bible can make our day, keep our mind and guide our feet.

Spiritual nourishment is important. Written by an unknown author, Psalm 119 focuses on the spiritual nourishment, growth and maturity God’s people experience when we feed on His Word. And even though the Bible serves as our spiritual nourishment, many folks can’t be swayed to attend a Bible study unless food is involved. A major life event has to catch them off guard before they fetch their Bible. These emotional eaters binge on God’s Word in difficult times and steer clear of it otherwise. But in verse 97 the psalmist asserts, “How I love Your instruction! It is my meditation all day long.” He’s less likely to feel a void because God’s Word fills him at all times, whether his environment is treacherous or tranquil. He was enamored with the teaching He received from God through the Old Testament scriptures. Paul shared the same sentiments: “I joyfully agree with God’s law” (Romans 7:22).

We get advice from people all the time. Our enemies use their wits to try to bring us to our demise. And teachers advise us based on statistics in scholarly journals and textbooks. However, those who follow God’s commands are wiser than their enemies. In verses 98-100, the psalmist is not being boastful. Instead, he is exalting God’s Word and the power it has to give wisdom, insight and understanding. He had wisdom not only because he studied the Word of God, but also because he lived it. People can read the Bible and gain knowledge. But a teachable person reads it, ponders it and practices it. This is what makes him wise. The psalmist asserts he had more wisdom than his enemies, teachers and his elders — all because he reflected upon and obeyed God’s Word.

God’s Word guides those who read and obey it, directing us toward the path He intends for our lives. This is the path of the righteous. On the other hand, wicked paths of the world gratify the senses and the flesh. This is the “false way” (v. 104), and the psalmist knew better than to yield to it. He was purposeful about walking the path God had laid out for him (v. 101). He rejected the evil path in order to preserve his mind and heart for the Word of God (v. 101). Because he obeyed God’s Word, he was bent toward righteousness and would retain his wisdom.

We look to mentors, parents and counselors to guide us, but sometimes they are unavailable. It’s far better to depend on God’s Word. Why is it important for us to study the Bible? When we study and obey, it keeps us from sin, gives us discernment and delights our souls. Whether we have a major emergency or a minor concern, God’s Word provides guidance for everyday life. Hopefully, you will consider what or who guides you.

Intentionally focused on urban and multicultural believers, YOU’s short, topical studies are culturally relevant with clear life-application components that challenge learners to live missionally as they connect, grow, serve, and ultimately be engaged in impacting the world for Christ. This flexible, non-dated 3-in-1 quarterly resource offers weekly Bible study for leaders and learners, devotionals and teaching plans, as well as articles on hot topics and missions. For additional online teaching resources, visit LifeWay.com/YOU.

Other ongoing Bible study options for all ages offered by LifeWay can be found at LifeWay.com/SundaySchool.

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  • Staff/Lifeway Christian Resources