DIGGING INTO THE WORD OF GOD
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.”
As Jesus speaks to His disciples, and to us, His call to serious service focuses our attention upon the need for us to be ready for service. In the verses which follow He calls us to develop a commitment to readiness. This can mean an attitude of readiness to serve God and others, a prayerful life, believing the Gospel, loving one another, and diligent Bible Study. It is this last point that I want to focus upon here. Charles Spurgeon writes the following thoughts.
“We must not rest content with having given a superficial reading to a chapter or two; but with the candle of the Spirit, we must deliberately seek out the hidden meaning of the Word. Holy Scripture requires searching—much of it can only be learned by careful study. There is milk for babes, but also meat for strong men. The rabbis wisely say that a mountain of matter hangs upon every word, yea, upon every title of Scripture. Tertullian exclaims, “I adore the fullness of the Scriptures.” No man who merely skims the book of God can profit thereby; we must dig and mine until we obtain the hid treasure. The door of the Word only opens to the key of diligence. The Scriptures claim searching. They are the writings of God, bearing the divine stamp and imprimatur—who shall dare to treat them with levity? He who despises them despises the God Who wrote them. God forbid that any of us should leave our Bibles to become swift witnesses against us in the great Day of Account. The Word of God will repay searching. God does not bid us sift a mountain of chaff with here and there a grain of wheat in it, but the Bible is winnowed corn—we have but to open the granary door and find it.” —Charles Spurgeon (from “God-breathed Scripture (Free Grace Broadcaster Book 239)” by Charles H. Spurgeon, John Murray, Arthur W. Pink, Louis Gaussen, David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Thomas Boston, Charles Hodge, Benjamin B. Warfield, Wilhelmus a Brakel, Octavius Winslow)
For me the application of Spurgeon’s thoughts is that I am called to engage in all of the necessary work to prepare myself for the ministry of service that I am to engage in. Each and every Christian is called to bear fruit in the LORD’s service. John Miller in Outgrowing the Ingrown Church states that the place to begin is with our giving ourselves without reservation to the LORD, then to the work. This means first of all surrendering ourselves to the LORD’s leading, and work within us. In His Providence He is working out His plan in our lives. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). To step out in faith to do the work then involve in the first place diligent digging into the Scriptures. There is no substitute for the Spirit led persistent study of the Word of God. It is here that we find the treasures of God’s wisdom which will see us through the trials and tribulations of our lives. For me this has meant a year’s long commitment to the McCheyne Bible reading plan. It is amazing how many times this has yielded fruit in my life at just the right time. Secondly, the work requires dependant intercessory praying. Thirdly, I am called to seek to have grace filled conversations with those that the LORD brings into my life. At the heart of this call to readiness for service is a desire to be a person whose life has been the awareness that God’s purpose for all believers is that our lives be saturated with the Gospel of the LORD Jesus Christ. This is the personal relationship that the Word of God calls us to be living.