Reading God’s Word for yourself and studying it opens up incredible opportunities for God to speak to you directly. You have the Word itself which “teaches, rebukes, corrects and trains you” (2 Timothy 3:16) which is essential in every believer’s life.
But God gives you more. As you dig in and carefully study God’s Word for yourself, God responds with new insights into His Word that bring deeper understanding of God and God’s ways. These insights are God’s direct communication to you, for you.
Divine revelation comes as you read and study His Word, and is specifically for your benefit. This is how God addresses your specific need. As you study, God gives you what you need in divinely inspired revelation. God supplies all of your needs including special teaching and instruction that address any specific problem.
This is why studying the Word for yourself is so important. In studying the Word, and putting it into practice, a course is set for a lifestyle that reveals God and God’s glory to all people.
However, without studying the Word for yourself, you get no special insights into God and His Word that are specifically for you.
If you do not read the Word for yourself, and you get your spiritual teaching from other sources like books written by popular Christian personalities, or your favorite TV teacher, you will not recognize the subtle (or even not so subtle) differences or biases that your favorite Bible teacher or author may have.
So, read the Bible for yourself. Let God speak to you directly. In this way the integrity of God’s message is maintained. This is what God desires.
Depending on “other sources” limits what God can do through His Word for you.
Too many Christians are followers of Jesus through the teachings of favorite well-known pastors and their teachings found in their books.
It may very well be that the content of what these highly regarded leaders teach is good solid doctrine, but not necessarily so. Be aware that all writings by popular teachers are written by imperfect people. Be aware of the human influences that make their way into Christian teaching.
Consider the influences of doctrinal bias or relying on the weight of church tradition to interpret the Word. If this is the case, then their views are tainted as these influences are of human origin, and therefore flawed.
There is no substitute for the teaching and personal revelation that comes directly from God. The danger is that many Christians are not so much disciples of Jesus as they are disciples of their favorite Bible preacher, teacher or writer.
In the Bible, a disciple is defined as a “learner or pupil.” When you spend more time reading and studying the teachings of these famous Christian pastors than you do reading and studying God’s Word itself, then you become a disciple of the one your are reading.
Whose insights and revelations are you really interested in? Who do you quote when discussing the things of the faith? “So-in-so says…” Who do you rely on for direction and guidance? Where do you get the solutions to your problems? From God or your favorite Bible teacher?
The church has been hurt terribly by the fact that few Christians actually read and study the Bible for themselves, and in the process have been denied the full benefit of the Word and God’s special insights, revelation and care.
I have a suggestion for you. Start reading the Word daily. Go on Amazon and get a copy of “The Daily Walk Bible” in the NLT version. It is easy to read and has very good commentary. It is divided up into daily reading that get you through the Bible in a year. I absolutely guarantee that you will get more out of this than the very best book written by your favorite Bible teacher.
Give God the chance to speak to you directly. Read, study and learn the Word, and then when you read the books of these famous preachers, you will know if what they are teaching is from God or tainted by humanly devised doctrines or church tradition.
Read the Word! Be a disciple of Jesus!
Have a great day!
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