March 22nd Devotion

Why You Must Study the Word for Yourself
By Courtnaye Richard

“Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” - 2 Timothy 2:15

When you study the Word, this pleases God. Study the Scriptures for yourself. Learn to rightly divide it. The Holy Spirit will help you. This way, you won’t teach error to someone else or be deceived when someone else is teaching it to you. Reader…pay attention. We are indeed living in the last days, and the Bible warns us that there will be many false teachers among us teaching error, empty philosophies, man-made traditions, false doctrines, and leading many astray.

Colossians 2:8 alerts us saying, “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.” And Jesus told the religious Pharisees, “And why do you, by your own traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?” (Matthew 15:3) There are too many who are teaching and preaching their own agendas, false doctrines, and causing many to reject Christ because they themselves cannot live out what they preach or say.

So…in order to NOT be deceived, you have to read the word of God and study it for yourself. You are not alone. Remember, the Holy Spirit will guide you. He will lead you to the right people who will teach you the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And He will give you knowledge, understanding, wisdom and revelation when you pray and ask for it. Sometimes, the Lord will just supernaturally give you revelation knowledge of His word in one sitting!

I LOVE it when that happens!

I echo the words of Beth Moore who writes in her book Children of the Day, “We are blessed to have limitless opportunities to study under many pastors and teachers but, if we do not go diligently to the Scriptures for ourselves, the question is not whether we’ll be deceived, but how often.”

So I beckon you, as we await the return of Christ, DO NOT just go sit and hear a word from someone, and not take the time to go back home and study it out for yourself. It’s totally okay. Remember the opening verse 2 Timothy 2:15. Also, in the book of Acts this was written, “And the people of Berea were open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” (NLT) And they were! Praise God! Because there are great teachers, preachers, televangelists, bloggers, and authors who are teaching the truth.

But then Peter comes back to say, “…those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction. I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:16-17 – NLT) So be on guard.

The major point here is that it’s okay for you to make sure that you are not being deceived in this last hour. Because some words are true and some are taught in error. Some words are genuine and some are twisted. Pray for spiritual discernment (meaning knowing the difference between right and wrong, truth from error).

Now, before I close this very important post, I need to tell you why this point is so crucial for today. It’s a dangerous thing because wrong teaching, man-made doctrines, or incorrect instruction of God’s word will cause many to disobey God’s actual word, yield to man’s viewpoint or doctrine over what Scripture states clearly (which Jesus warned about earlier), and ultimately fall away from the faith. It’s dangerous to your spiritual health and others when you don’t study the word for yourself. So I encourage you to be sober and alert.
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