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A Light to my Path

Guidelines for Using the Bible - Benefits of Using the Bible Properly

True happiness is to be found in the ways of God. "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.  Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart." (Psalm 119.1-2) The precepts, statutes and commandments of God are found in the Bible, which is the written word of God. How are we to approach the Bible as the Word of God? Here are some guidelines.

Guidelines for Using the Bible

Recognize your Need. We are to come to the Bible recognizing our need of God's Word and Spirit. "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." (Psalm 119.18)

Think About what you Read. We are not to be satisfied just to read the Bible but are to think about what we read, "chewing it over". ("meditate", literally, "chew over". Psalm 1.2) "I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways." (Psalm 119.15)

Believe the Bible's Teachings. We are not to be content to read the Bible and to think about what we have read we must also receive its teachings as the authoritative Word of God and rely upon them with humble faith. "So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in thy word." (Psalm 119.42)

Love the Word of God. We are not only rely upon God's word we are to love it. It is the word of salvation. "I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word." (Psalm 119.16)

Purpose to Keep God's Precepts. Those who truly believe the teachings of the Bible and love the Word of God will have a desire to obey its precepts and will purpose to keep them. "Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.  Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart." (Psalms 119.33-34)

Put into Practice what you Read. Though we hide God's Word in our hearts we are not to hide it in our lives. Our conduct must show that we belong to Christ and we must not be ashamed to speak out concerning the teachings of the Bible. "With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth." (Psalms 119.13)

We can see that it is worthwhile to use the Bible in this way by looking at the benefits of using the Bible properly and living according to its teaching.

Benefits of Using the Bible Properly

You will have the Light of Life. The words of scripture are a light that shines in a dark place. They teach us about Jesus Christ the Light of the World. They bring light into our hearts and give us an understanding of heavenly things. The mere opinions of men, their illusions and mistaken notions have filled the world with darkness. The truth shines as a light so that we do not lose our way. "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple." (Psalm 119.130) It is the scriptures that show to us the only way of salvation, which is through faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour that God has sent.

You will have Strength to live a Godly Life. The scriptures are given to us so that we can lead better lives. The Bible shows us the wrong in our lives so that we stop doing such things. It also shows us what is good behaviour so that by God's help we can do what pleases him. "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word." (Psalm 119.9)

You will have Comfort and Encouragement. The writer of Psalm 119 also found that God's words comforted and encouraged him. A person who has peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ knows that he has nothing to fear. He or she can hope in God. "Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope.  This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me." (Psalms 119.49-50)

To Remember

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119.105)

Words to Learn

Undefiled, testimonies, precepts, statutes, meditate, authoritative, illusions, notions, quickened.

Questions to Answer

1. Where is true happiness to be found?

2. Where do we find God's statutes?

3. Complete the following sentences.

a) We are to come to the Bible recognizing our need of _______ and _______.

b) The Word of God is the word of _______.

c) "Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall _______ it unto the end. Give me _______, and I shall ________ thy law; yea, I shall _______ it with my _______ heart." (Psalms 119.33-34)

4. Where are we to hide the Word of God?

5. What is  God's Word like?

6. What is the advantage of a spiritual light?

7. What does the Bible show us about our lives?

8. Why does the believer find the Bible comforting?

Things to Do

Here is an exercise in code breaking. The table below shows the Hebrew and the Greek letters that correspond to our alphabet. See if you can decipher the Greek words and the Hebrew words given below the table.

ENGLISH

HEBREW

GREEK

a

a 

a

b

b

b

c

 

 

d

d

d

e

a  at times

e, h

f

 

 

g

g

g

h

h

 

i

y.

i

j

 

i

k

k

k

l

l

l

m

M  m

m

n

n

n

o

w

o   w

p

p

p

q

q

 

r

r

r

s

S v o u

s

t

j

t

u

 

 

v

 

 

w

w

 

x

 

x

y

y

u

z

z

z

th

 

q

ph

 

j

ch

x

c

ps

 

y

'

a

 

'h

e

 

 

Decipher these familiar Greek words by inserting the English letters.

cristos, qeos, 'israhl, 'ierousalhm, 'iordanhs, 'iwshf, markos,

paulos, samaria, timoqeos.

Decipher these familiar Hebrew words remembering to read from right to left. You also have to guess some vowels.

Mda    mhrba    Mwlsba    blk    hrs   Mhlt'b    hs'la

Finding Out for Yourself

The Book of the Christian Faith is the Bible. See what you can find out about the books of other religions.

Essay Titles

Things that give light.

Bible passages I have enjoyed.

A Psalm to Sing

Blessed are they that undefil'd,

     and straight are in the way;

Who in the Lord's most holy law

     do walk, and do not stray.

Blessed are they who to observe

     his statutes are inclin'd;

And who do seek the living God

    with their whole heart and mind.

Such in his ways do walk, and they

     do not iniquity.

Thou hast commanded us to keep

     thy precepts carefully.

O that thy statutes to observe

     thou would'st my ways direct!

Then shall I not be sham'd, when I

     thy precepts all respect.

          Psalm 119.1-6