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How Much Time is Enough for Personal Bible Study?

February 21, 2020


– My devotional times serve to the end that I would live well,
that I would know God, and reflect that knowledge in my living. (electronica beat music) – Well welcome again to
the Straight Truth Podcast. I’m your host, Josh
Philpot, and as always, we’re glad you’ve joined
us for this episode. Now we would really love to hear from you. So if you would like
to make an observation or ask us a question, just leave that in the Comments section below this video. Now remember, Straight Truth
is a listener-supported podcast and if you would like to
help us produce this podcast, go to our Website, StraightTruth.net. Also on the Website, you can find links to all of our social media channels like Facebook and Twitter,
so be sure to subscribe to one of those, and go to
the Podcast section of iTunes and leave us a review. All right pastor, our next question is a listener question from Michael and it has to do with
personal Bible study. He asks, “How much time is
enough for personal Bible study?” I imagine he means daily. He says he has several devotionals that he reads and
listens to on YouVersion. You actually have a
devotional on YouVersion that’s out there, and he also listens to a couple podcasts. “All in all, I easily
spend about three hours “reading and listening to my
devotionals and scriptures.” So I’m assuming that he has scripture interlaced with this too, not
just devotionals and podcasts. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. “Do you think I spend too
much time, or not enough time, “or is it just enough? “Sometimes,” he says, “I feel overwhelmed, “like I spend too much
time, but then if I don’t “read or listen to all the programs “and read the devotionals, …” He feels guilty. “How do I know what to do?” – In all honesty, I don’t know
I can answer that for him, as far as does he spend too much time or not enough time, or just right. That’s an individual issue. I mean, each one of us has to weigh that. Given our life circumstances, given the time available
to us, and all the rest, I would say, though, that
you do need to remember what your personal times of
worship and study are for. Why am I doing this? And it’s about the worship
of God on an individual basis individual level. But it’s also so that I might
leave my devotional room and go out into the world and live it, and be mindful of these things as I go out and live for Christ. Study is one aspect of the Christian life. It’s not the whole of Christian life. When you think about all that
the Word of God addresses, it’s amazing. I mean, serving Christ
is about being a husband, for me, today. It’s about being a father. It’s about being a grandfather. It’s about being a pastor. It’s about being a citizen. It’s about being a whole host of things. It’s about how to manage money. It’s about, “What do I
do with entertainment?” All sorts of things are
addressed in the scriptures with respect to our living, so my devotional times serve to the end that I would live well,
that I would know God, and reflect that knowledge in my living. So I would examine my
personal devotion times in that context. If I just wanna hole myself up in a room and spend hours, and hours, and hours, well, where’s the living part of this? If I just want to get up in
the morning and, you know, sort of take a taste of a
verse and walk out the door, then where is the knowledge part of this? And so trying to balance
those two aspects. And if you look throughout
the history of the church and you listen to various
testimonies about what people do, it’s all over the place. I mean, some men spend hours and hours, and some didn’t spend as long. So I don’t know that I can answer the question for him, definitively. You’re too much or not enough? I would say try to weigh
those things in your thinking as you think about what you’re doing. – So if we leave aside
the question of time, what is involved, or in your opinion, what should be involved
in personal devotion? – Prayer.
– Okay. – The reading of scripture. The thinking about scripture so we can say the study of scripture. And then a commitment in my heart to live what I’ve just studied. And then to meditate on these things as I walk throughout the day. The Word of God is meant to
be the pathway for my feet. So I don’t leave it behind when I leave my devotional room. And we have so many things
available to us, today. They’re such a blessing. I mean, you can listen to
scripture on your drive to work. Listen to sermons during
your breaks, if you wanted. So I wouldn’t put myself
under a load of guilt that says, “Every free moment I have, “if I’m not spending it in “that which is overtly
devotional in nature, “listening to sermons,
somehow I’m failing?” The whole world is a
sanctuary, in a sense. All of life is worship. Worship is acknowledging the worth of God and I can acknowledge
God’s worth in enjoyments, in pleasures, as long as I’m thinking about those things, rightly. So I think we take a multi-colored world that God has made and sometimes we wanna make it monochrome. We try to turn worship into one thing. – Oh sure, yeah.
– Instead of realizing the variety that God,
Himself, built into it. One of the things I love
is I contemplate heaven our everlasting future
in the presence of God because I know it’s going
to be full of variety. Because show me one thing that
God has ever made that isn’t. So it is His very nature
to explode what He does with His beauties. And so I think the same is
true with our devotional life. We need to realize the variety that’s possible for us, there. – Yeah, and I like what you said about even listening to the
Bible on the way to work, or maybe getting pieces
of it, here and there. And in Donald Whitney’s book, “The Spiritual Disciplines
of the Christian Life,” he calls that daily Bible intake, and I always liked that phrase because it’s as if we go about our day just thinking however we can
get the Word of God in us, would be reflected in our lives, and would be a personal devotion,
in one sense or another. – I agree. Naw, I think that’s exactly right. So how can I get the
Word of God into my life? And there are varieties of
ways that I can do that. But it’s that daily Bible intake, as Don Whitney talks about, is vital. – Okay.
– And you see that in scripture, itself. – Yep, all right. Thanks again for joining
us for this episode of the Straight Truth Podcast. Now if you have a question or
you would like to contribute to the discussion on this topic, leave that in the Comments
section below this video. Now Straight Truth is a production of Walking In Grace Ministries, the preaching and teaching ministry of Pastor Richard Caldwell. For more information, go
to WalkingInGrace.org. (electronica beat music)

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