We have defined discipleship as an ongoing process of conforming to the image of Christ and obeying His commands and a disciple as a learner, apprentice, or student following after Christ. We know our goal is to makes disciples as we lead women. So, let’s consider the importance of studying God’s Word if we want women to grow as disciples who then go and make disciples.
Why is it so important to study Scripture?
- Jesus faced the devil during temptation with one thing—the Word of God! Check out Luke 4. We have to show women the importance of using the name of Jesus and Scripture to fend off the attacks we face continually from the enemy.
- To know how to obey God, we MUST know what He says. In order to know, we read and study His commands. Then, we ask Him how to apply them daily to our lives. We are to stand on and follow His truth to grow in our faith, even when we don’t “feel” like doing what it says. If women are not studying His word and seeking direction for their lives in Scripture first, they will follow what the culture tells them.
- What we put into reading, studying, knowing, and obeying the Bible determines what we get out of it. As a leader, are you modeling what that looks like? Do the women you serve know what you are studying and where God is convicting you of needed changes in your life? What you are learning in the Word should be contagious and encouraging to women who are seeking to grow as disciples.
When should we study Scripture?
- There is not one particular time of day that is right or wrong. For some, time in the Word is best in the morning, for others night time is when they can best focus. Or perhaps, it’s best during a quiet block of time at lunch or on a work break. Scripture tells us to seek Him early and to cry out day and night. (See Psalm 5 and Psalm 88.) We do see Jesus’ model as He spent time with His Father early in the day (Mark 1:35). We may spend more concentrated time at night in the Word, but we must also at least start our day dedicating the hours ahead to Him, perhaps by reading a devotional and Scripture passage that directs our steps ahead for the day. And even if we spend more time in the mornings, we should reflect back over and look at God’s direction throughout that day. Do we need to repent? Do we need to pray for rest during the night or pray for a need that came up during that day?
- We must also focus on His truth at all times. That is the “practicing His presence” principle. It is a continual acknowledgement of His sovereignty over our lives. Asking His direction in moment by moment actions, decision,s and words we say.
Next, we will begin to look at various methods of studying the Bible. The method is not as important as the continual discipline of studying the Word, but various methods will help women discover what is best for their current needs.