Intellectual Social Emotional Physical Spiritual

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                              Part 6: Studying Scripture

Today, I'm finishing a series I started six weeks ago called ―Developing Habits That Will
Change Your Life.‖ The interesting thing about the word ―habits‖ when you hear the word,
typically, people go to the negative. Bad habits. ―I‘ve got to stop doing some things… I watch
too much TV… I drink too much … I smoke too much… I pass gas in confined spaces…‖ –
things like that. You think of bad habits. This whole series is about good habits, habits that will
change your life.

This week, I was at Taco Bell.I have a little booth there where I do a lot of my work. It‘s a
window seat. Out in the little Taco Bell courtyard, it looked like a seventh- or eighth-grade boy
was lighting what looked like his first cigarette. He really didn‘t know how to light the cigarette.
His friend was kind of poking at him and laughing at him, telling him you‘ve got to put it in your
mouth and actually puff on it to actually light it. I was watching the guy thinking, ―Here‘s a guy
who probably today is starting a habit that probably will – could – change his life… but not for
the better.‖ Forty years from now the kid‘s going to be smoking out of his neck and saying to his
buddy, ―I miss my lung!‖

Here today, we‘re talking about some habits that will change you for the rest of your life. The
thesis of this series has been this – that who you are at the end of your life is determined by the
commitments that you make and the habits that you develop.


   Intellectual     Social      Emotional     Physical              Spiritual
   STUDY            PEOPLE      PROCESS       WORKOUTS              HABITS
   SKILLS           SKILLS      SKILLS        NUTRITION             *Hanging out with God
                                                                    *Bible memorization
                                                                    *Involved with church body
                                                                    *Studying scripture

Every week at the top of your outline, I‘ve said habits are happening all the time. If you want to
grow in areas of your life, if you want to grow intellectually, you‘re developing study habits or
study skills. If you want to grow socially, you‘re learning people habits or people skills.
Emotionally, you‘ve got to learn how to deal with your emotions if you‘re going to get along
with other people. If you want to grow physically, you‘ve got to learn some nutrition habits or
some workout habits.

And if you‘re going to grow spiritually, you‘ve got to develop some spiritual habits. The whole
idea behind this is so that when you graduate from this ministry, you don‘t graduate from your

My dream is that you come back here, and when you come back, I ask you a simple question,
―Are you involved in a church? Are you growing in your faith?‖ your answer is yes. My dream
is that we would graduate people and when they go away to college, if they can‘t find a church,
they‘ll start a church. Because they learned how to grow on their own. Their spiritual growth
was not dependent on attending a program.
There are three key words I think of all the time as we teach – on your own. That‘s my goal. My
goal as one of your pastors is to help you learn to grow spiritually on your own. When you
develop these habits, you can do that.

If you haven‘t been or just kind of a quick summary: the ―H‖ – Hanging out with God. How do
you learn to hang out with God and develop that habit of spending time with Him? The ―A‖ is
Accountability. How can I be in an accountable relationship with somebody who will take me to
deeper places, who will hold up a mirror to me and say, ―This is the type of person you want to
be and this is who you are?‖ The ―B‖ in HABITS is Bible memorization. That you would take
some of the Bible and you would plant it in your life. You would memorize some parts of the
Bible so that God‘s word can be speaking to you 24/7 all the time. The ―I‖ in HABITS is
Involved in the church body. Not just here in the youth ministry, but in the church body. That
you‘re a part of the church with multiple gifts to offer to the church, that God uses your gifts to
build up the church. Last week we talked about the ―T.‖ That was Tithing. That was giving
back to God. It belongs to God anyway, and God blesses us when we give back to Him. When
He‘s got our money, He‘s got our heart.

Today the ―S‖ is that you would Study scripture. Or Scripture study. That it shouldn‘t be ―Oh,
yeah, I read the Bible.‖ But that you study the Bible and you understand it and you then apply it
to your life.

The famous philosopher Aristotle said, ―We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not
an act, but a habit.‖ That we are what we repeatedly do. That we develop these habits so that
when we graduate from here, we don‘t graduate from our faith.

So today what I want to talk a little bit about is why study the Bible.

Why study the Bible?

I realize that not everybody has the same view of the Bible that we might teach here at
Saddleback church.

Opposing views of the Bible
World’s view:                                            Christian view:
   a book about a bunch of dead guys and                       it‘s the history of God‘s power and
      irrelevant information that has nothing to                 his route for salvation, peace, &
      do with life in the 21st century                           happiness
   it‘s a history book                                         it‘s God‘s love letter
   it‘s a book of rules                                        it‘s a roadmap for living life to its

The world‘s view – a lot of people say, ―It‘s a book about a bunch of dead guys. It‘s irrelevant
information that has nothing to do with life in the 21st century. It‘s a history book. A book of
rules.‖ But there are some people who have had their life changed by the Bible, by God‘s word,
by God‘s love letter to us. We have redirected the course of our life based on what‘s in the
Bible. So we would have a different view. We would say, ―It‘s a history of God‘s power and
His route for salvation, peace and happiness. (Who doesn‘t want that!) It‘s a love letter. It‘s a
roadmap for living life to the fullest.‖ If you‘re a regular here at Saddleback, you‘ve heard me
say ―love letter‖ all the time. This is God‘s love letter to you and me.

A couple years ago, I moved, not a very big move, but doing so, you still had to move. In
moving, we found some old things that I had been hanging on to, some things from my
childhood. I found a box of like elementary, junior high stuff. In those were some love letters. I
had girlfriends in elementary and junior high schools that wrote love letters. The first girl I ever
loved was Jenny in the fifth grade. She was hot! I had only loved my mom and my grandma. I
had never kissed any other woman other than my mom and my grandma, and my grandma had a
mustache, so it was a lot like kissing a man.

I remember Jenny. The way you knew you had a boyfriend or girlfriend in the fifth grade is you
never asked them. You would tell your friend who would tell their friend who would tell them
then we would go to the movie room (we had movies back then. You‘d watch like science
movies and something like that.) You would sit next to each other in the movie room and if you
liked the person you were sitting next to, you‘d put your hand down and if they put their hand
down, then you would hold hands in the movie room, and that was how you were officially
―going out.‖

So we went out for a long time – at least three weeks. In doing so, there was a point at about
week two that I had to kiss her. It was the job of every fifth-grade male to do that if you had a
serious relationship like I had with Jenny. I didn‘t know how to kiss, so I practiced. I had a
pillow. The pillowcase was a Super Chicken pillowcase. (Has anyone ever practiced kissing,
just out of curiosity? We‘ve got a roomful of liars. Nobody will admit… okay, one guy. Has
anyone given their arm a hickey just to see if it works? Two girls. Most of you are lying. There
are arm-hickey-givers in here. I know there are. You want to see if it actually works. Can you
suck hard enough to burst blood vessels? Which is kind of a weird thing anyway that we think
that‘s cool. I was at McDonalds a few weeks ago with my eight-year-old. The girl working
there was like she‘d been dating Jaws or something. She had like a necklace of hickeys. My
daughter says, ―Dad, what‘s wrong with her neck?‖ ―She plays softball… She took a few
hardballs in the neck…‖ How do you explain that?)

So I'm walking Jenny home, and at the corner of her street- I‘d done this many times, but I knew
that this was the day I was going to give her a little kiss. I was so scared- I said to her, ―So do
you live down this street?‖ So stupid! She could tell I was nervous, and she leaned over and
gave me a little kiss, a little peck. Not a peach kiss and definitely not an alfalfa type kiss. Just a
peck. But inside I was going… ―Wow!‖ She walked away. I walked away. As soon as I
turned, I ran into the street sign! I didn‘t even feel it ‗cause I was skipping home.

But I have a love letter from her. I thought I would read it to you. ―Hi Doug, How you doing
lately? Haven‘t seen you since last recess. How you doing? I guess I‘m fine. Why haven‘t you
written me in a long time? Are you mad at me, by any chance? I hope not. Sorry if this is so
sloppy. So, how‘s school with you lately? We have a game today. I hope we win. But I don‘t
know cause we‘re not that hot. Oh, well. Do you have a game today? Only wondering. I better
go now. Nice talking to you. Bye. I love you. Jen.‖ And for some reason I kept that. When
you value the person, those words ―I love you‖ become very important.

This – the Bible – is God‘s love letter to you and me that says, ―I love you.‖ That little note
barely even makes sense, let alone can redirect the course of my life. But God‘s love letter can
and will redirect the course of your life. Why study the Bible?
Psalm 19 says, “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord [those
are the teachings] are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The commandments of the Lord are
right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight to life.” As
I looked at this passage over and over, here‘s what I wrote in my journal. Four descriptions,
three benefits. Just in these verses right here, there are four descriptions of God‘s word. Perfect
– Trustworthy – Right – Clear. Then there were three benefits: Revives the soul – Brings joy to
the heart – Gives insight to life.

Who wouldn‘t want that? It revives the soul, it brings joy to the heart, and gives insight to life.
It‘s something that makes a promise and delivers.

We love A&P. They‘ve become our friends. They‘re a neat place. But I bought some potato
chips there. The reason I bought the potato chips there is because it said, ―20% more.‖ I always
feel ripped off when I get potato chips because the bag looks big and then you open it up and all
the air leaves and there‘s like droppings at the bottom. I thought, ―Cool! Twenty percent more!‖
and I opened the bag and it was like two chips more. So that gave me twelve chips all together.
I was so disappointed in that!

But the Bible makes a promise. That it‘s perfect, trustworthy, right and clear, revives the soul,
brings joy to the heart, gives insight to life. That‘s a promise that delivers. Why study the
Bible? Let me give you some reasons to think about this week.

Why study the Bible?

1.   To understand God’s CHARACTER.

You want to know what God is like? You study the Bible. I realize that of 1,000 high school
students that will be here this weekend, not all of them know a lot about God. A lot of people
are checking out is there even a God? They have questions. But a lot of people that come here
this weekend, here‘s what they do. They have impressions about God that they‘ve heard from
other people. They haven‘t studied for themselves.

For example, our President is in the news this week. What do I know about this guy? I know
he‘s the President. I really don‘t know much about him. I read in a men‘s health magazine that
everyday he reads the One Minute Bible. I thought that was cool because I helped put the One
Minute Bible together. I thought that was cool – the President reads it. But I don‘t know
anything about this guy. My opinions that I have of him have been shaped by others, by the

A lot of us do that kind of thing with God. We believe there‘s a God, but our opinions are
shaped by other people. As opposed to our own investigation, finding out about God‘s character
and what‘s He like. Does He know you? Does He love you? Does He forgive you? What does
He offer you? What‘s God like?

One of the easiest ways to know about God‘s character is to study Jesus. When you study Jesus,
you study God. Jesus was the God man. Jesus said this in John 10 “The Father and I are one.
If you really knew Me, you would know My Father as well. Anyone who has seen Me has seen
the Father.” If you‘re here and you don‘t know anything about the Bible- you‘ve never studied
it before, you don't know where to read, you started at the front and kind of got lost- here‘s what
I encourage you to do. Go to a Bible, look at the table of contents and find the Gospel of John
and just start reading there. It‘s toward the back. Find out about Jesus. Study Jesus. You want
to know about God‘s character, what God is like, and not necessarily learning from other
people‘s opinions? Go right to His word, and you find out about His character.

I found a picture this week I thought was kind of funny – a guy with ear hair. This guy has 6-
inch ear hair. I see this picture of this guy, and I make a value judgment right away. That‘s
weird – that guy‘s got to be weird. But I don‘t know anything about him. To know about him, I
would need to pursue him. I would need to study his life. I would need to follow him around. I
would need to get to know him, if I wanted to know about him.

Why study the Bible? To know God‘s character for yourself, not just based on other people‘s

2.   To know God’s WAYS.

It‘s nice to know His character but now what about His ways? Because His ways and His
character are connected, and everybody‘s looking for a little direction. The question is if you
want the right direction. Not all directions you follow that the world gives are real clear. I
thought this sign was interesting: ―Secret Nuclear Bunker‖ (with an arrow pointing in that
direction.) Some decisions are confusing.

You study the Bible to know God‘s ways. The Bible makes it clear Psalm 119 says, “Your word
is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” You study the Bible to know His character, to
know His ways…

3.   To hear God’s VOICE.

This may seem weird to you. You say, ―I‘ve never heard God speak to me. I‘ve never heard an
audible booming voice.‖ What am I talking about here? Am I talking about an audible voice?
No. I'm talking about a small whisper in your heart. In the silence of the moment with you and
God‘s word that you sense His presence, that He puts an impression on your heart. Think about
this logically. Wouldn‘t the God who created you, who loves you, who pursues you, who‘s
constantly thinking about you, wouldn‘t He want to communicate to you? Yes. The Bible says
that the Bible is God‘s word. The Bible is not just a bunch of neat thoughts and ideas and quotes
and poems put together by humans and slap a binding on it. These are words that God has

2 Timothy 3 says, “All scripture is inspired by God…” Circle ―inspired.‖ Some of you, when
you look this up at home and you transfer your notes from today into your Bible, your translation
might read ―God-breathed.‖ That God breathed His words into that. That‘s what ―inspired‖
means. The Bible is like God‘s megaphone for His voice to get our attention. “All scripture is
inspired by God. It’s useful to teach us what is true, to make us realize what is wrong in our
lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in
every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.” Circle ―every way‖ and
underline ―fully equipped.‖

Why study the Bible? To hear God‘s voice.
A lot of times when I talk, I‘ll have one of you come up and share your story about maybe what
I‘m talking about, how it might relate to you, or something like that. Instead of asking a student
to do it, we asked one of our table leaders who‘s a lady who comes every week and many of you
know her. She‘s been involved in our volunteer staff for several years. I want you to hear her
story about how she studies the Bible and senses God‘s voice. Welcome Marla.

Marla: I did totally practice kissing in the eighth grade. Except it was on the mirror. I loved the
    marks it left! I‘m Marla. And I'm really glad and grateful to share with you how Bible
    study has absolutely changed my life and how it‘s made me relate to God much better.

    When I was in the seventh grade, I made a commitment to follow Christ. At that time, I was
    told that the Bible was very important in my walk with God. But it was not until years later
    that I really jumped in. Over the years, I have approached the Bible in many different ways.
    I have seen the Bible as a big textbook in which I was looking for answers. Sometimes I
    approached the Bible as ammunition, to show that you’re wrong and I'm right. I also
    approached the Bible as a history book. It didn‘t occur to me until much later that God
    could use the Bible to ask questions about me and my life. I began to approach the Bible
    much like one would in a new romance – lots of hope, anticipation and wonder. Questions
    like, ―What does He think of me? Does He care? Does He keep His promises? Is He really
    loving and very smart? How does He treat my friends and family?‖

    I started viewing the Bible really more romantically. As Doug often says, the Bible is His
    love letter to me. This new approach to the Bible totally affected my life. God‘s word
    became my anchor, and every time I turned to the Bible honestly seeking, God‘s word met
    me. The best way that I could explain how His word met me is to read some excerpts from
    journal entries that I‘ve written over the years. It seems a little bit risky for me because it‘s
    a real private thing between God and me, but it‘s the best way I can show that there‘s this
    relationship that has been built because of the Bible. That‘s been like the number one thing.
    That and prayer. So I‘m going to read excerpts from journal entries.

    This is written the day after Christmas, 1999- ―Lord, Your word tells me to seek You with
    all my heart. God, what does that mean to search for You? Will You show me how to seek
    You? I want to know how. I just read Psalm 68:19. That reminded me that You bear our
    burdens every day. God, my burden now is that my sons will look for You, that they will
    experience a deep relationship with You. I give that burden to You. Thank You. Thank
    You also for Your kindness.

    January 3- ―Lord, I'm sick and I just feel cruddy. I need to take my cue from David. In his
    Psalm 96, he tells me how to praise You.‖

    This was written on August 4. I knew I was going to go to Mammoth and be a camp
    counselor for 15 girls. I felt totally nervous and completely inadequate to do that. I wrote,
    ―Lord, I know You‘re faithful to all those You have made. You are faithful to all Your
    promises, for Your word tells me that in Psalm 145:18. You also tell me that You fulfill the
    desires of those who fear You and You hear our cry and You save us. Lord, I cry out to You
    now. I'm going to be a camp counselor for 15 high school girls at summer camp, and I
    cannot do this on my own; but You can.‖

    It was a great week. He totally met me.
     Most recently on December 19th, a very low point in my life, I found myself pouring my
     heart out to God. ―God, I have had to fill my mind with thoughts that You are powerful,
     You are creator of all, and yet You‘re personal, kind, and merciful. Yesterday, I clung to
     You as my only hope, the rock on which I hung on to while raging waters of sorrow,
     remorse, guilt, and fear threatened to drown me. I remember Isaiah 43:10 “When you cross
     deep rivers, I will be with you and you won’t drown and when you walk through the fire you
     won’t be burned or scorched by the flames.” That was my anchor point that I held on to.
     Thank You, God, for being my friend.‖

     January 24th, ―Dear God, I am so happy You hear us. I just got through reading Daniel
     10:12, and I was so moved. You told Daniel not to be afraid. You said, “Since the first day
     you have set your mind to gain understanding and humble yourself before your God, your
     words were heard and I have come in response to them.” The story totally reminded me
     that Your answers may be hindered by unseen obstacles and that I should not expect answers
     to come too early or too quickly. I‘m encouraged to pray with confidence knowing that You
     will answer at just the right time.‖

     This is honestly how God and I have connected regularly. He meets me in my uncertainty,
     my lack of control, my fear, and my sorrow; and He reminds me that He really does speak to
     me through His word. He really does meet me through His love letter.

     I know He feels the same about you. He wants to connect with you, and my prayer is that
     you‘ll let Him. Take a risk. Jump in like I did years ago. Make it a goal to approach God‘s
     word romantically and learn about His love for you. It has changed my life, and it‘s my
     prayer that it will change your life.

One of the things I love about Marla‘s testimony about hearing God‘s voice: it‘s not somebody
who just reads a verse here and there, but it‘s somebody who interacts with the scripture and
studies it and applies it to her life and hears God‘s voice.

You study the Bible to know His character, to know His ways, to hear His voice, and…

4.   To deepen your FAITH.

You can‘t have a deep faith without a constant diet of God‘s word. You can‘t. There are some
things I know to be true just in experiencing life. I know that if I was to jump off this stage, I
know that gravity is true. I may not be able to explain it all, but if I jumped off this stage, I'm
going to go down. I‘m going to fall. I'm going to hit with a thud and make some noise and
probably hurt myself. I know that to be true. There are some things you know to be true.

If a lady belly flops in the mud, she will get dirty. If a guy‘s belly flops in a pool, he will get
wet. It doesn‘t take much logic. The same is true here. It doesn‘t take a lot of logic to
understand that without a steady diet from God‘s word, you can‘t take your faith to deeper
places. I know there are many of you here, you don‘t come because your parents make you.
You don't come just because a friend invited you. Of all of our three services, this seems to be
the one that a lot of people come with great interest to learn. Just from the non-verbal
communication, this is one that I just feel that there are more learners in this service. It‘s a
smaller service, but there are more learners in this service than the others. You don‘t come here
to be the same. But you can‘t take your faith to a deeper level without God‘s word in it.
Acts 20:32- “And now I entrust you to God and the word of His grace, His message that is able
to build you up and give you an inheritance with all of those He has set apart for Himself.” It‘s
to build you up. What I love about the Bible is that it allows somebody as smart as Einstein to
struggle with it and somebody like Forrest Gump to understand it. We have equal access to
God‘s wisdom. God provides wisdom in His love letter that‘s accessible and will strengthen us
if we allow it to.

Finally, why study the Bible?…

5.   To change your LIFE.

That was Marla‘s testimony. It‘s changed her life. Hebrews 4:12- “For the word of God is full
of living power [circle ―living‖ – this is not like a dead book that something mysterious that I
can‘t fully understand, that God uses His written word that maybe thousands of years later can
speak right to you in this moment. It‘s His living power.] It’s sharper than the sharpest knife
cutting deep into the innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.”

Let me ask you a question. If I stabbed you, would it change your life? Think about it. If I
stabbed you, would it change your life? Yes. It would scar you, not only physically, but
probably emotionally. You‘d probably never want to come back to church. It would change
you. That‘s what this verse is saying. It‘s full of living power. It‘s sharper than the sharpest
knife. God‘s word is intended to change us.

I want to read you a very short story about a guy who knew the Bible way better than probably I
ever will. And it didn‘t change him. It‘s about the Prince of Granada. He was heir to the
Spanish crown. He was sentenced to life in solitary confinement in Madrid‘s ancient prison
called the Place of the Skull. The fearful, dirty, and dreary nature of the place earned it the
name. Everyone knew that once you were in, you would never come out alive. The Prince was
given one book to read the entire time – the Bible. With only one book to read, he read it over
hundreds and hundreds of times. This book became his constant companion. After 33 years of
imprisonment, he died. When they came in to clean out his cell, they found some notes he had
written using nails to mark the soft stone in the prison walls. The notations were as follows.
Psalm 118:8 is the middle verse of the Bible. Ezra 7:21 contains all the letters of the alphabet
except the letter ―J‖. The ninth verse in the eighth chapter of Esther is the longest verse in the
Bible. No name or word of more than six syllables can be found in the entire Bible. For all we
know about this prince, he never made any commitment to Christ or had any religious
experience, but he became an expert in Bible trivia.

It didn‘t change his life. He knew it better than all of us in this room. You have your choice of
how you address God‘s love letter. My challenge to you as we close out this series is that you
would develop this habit so that you would know God‘s character, you would know His ways,
you would hear His voice, it would change your life, and deepen your faith.

How studying the Bible can change your life

Look at the last verse in James 1:25. “If you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law [circle
―looking steadily‖], the law that sets you free, and if you do what it says [circle ―do what it
says‖] and don’t forget what you’ve heard, then God will bless you.” Circle ―God will bless
Let me close by giving you this last equation.

…looking steadily STUDY + do what it says OBEY = God will bless you REWARD

―Looking steadily‖ is study. Plus ―do what it says,‖ that‘s obey. Equals ―God will bless you.‖
That‘s a promise in scripture. You can count on that. That is reward. You‘ll be rewarded.

I always try in my message to give you some action steps. One of the ways to do this, because
there‘s so much to talk about here, we put it on this yellow sheet of paper – ―How to read the
Bible for all it‘s worth.‖ Just giving you some action of how you might study it. On the front
page, you see the bold black words under the word ―action‖ – prayer, humility (―God, I don‘t
know everything. Help me.‖) You read it. You write. You make some observations. You ask,
―What‘s confusing? What does the text mean?‖ You examine. Then you apply.

Those of you who are in small groups- about half of you are in small groups- we talk about this
all the time. How do you study the Bible for all it‘s worth? If you have questions, you can send
an e-mail. In the Habit Shack in the back, we have stuff – Bible studies and other things- that
can help you to learn to study the Bible on your own.

It‘s a lot to think about. A lot to think about as we close out this series. There‘s a lot of
information in this series. If you miss one and you‘d like to either hear the tape or see the notes,
let us know. Fill out a little card, and put it in the mailbox on your way out, and we‘ll get
something to you.

Let‘s pray together.
                                    Part 6: Studying Scripture
                                      Areas of life growth
                          Intellectual Social    Emotional  Physical            Spiritual
           STUDY                PEOPLE PROCESS   WORKOUTS    HABITS
           SKILLS               SKILLS    SKILLS    NUTRITION     *Hanging out with God
                                                                                                            *Bible memorization
                                                                                                            *Involved with church body
                                                                                                            *Studying scripture
                                                   Opposing views of the Bible

World’s view:                                                                     Christian view:
    a book about a bunch of dead guys and                                            it’s the history of God’s power and his
       irrelevant information that has nothing to do                                      route for salvation, peace, & happiness
       with life in the 21 century                                                    it’s God’s love letter
    it’s a history book                                                              it’s a roadmap for living life to its fullest
    it’s a book of rules

                                                         Why study the Bible?
             The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
        The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight to life.
                                                                 Psalm 19:7-8

1. To understand God’s CHARACTER
[Jesus speaking] The Father and I are one." I and the Father are one . . . If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.
Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. John 10:30

2. To know God’s WAYS

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

3. To hear God’s VOICE
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and
teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do. 2 Timothy

4. To deepen your FAITH
And we are confident in the Lord that you are practicing the things we commanded you, and that you always will. May the Lord bring
you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God and the endurance that comes from Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:4-5

5. To change your LIFE
For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes
us for what we really are. Hebrews 4:12

                                  How studying the Bible can change your life

     But if you keep looking steadily into God's perfect law—the law that sets you free—and if you do what it says
     and don't forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. James 1:25

…looking steadily STUDY + do what it says OBEY = God will bless you REWARD

But those who obey God's word really do love him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in him. 1 John 2:5
  One Last Thought: Mark Twain said, “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t
understand that bother me, it’s the parts that I do understand.” When you develop
  habits that will change your life, you’ll have the discipline and power to make
     God’s Word VISIBLE in your life…and you’ll never be the same again.