I'm terrible at studying the Bible. Really, I am. I'm working on it! I'm trying to improve! I'm trying to tell myself that, while an education in Greek and Hebrew may be helpful, they're not required, so I should just hunker down and get into the Word. No excuses. So I'm totally going to do my study.
Right after I watch this episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer...
But now my husband and I lead a small group. As in, we're kind of in charge. And our group is really trying to hold each other accountable for stuff. As in, if someone doesn't do their study, someone gets all up in their grill and says, "Why didn't you do your study?" Instead of just ignoring it and hope they get it done the next week. Which is far more comfortable. Easier.
Being a leader, though, means I definitely have to get mine done. There's no two ways about it. I need to study the book of John like it's my job. Like I get paid by the hour to learn about Jesus.
So I did my study last week. It was an in-depth look at John 1:1-18. We're using the LifeChange study guide to John. If you've never tried the LifeChange series, I highly recommend it, especially if you want to learn how to do a study without having to use a book every time. It's a good starting place.
I did the study. Even the life application questions, which I've always considered optional. Very, very optional. I even learned a passage! "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was there with God in the beginning. Everything was made through him. Without him, nothing would be made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:1-5
And I totally just did that from memory! If you don't believe me, you can look it up since I'm sure it's not 100% correct because I rarely memorize scripture unless I'm told to.
If you've never read that passage before, "the Word" is Jesus (it says so in verse 17). One of the questions the study guide asked was, "What does it mean to you that Jesus took part in Creation?"
Hmm. I never thought of that before. Jesus is the Savior in my mind. Jesus isn't the Creator.
But he is.
This means Jesus knows how many hairs are on my head. He knows why my pancreas acts up. He knows how many of those little white flecks I have on each of my fingernails and how they got there.
He knows that I don't love to read my Bible 24/7. He knows that in college I used to swear like a sailor's little sister. He knows that I haven't always been an upstanding citizen.
He knows me inside and out.
And he was willing to die for me. Me. This awful, selfish me that I am 99.9% of the time. He was willing to sacrifice his life knowing all the worst things about me.
And he's willing to believe the best things about me. He's willing to give me chance after chance. Willing to say, "I'm sure she'll read her Bible tomorrow. Yes, I'm sure she will." He doesn't give up on me.
This gives me a whole new perspective on Christ's death.
And all because I actually did my for once.