(2 Timothy 2:15 NIV) Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
We live in what is humorously referred to as the information age. Everything, it seems, revolves around who has the best, newest and coolest information. Prosperity, position and power all depend upon it and those who possess it usually find themselves in control of their lives.
We are inundated with all sorts of information. Television, the Internet, radio, telephones, newspapers, books, magazines, email, newsletters and e-books surround us. If you want information on something you can usually find it within a few clicks or phone calls or channel flips.
The problem is sifting through all this stuff in order to find something that is meaningful or valuable. This sorting process is called data mining. Miners dig through dirt and rock to find precious metals and gems. Likewise, by digging through all the meaningless information we can find the precious information.
The average person feels cold shivers running down their spine whenever you suggest that they should study the bible. There are hundreds of reasons why it can’t or shouldn’t be done. The ancient languages, the context of the writer’s culture, the words referring to things that no longer exist. It is a daunting task. But, hey, life is filled with daunting tasks. Learning to drive a car, grasping the concepts of algebra or geometry, figuring out that spouse, learning how to balance a checking account, the list goes on and on. Every big project is overwhelming before we know how to handle it.
Oddly enough the bible contains information about not only this world but the next one. Suppose you were going to take a trip to a foreign country. Wouldn’t you get some information on that country? Wouldn’t you want to learn a little about the language and the customs? After all, you don’t want to say or do the wrong thing and offend the locals. Each of us would seek information to varying degrees but we would seek it. If we didn’t we would find ourselves lost in a foreign land. And that is exactly where many Christians find themselves today.
Christians lazily accept whatever the preacher tells them from the pulpit. They take few notes and read very little literature. When they do make the sacrifice of note taking and bible reading they don’t utilize critical thinking skills to analyze the information that they have. The result is that we have a potpourri of pious paupers populating our pews. One thing is for certain, if we don’t desire gold and we don’t seek gold we won’t attain gold. If you knew that there was gold in your back yard how hard would you work to dig it out?
(1 Peter 1:23 NIV) For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.