Dr. Joel Hastings
Pastor Joel has been serving as the lead pastor of Community Bible Church since August off 2018.
Hello. My name is Joel Hastings and the pastor here at community Bible church in Brooksville, Florida. And, I wanted to start a little series an online series today, that I'll just have a few extra videos in, specifically about how to study our Bible, because I know it's just one of those questions that of course every Christian wants to be able to study their Bible, study their Bible more.
For so many of us, we open up our Bible, we take a look at it, we read a few verses. We read that chapter a day and then we close it. And we were like, I didn't really get anything out of that. And I think that's a shame because whenever we have access to this, whenever we read this, it should be as Hebrews chapter four says, a piercing sword that cuts down to our soul and Spirit. And, and so that is the thing that should be happening. So whenever it's not happening, what we just should look out and say, why isn't that happening? And how can we get better at studying our Bible? How can we get better at just understanding it? And so we don't feel like it's just a check mark, a check box, just to a check-off and feel like you you've done your good deed for the day, but it's actually something that is spiritually enriching towards us. And so we're going to be starting today and then I'll be putting out a few extra videos as the weeks go on here with this specific topic in mind. And so the very first thing that we need to take a look at is whenever we open up our Bible, It cannot be underestimated the value of prayer.
Pray, pray, pray.
Now you might be saying, okay, okay. I know this, I got this. Of course you're supposed to pray and read your Bible and they go, yeah. Tell me something. I don't know already, Joel, but listen, this is something that's so quickly we discredit or we say. Quick prayer. And usually that prayer, if we do pray, is often still centered on us instead of centered on God and trying to get to know God and our prayers, just to, for us to understand God better.
We are in my church here at Community Bible Church. We've been going through the book. Ephesians. And we just finished up a beautiful prayer, by the apostle Paul in Ephesians chapter one, a great reference here. It reminded me of another wonderful prayer in Colossians chapter one, that Paul also prayed. Let me read a few verses out of Colossians chapter one for us one verse nine, it says.
And so from the day we heard we have heard, we have not cease to pray for you. All right. So Paul was a man of prayer, everywhere that he went, every person that he knew, it seems like he was always praying for them giving thanks for them, being happy for them, but also praying something for them. And he goes on. He says, I have not ceased to pray for you asking that you may be.
Filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him and bearing fruit as it goes on from there. So he says, I have this prayer for you and that you would be. Full of the knowledge of him and his will. Now, how do we get full of the wisdom of God?
Well, it's simply by reading the Bible. God, we don't have to search. We don't have to go find some old man on top of a mountain to figure out what the will of God is for our life. He is already written us a letter that's that lays out everything that we need to know to live a godly life is what scripture says.
And so we don't have to look anywhere else, but instead we need to look at Scripture, but notice here. Paul's prayer was that they would be filled with the knowledge of as well. And so there is still strong connection between reading your Bible and trying to get deeper knowledge and deeper understanding of God and his will both for your life specifically and also for this world.
And, and for everybody that we comes across, there's such a connection between that and the prayer, because every time that it. It seems like Paul prays and all these pixels, he's always asking for similar things. He's always asking for that the recipients receive a deeper faith, that they would know God better, that they would be able to live out their faith and walking them in are worthy.
All of that is only gonna happen through actually studying and reading the scripture and studied and looking at Jesus Christ. But Paul, didn't just say to them, like, may make sure you stay on your Bible, but he's praying over them that their walk and their understanding would grow deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper.
And I truly believe that if Paul was around today, he would have the same prayer for you, that your faith would become deeper. And you would look at it and say, okay, well I need to read my Bible. Yes, but you can't fully understand it without. Praying over it as well, because this is a supernatural book. Of course, an atheist can read it and they have, and they can learn about historical events because it's accurate.
And all of those stories are a hundred percent accurate. They can read and understand it at an intellectual level, but they'll never be able to read it and understand it at a heart level. If you do not first pray over it and seek the Holy spirit to aluminate. Because that is one of his jobs is to illuminate the scripture.
So as you are reading it, it starts to become alive. And I don't know about you, but if you there's been so many times in my life where I have read over a passage, I write over a story that I have read over a hundred times before and something just jumps off my page. And I say, I never noticed that before that, that, that just is so illuminated that that's just really mind changing mind blowing here.
Well, that's the Holy grail. Spirit, that's drawing certain things out, join certain words or certain phrases that, that he knows that you need in that moment, because the scripture is clear that the word of God is never going to return back void. All right. And so if it's feeling like it's void in your life, that's not scripture's fault.
That is something that's wrong with our heart right there and how we overcome this is to pray. And so what does that practically look like? Well I encourage every single one of us, every, every Christian to have a time set aside every single day, to be able to read and study your Bible, just consistency, just making that a goal, whether you feel like it, or whether you don't always have that time set aside and we'll get into more of that in later videos.
But before we even open up your Bible, if you want to open it up and then have it open on your lap or whatever, but before we start reading it, take time and just say, Lord. Please reveal this word to me, Lord. I know it. It's true. I know it is Holy and I know it is. You have something in it for me. And so Lord, please give me the eyes to see open up the eyes of my heart, that I would be able to.
See and believe and understand your word and a more clear and better way than I ever have before, and then helped me be able to trust it and help me be able to do it. If you just pray this prayer and it doesn't have to be that exact prayer or that exact words. In fact, I hope it isn't. I hope it's something that you put in, in your own voice and in a way that you would naturally say it, but that you are praying right.
For number one, that you would be able to understand it that you would be able to recognize what it's saying and just have a clear understanding about the message that's being portrayed, but then as well, that you would also have the ability to obey it and the ability to go out and do it because God doesn't want us just to understand it.
And then it not impact anything, but in the collagen's the verses that I just read, he's like, I want them to know. The the, the deep knowledge of God's will so that they might walk in a manner worthy of that calling because everything that we understand intellectually should impact us. And that's another way that shows, if you are fully comprehending scripture is if your.
Reading it, but your life doesn't match up to what it's reading is. There's some type of disconnect there. And so we need to be praying that we understand it. And then that God also gives us the ability and that we would have the obedience to also follow it, that we would live it out. And then I always like to just say things.
Lord because it is something he did not have to do, do it because he good and loving. And so I always want to say, God, please reveal yourself to me. God, help me obey your word. And then Lord, just thank you so much, Saint you so much for giving me this because without it, I would be so lost without you Lord.
And that is the prayer. Those are the things. Key components I believe. And once you start to pray that I think even that small little adjustment will start to change your quiet time, start to change your devotions and start to really change your life. As the scripture just becomes, starts to be alive.
Now that's just step number one. There's many more steps. If you really want to take a deep look and try to understand the Bible, like never before. But you cannot, cannot underestimate the value of prayer. All right. That's what I have for you here today. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel. And even if you hit that little bell icon there, it will give you a notification.
Whenever we put out one of these videos as well. So you can just make sure that you don't miss anything. Have a blessed day.
**Automatic transcription above. We apologize for any typo's or errors. **
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Dr. Joel Hastings
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