The Devotional Life: Studying God’s Word

2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Part of being faithful in the place of devotion is being in silence and reading scripture. The reason is because prayer is a two-way street. It is more than just us talking to God, but also God speaking to us. This can be audibly, through dreams or visions, or through reading the Bible. The best way to read the Word is not to read four chapters a day and try to get it all in throughout one year. It is take it verse by verse or chapter by chapter and break it down to where you understand it and receive fresh revelation from God about Him.
In order to live it out, we must read it. The only way that you can approve who you are in God is by studying the Bible.
In order to really grasp every nugget from God’s Word, it is important to understand both the literary and historical context of the scripture. The literary context revolves around breaking down the verses in its original language, as well as read the verses before and after the text so that nothing is taken out of its original meaning. One way this can be done is by finding the right definitions of the various words in a passage of scripture by going to the original Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic translations.  The second way is by looking at the verses before and after a particular verse so that nothing can be taken out of context.

For example, Romans 5:20 says, “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound”. Someone may read that and be convinced that because they have encountered the grace of God, they are free to sin and do whatever they please. However, one must understand its true meaning by reading Romans 5:21-6:2, it says, “21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. 1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” The Apostle Paul explains here that grace does enable us to continue in sin, but rather that it is a pathway to be righteous before God. Therefore, Romans 5:20 indicates that although we may be in a great deal of sin, God can forgive and save us, bringing us to a place where we are truly thankful for His grace being at work in our lives.

The historical context is centered upon everything historically that is tied in with a passage of scripture, which includes such aspects as the time period in which it was written, who authored it, the location of where the events took place, and the culture of that particular area.  For example, In John 2:1-11, people take the first miracle of Jesus, which is when He turned water into wine, and argue that it is alright to drink. However, by analyzing this historically, this is not even close to what it means. It shows that when Jesus gets in the arrangement of things, He brings a total transformation, creating something out of nothing. Also, He saves the best for last! The fact of the matter is that in Jesus’ day, in the culture of Passover, wine was mixed with three parts water, meaning that the wine was practically tasteless. Two types of wine exist: fermented (alcoholic) and unfermented (grape juice). It takes time for wine to ferment, and in this story, the wine could not ferment. According to Dr. Perry Stone, one would have to drink 21 glasses of wine the way that it was made in Jesus’ day to equal the alcohol content of two martinis ( Therefore, by looking at the historical context, it is easy to conclude that the purpose of this miracle was not to give people a license to  get drunk, but rather to prove that He has the power to change everything!