"Learning The Word"
I purchased a new cell phone last week. It is considerably different from the one I had used the past two years. Because I am technologically challenged, the transition to the new phone has been traumatic. I have missed several calls because I was struggling to get the thing free from the clip on my belt. To make matters worse, it is a touch screen phone. Since I have fat fingers, it usually doesn’t stop where I want it to stop or I touch more than one symbol. The manual that came with it would be helpful, if I understood it. It would also help if the writing was large enough to read without a magnifying glass. With the problems I have all ready had, I tremble at the thought of what is going to happen when I attempt to send an email or go on line using it.
Despite the frustration it has caused me, I will continue to use it. In time I will become more familiar with it and it will become a great asset in my ministry. I see similarities between my struggle with my new phone and a new Christian’s struggle with the Bible.
We, who have been Christians for years, expect too much from the person who has recently become a Christian. This is especially true if we were raised in the church and had the benefits of childhood Christian education. We remember well the Bible stories we were taught in Sunday school or in our homes. We may have participated in Bible drills, where we memorized the books of the Bible and the key passages in them. When we finally came to the point of asking Christ to come into our hearts and to be our Savior and Lord, we were all ready on our way to feeling comfortable with the Bible.
This scenario is not true for many who come to the Lord today. Often, people come out of backgrounds where there was no reference to the Scriptures. Someone had shared the simple message of the Gospel with them; God had moved in their hearts; and they had asked Him to enter into their lives. At that point, they may not have known the difference between the Old and New Testament. Names like Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, etc. meant nothing special to them. To simply hand someone like this a Bible and to say read it every day is not enough. It is a daunting
What this person needs is for someone to come along side and to help them learn to navigate the pages of the Scripture. He/she needs someone who will take nothing for granted, who will patiently assist the new believer become versed in Scripture. With assistance, the new believer will become more comfortable going it alone. When discouragement comes, we need to be there to encourage and assure the new believer of the importance of the Scripture in the life of a believer. Most important, we need to model the truths of the Scripture in our own lives.
While having someone to assist a new believer in becoming comfortable with Scripture is important, it is not always possible. However, the believer has a personal tutor. When we accept Christ, His Spirit comes to dwell in our hearts. His Spirit becomes our tutor. If we are faithful to continue in the Word, in due time it will come alive for us and we will see its importance in our lives. We will understand the truth of II Timothy 3:16, 17: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”