One of the great joys of life for a born-again believer is to learn and to grow in God’s Word. From His Word we learn about God, His will, and how to carry out His will day by day. We study it so that we can rightly divide the Word of Truth. In II Timothy, we see the kind of effort God wants us to put forth as workmen who study His Word. God exhorts us to study His Word, exerting a diligent effort and utilizing our time wisely.
II Timothy 2:15:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
A clear understanding of the first word in this verse, “study,” can help direct our efforts as workmen of God’s Word. The word “study” in the Greek is spoudazō. The depth of the meaning of spoudazō is to expend a diligent effort, remembering the brevity of time. Notice that there are two points emphasized. God is telling us (1) to exert an effort earnestly, diligently and (2) to utilize our time wisely. Let’s consider these two points.
How can we exert an earnest and diligent effort in our study? We can arrange a quiet place to study where there will be minimal distractions. A comfortable spot with good lighting and a supportive atmosphere is helpful. We can also set a time when we know interruptions will be less likely. First thing in the morning may work well, or perhaps in the evening. The important thing is that we choose a time when we can focus on studying God’s Word.
Planning what we are going to study and setting goals of what we want to learn will also help us put forth a diligent effort. One form of study is to simply read the Bible. Understanding comes when we read diligently with careful consideration. Some people have enjoyed using a plan to read the whole Bible in one year. Another form of study is to pick a topic or a word and trace its uses throughout the Bible. This takes diligent effort but will yield rich treasures of understanding for the workman of the Word.
A goal might be to search in the Church Epistles (Romans through Thessalonians) for uses of our God-given sonship rights (i.e., righteousness, sanctification, redemption, justification, and the ministry of reconciliation). Another goal could be to learn about the “great mystery” (Ephesians 5:32) revealed in the Church Epistles. Whatever we want to learn, God’s Word has treasures awaiting discovery for those who diligently seek them.
How can we utilize our time wisely when we study? Time is valuable and we want to spend it wisely, making the most of our study time. Having a plan and a goal helps us to be diligent and also to not waste the time we have set aside.
Another way to utilize our time wisely is to build on the work others have done.
These [the Judeans of Berea] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
The example of the noble Judeans in Berea speaks loudly on the topic of “study.” They eagerly received the Word that Paul and Silas taught them, then they worked it on their own, proving and establishing the truths for themselves. This is a good example of one way a believer can study, expending a diligent effort, remembering the brevity of time. Receiving teachings presented by others at Word-centered events, classes, fellowships, and in Biblical publications is an excellent way to make good use of our time. Other workmen labor diligently to study and then present teachings that we can receive readily. We can then review and study what we have been taught to prove and establish those truths for ourselves. In this way, we use our time wisely and make the Word our own with diligent effort.
It is a joy to study God’s Word, to continually learn and grow in it. We can follow God’s direction in II Timothy 2:15 and gain greater understanding of His Word day by day. To do this, we exert the effort to show ourselves approved unto God, rightly dividing the Word of Truth, and endeavor to utilize our time wisely. We have seen several ways we can put forth the effort and be wise with our time as we study God’s Word. We can arrange a quiet place and time to study, and we can plan what we will study. We can make wise use of our time by building on the work others have done. Great treasures await us as we study God’s Word!
Check out Theway.org for more information about publications, reference materials, and classes that can help you in your diligent effort to study God’s Word.