It’s All About Zeal


I want to say, right at the start, that I am looking forward to offering this new series on understanding, studying, and applying the Bible to our lives. I’m encouraged because I have seen over my lifetime how the power and truth of the word of God have given people life when it seems like so much about our world is going downhill.

I read the Bible when I was growing up, but it wasn’t until I was 17 years old and someone put an easy-to-understand version of the New Testament in my hand and I devoured it one summer, that I experienced the ring of truth and the deliciousness of the word of God. That summer changed the whole trajectory of my life because from then on I knew where I could hear the voice of God confronting me, beckoning me, filling me, correcting me, inspiring me.

I was inspired to read the Bible—slowly, methodically, prayerfully—but I also learned about studying the Bible, which is the subject of the series we begin today.

I want you to be encouraged by the idea of “studying” the Bible, not to be intimidated by the thought. Studying the Bible is for every believer. You do not need to know Hebrew and Greek or invest a thousand dollars in books in order to study the Bible.

The word study (from Latin studium) refers to devotion, concentration, and zeal. So when you pick up the Bible and read, intently longing to understand it and being willing to submit to it, you are studying the Bible. This holy process begins before you turn to any Bible study tool. Studying the Bible begins in the soul. It is when you open the Bible and say to God: I want to know you more, and I am willing to read intently, with devotion, concentration, and zeal.

Now there are many other things we can do to study the Bible that go beyond reading it. In this series “How to Study the Bible” we will look into book studies and character studies and thematic studies and many other methods. But it all depends on this: What is in our hearts? Do we want to hear a word from God? Do we have a sense of responsibility to do the work to get to the actual meaning of biblical texts? Will we concentrate on the Scriptures as a lifestyle, knowing that, with the passage of years, we will become better, wiser, people?

It is great to be on this adventure with you in the months to come!

7 thoughts on “It’s All About Zeal”

  1. I look forward to this ! The bible is very complex and is remarkable in that, although it has many different authors and spans a huge timescale, everything seems to fit together. For example, the series of events that Jesus went through was predicted hundreds of years in advance.

    When I went through a very difficult time some years ago, the bible really did save my life. There was a number of passages that helped tremendously, including Job, but one rings out above all :

    -“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” [Jeremiah 29:11 NIV]

    At the time, I wrongly felt God was punishing me. Not for anything really bad, but mainly for missing opportunities he’d given me. That verse from Jeremiah was a turning point and I realised that God had no reason to make my life difficult. All I had to do was to follow his plan and not try to make my own. The tricky bit then was to understand that God doesn’t reveal his plan, but gives us one step at a time which we need to follow : it’s a kind of spiritual treasure-hunt.

    The other one is the extremely well known :
    “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” [Romans 8:28]
    That took some time to understand as it doesn’t mean everything will always be fine, but it does mean that God will create some good out of our experiences, however horrible they may have been at the time. However, sometimes it takes some suffering to point us at God in the first place.
    CS Lewis said : “Pain is God’s megaphone” and of course he experienced tragedy in his life.

    Anyway, we really appreciate your sharing your knowledge and experience to help us draw out more from the bible !

    kind regards,


  2. Looking forward to the new series of how to study the Bible,zeal for his word, in a busy world sounds like entering into his rest. Bless you richley

  3. Hi Mel, I am excited to begin this adventure with you. You are a wise man if God and I long to know God better ! Thank you for sharing what u have learned along the way~
    Connie moore

  4. Very excited about a tool that will help me get closer to really understanding what God wants to reveal to me and others…the truth will set us free…Thank you!!!

  5. I am so looking forward to this. I read the bible every day but sometimes I don’t understand its meaning. Now I will be able to. We will all do this together and come closer to God. Your partner in Christ, James.

  6. I look forward to hearing more about how to study the Bible. Even though I have read the bible many times, I sometimes have difficulty connecting the dots or seeing the relevance to life today.
    My favorite verse is Proverbs 3: 5,6. So when I don’t understand I lean on these verses.

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