"Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."

Proverbs 16:3, NIV 


For those of you who have finished the goal of reading through the New Testament in thirty days, this is Phase II: Studying through the New Testament in 90 days!


Now this may seem like a huge goal, and it is! But it is a worthwhile goal because you want to be saved. I know that you want to be saved because everyone wants to be saved. It's kind of like the idea that everyone would like to be a millionaire: It's a nice thought, but few people are willing to put in the effort, commitment, and dedication that are required to accomplish it. That's why the lottery does so well - people want to be rich without putting in the work.


At the outset of this study, may I be so bold as to say that there is no lottery plan for salvation? Either you want to serve God, or you don't. If you are willing to serve God, then you will be willing to do whatever it takes. If not, then you won't.


But, why study? Isn't it true that ten different people can look at the same passage of Scripture and come up with ten different ideas as to what it means? Of course! Isn't it true that many different preachers, pastors, priests, and Bible teachers can come to different doctrinal conclusions when it comes to the Bible? Of course!


Then, why study? Perhaps the best way to illustrate the reason is with an analogy made in a commercial from years gone by. Two lunch ladies were encouraged to test two plastic bags - one which they had been using, and one that was new and improved. To test the difference, the new plastic bag was filled with gravy, sealed, and then turned upside down. The plastic bag held the gravy! Then the announcer asked if they would like to test the brand of bag that they had been using by holding it upside down over lunch lady #2's head.


Lunch lady #1 said that they should "go for it", but lunch lady #2 said no. "Why not?" asked lunch lady #1, to which lunch lady #2 had the classic reply, "Because it's my head!"


It is true that there are doctrinal differences in the conclusions that some so-called Bible experts make when studying the Bible. It is also true that we can come up with different answers when reading the same passage of Scripture -


But   it   is   your   head!


You have to make sure. Ten different calculus students can also come up with ten different answers to the same problem, but there can only be one right answer because there are laws to mathematics.


God's word also has the right answer - our duty is to find it! If we are content to be lazy, then we won't even try to find out the right answer. But make no mistake: God requires your best and He knows what your best is because He made you. He also made the Bible. And, He is not incompetent! You can understand it just like you can understand calculus if you want to put in the effort.


Jesus said, "Man does not live on bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4). Let me ask you this question: How can we live by every word of God if we do not know every word of God? And how can we know every word of God unless we have read an studied every word of God?


God wants you in heaven. He has made all of the arrangements. Won't you give the commitment that it takes to find out what those arrangements are?


Here are a few study suggestions for those who would like them: First, take a fresh notebook and divide it into categories. I will recommend six, but you may want to add more. The categories are

1) Grace

2) Salvation

3) Faith

4) In Christ/Into Christ passages

5) Love

6) Obedience


These topics should provide an excellent study, but you will have other ideas as well. You may want a study on "Inspirational Passages", "Peace Passages" or "Passages on Hope". You may want one on specific questions that you may have concerning things like "Baptism", "The Believer's Prayer of Faith", "Drinking", "Raising Children", etc...


The study is yours so customize it to your interests, but may I recommend that you for sure leave in the category on "Salvation"? This topic is of vital importance for both you and your family and should be the primary reason that you study the Bible. We may have our own opinions on what it takes to be saved, but God has commands that will overrule the foolish temptation to rely on our own opinion when it comes to the critical question of where our souls will dwell for all eternity.


That's it - we will start tomorrow. The study will encompass three chapters most days and should take no longer that half an hour a day unless you decide to dig in even deeper. It's a big commitment, to be sure, but it's one that is guaranteed to change your life for the better!


"To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you really are My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'"

John 8:31-32, NIV