When I was in college, I took a Spanish class for my foreign language credit. On the first day of the class, the professor told us what books we would be using. We were going to use the text-book, "Spanish, The Easy Way." I decided then that this class would be a "piece of cake."

However, after the professor began teaching, I soon realized that it might be more difficult than I had originally thought. My pro- fessor was from Argentina and he did not bother to speak English; he taught his class by speaking Spanish! I found out quickly that there was no "easy way" to learn Spanish, regardless of the impression my textbook gave.

I did not do very well in my Spanish class. In fact, I made the worst grade of my entire college career. However, I did learn a valuable lesson. I learned that there really is no "easy way" to learn about something in life. It usually takes hard work, determination, and a willingness to understand.

Many people believe that the Bible is a book that can be learned "the easy way." They believe that all they have to do is attend church services on Sunday and they will have received their Bible knowledge for the week. While attending church services is important and mandatory for Christians (Heb. 10:25), it is simply not good enough. One must take the time to study God's word away from the assembly as well.

Even though I went to Spanish class every time the class met, I did not learn very much. I had a bad teacher who was unclear and he spoke in a foreign language to me (literally)! However, I could not use that as an excuse. Even though I had an incompetent teacher, I was not exempt from receiving a grade.

If someone depends entirely on the preacher in order to gain Bible knowledge, he/she may be in for a disappointment. The preacher may speak of things that are difficult to understand. The preacher could be incompetent and not know how to teach in a clear and concise manner. The preacher might be an excellent teacher, but does not have time to cover all that needs to be said on a subject. Therefore, we must be willing to read and study our Bibles on a daily basis. We are responsible for defending our faith and giving a reason for the hope that we have (1 Pet. 3:15).

We should not try to take the "easy way" out when it comes to the word of God. We must attend worship services, but we need to do more. We should take time each day to search the scriptures and meditate upon them (1 Tim. 4:15). This is the only way that we can understand the truth that God's word reveals to us.

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15).

By Ronald Stringer in New and Notes, Feb. 23, 2003.

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