I spend twenty or thirty hours per week on my sermon for Sunday. I spend a lot of Wednesday studying for our midweek Bible study in the evening. If I’m covering Sunday School I’ll spend more time studying for that and if I have time during the week I might also study for our Sunday evening service. If I don’t have time during the week, I’ll study for Sunday evening after the morning service. My message for the evening service is usually much simpler and doesn’t require near the amount of work Sunday morning requires.
My point in sharing all that is I spend a lot of time studying God’s Word and as a pastor it should be that way. It’s not something to be patted on the back for doing; it’s what I get paid to do and it’s what God expects me to do; hopefully it’s also what my congregation expects from me. In my studying there are times, and I wouldn’t say they happen every day or even every week, but they happen often enough, where I almost feel overwhelmed at the things God’s teaching me from His Word. I’ll be studying and I’ll just have to stop and lean back in my chair to soak in and meditate on what I’m learning.
I’m convinced that the only people who aren’t excited about God’s Word, are people who aren’t investing it, because if you’re studying it, prayerfully, diligently, perhaps with commentaries and/or sermons, there’s no way for it not to take hold of your heart.
I know most people don’t have the luxury I do to study God’s Word as a profession. I am very, very blessed. It’s a tremendous blessing, privilege and responsibility to be a pastor. Now that I’ve been able to do this for a living, I don’t know what else I could do. Another profession would be terribly unsatisfying. It’s the feeling I started having toward the end of my teaching career.
You don’t have to be a pastor though to feel overwhelmed by God’s Word. Find a church that faithfully, systematically teaches God’s Word. It’s a travesty all churches don’t. Matthew 9:36 says, “When Jesus saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” This verse perfectly describes people in churches that don’t faithfully teach God’s Word: they’re scattered sheep without a shepherd.
So first, find a solid, Bible teaching church. And find a good study Bible. Get a journal, or do what I did for the first 7 years of my Christian life and write your notes in your Bible. Before you read, pray for God to speak to you through the Scriptures. That’s why it’s called God’s Word. It’s what He wants to say to you. Look forward to the times when you can be overwhelmed by God’s greatness, the greatness of His Word and His great love for you.