Developing Depth in the Word
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
A key to depth in the Word of God from which to lead and serve others is our perspective. Some who are immature and impatient want to develop depth in the Scriptures quickly. But the wise have a long-term view, knowing that this depth will be created over a lifetime of reading, studying and meditating on the Scriptures.
This desired depth will come through a disciplined life as modeled by Ezra – For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel. Ezra 7:10 ESV
At one time I had a lifetime goal to trying to develop depth in the entire Bible – all sixty-six books! But a conversation with Dr. Bobby Clinton helped change that goal to what he calls a Core Set. Rather than shallowly addressing the entire book, better to concentrate in a few sections over a lifetime, while maintaining familiarity with the whole.
Because we minister to others from our personal depth in the Scriptures, the more influence a Kingdom leader has, the more books they should have in their Core Set. In addition to books of the Bible, one may have key passages (i.e. The Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 13), Bible characters, or life-message related topics (i.e. disciplemaking, world missions, leadership) as a part of your Core Set.
Dr. Clinton would suggest that everyone should have a minimum of four books in their Core Set – one of the four gospels, Romans, Ephesians, and a book of your choice. The gospels represent the life and ministry of Jesus our Lord. Romans describes in detail the revelation Paul received regarding the gospel of salvation by grace. Ephesians describes his other revelation regarding the Body of Christ – Jews and Gentiles made one in Christ. The other book will be one where you go often for encouragement, comfort and inspiration. It’s that section of your Bible with the most marks or where you have to tape the pages back into the binding.
In our Core Set we read, study, memorize and meditate over a lifetime. We have our devotions in these books, preach and teach from them, write about them and minister to others from an overflow of depth in them. We maintain connection with the whole of the Word by reading broadly and hearing it taught, but our concentration is in our Core Set.
Seek to be laser-like rather than a light bulb. Have a long-term view regarding your depth in the Word that you may minister from an overflow.
Focus for impact! Don’t sacrifice depth for area!