Have you ever “pulled an all-nighter” studying for a big test? When I was in high school, a big group of friends would always get together to cram at one house for our math exams. As a teacher, part of the job description required me to hold after-school help classes on the day before a test. Although the material was already “out there” and provided, there was a huge benefit from interacting with others to re-hash, discuss, and learn how to apply the concepts. These study sessions really helped. Other students saw things differently and explained the material in a way that re-framed it and cemented it in the long-term memory.
As a student of the Word of God, I have also participated in “study groups” of a different kind — in these gatherings, we opened up our text, The Holy Word of God, and revisited the principles that our Master Teacher outlined for us to help us live life effectively. Interacting with others while discussing God’s Word has been life-changing for me.
God’s Word encourages us to seek out other like-minded students of the Word. The early church modeled this idea of engaging with others. Just check out the wording used to describe the first church at the end of Acts 2 (NLT):
“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer…
And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.
They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.
They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—
all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people…”
Did you catch it? The early church didn’t do the Jesus thing one day a week and then head their separate ways. They interacted — they opened up the doors of their homes and broke bread together. It’s a wonderful thing to sit down at a table and share a meal — pasta for your tummy and then Scripture for your soul. Hebrews 10:23-25 (NIV) challenges, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
So what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone. Break out the dip and chips. Sit down for a spell and share. Study the Word of Life together.