The United States Secret Service advises the best way to guard against the threat of accepting counterfeit currency, is to become more familiar with authentic currency.
I believe the same concept can be applied to our walk with God. To demonstrate this, let’s first identify the words counterfeit and authentic.
counterfeit: made in imitation of something else with intent to deceive.
authentic: real or genuine : not copied or false. true and accurate.
The Bible states that God Himself is truth.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father accept through me.” John 14:6 NIV
This world is full of counterfeits that look and feel so close to the truth that we can easily be deceived.
Here are a few common counterfeits to joy and happiness:
Alcohol and drugs
I read an article recently that showed it’s pretty clear that many Americans — including Christians don’t know their Bible. Just look at these numbers from a recent George Barna study:
- More than 60 percent of Americans can’t name either half of the Ten Commandments or the four Gospels of the New Testament.
- Some 80 percent including “born again” Christians believe that “God helps those who help themselves” is a direct quote from the Bible.
- And 31 percent believe a good person can earn his/her way into heaven.
I’m going to ask you a tough question. Can you name the Ten Commandments? I’m not asking the question to bring shame. I’m asking it to bring awareness to our need of the truth.
If you don’t know all of the Ten Commandments, they can be found in Exodus 20 and in Deuteronomy 5.
Bible Study 101
Many Christians state they have tried to read the Bible and don’t understand it. God is the source of all wisdom. We must ask Him to enlighten our Bible study.
Make a scheduled time and stick to it
If you are a morning person, most likely you will need to set your alarm an extra fifteen minutes to half an hour earlier. If you prefer evenings, carve out a time before you go to bed.
Tell someone your plan
We all need accountability to keep us on track.
Choose a Book of the Bible
If you have never done this before, it’s best to start with a short book, preferably in the New Testament. Try James, 1 John, Titus, or 1 Peter.
Read the Entire Book
Plan to spend three to four weeks doing this.
Next you will re-read the same book from the beginning once again. This time reading slowly, verse by verse.
Get a Notebook or Journal
Write down “themes” and “applicable principles.”
Write down key scriptures to memorize.
Invest in Some Study Aids
A Commentary, which explains and interprets scripture and is written by knowledgeable Theologians.
A Lexicon, which is like a Bible dictionary.
A Bible study guide.
Be a Doer of the Word
Jesus said in Luke 11:28, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
God wants His children to walk in freedom. When we settle for counterfeits, we become a slave to them. The way to freedom is through the truth. But you must know the truth to identify the lies.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
Take away and Application:
Counteract counterfeits with the truth of God’s word by getting into regular Bible study.
Do you have any Bible study tips that you’d like to share? Write in the comments section below.