Sometimes when we are so sure we know how something is supposed to go together, we'll stop reading the instructions and simply scan them for affirmation that we're on the right track. That's called reading into the text what you want to see—and, sadly, this pitfall may be the curse of our age when it comes to Bible reading.
This pitfall may be the curse of our age when it comes to Bible reading.
I have known preachers who have just one favorite theme to preach. It doesn't matter what book of the Bible they're in, they'll find it there. But that's extremely dangerous. If we only see what we want to see in a text or if we think we already know it all and become puffed up in our knowledge, we'll miss out on soul-satisfying messages from our Heavenly Father. We'll fail to witness various aspects of His nature and examples of His amazing love, and we'll fail to see our dire need for Him.
So, before we apply God's Word to our lives, we must read what is actually written, seek to discover the original situation being addressed (put the text in its context), and dig into Scripture with the right study tools. I promise, it's worth it.
And over all of this, let's never fail to ask the Spirit of God for guidance.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, open my eyes so that I may see wonderful Truth from Your Word. Illuminate my mind so that I can learn what You want me to learn. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character . . . for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" (Acts 17:11).