When Christians share their frustrations about their personal Bible study, it always seems to boil down to one common question:
Where can I find the time?
Of course, we all realize that ultimately everyone on earth has the same 24 hours a day. So it’s a question of priorities, not time. Or as John Piper put it: “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”
Of course, that quote applies to all spiritual disciplines, not just prayer. But the same technologies that can rob us of our time with God can also give us back some of that time.
Case in point: I have new workout buddy – John MacArthur. I go to Planet Fitness almost every day, and while I’m on the treadmill, I’m listening to MacArthur sermons. If you go to YouTube and search for MacArthur, you will find hundreds of hours of his expository sermons on almost every book of the Bible. That means that in addition to hearing Pastor Jerod every week, I listen to the equivalent of four or five John MacArthur sermons.
In fact, your smartphone can be a huge asset to your spiritual growth. When you have to do something that doesn’t require conversation or attention to detail – driving, gardening, cooking, vacuuming, mowing the yard, housecleaning – you can plug in your earbuds or headphones and learn while you work.
Some people say they don’t like to listen while they do something else because they miss a lot. And admittedly, if I got off the treadmill and listened to MacArthur with a pen and paper in my hands to take notes, I would learn a lot more. But I don’t have time for that – and I would rather get 50 percent of what MacArthur is saying than 0 percent.
Where do you find something to listen to? YouTube may be best known for music videos and life hacks and Jimmy Fallon skits and viral pranks, but it also contains literally thousands of hours of Bible teaching. Just open YouTube and look for the search box at the top. Put in the name of any Bible teacher you respect – MacArthur, Piper, R.C. Sproul, for instance. You can also search for The Master’s Seminary and Dallas Theological Seminary and find videos of seminary classes – everything from systematic theology to an introduction to New Testament Greek.
And don’t overlook the App Store on your iPhone or the Play Store on your Android. Search for your favorite version of the Bible read aloud and listen to whole chapters of scripture while you take a leisurely tub bath or shop for groceries. Got 10 minutes to kill while you’re waiting in a car line for your kid to get out of school? Use your favorite version of the Bible on the phone to read a couple of chapters. Many allow you to bookmark where you stopped reading so you can pick up where you left off tomorrow.
You can also find lots of Bible study tools and commentaries – all free! – to use during the times when you’re studying a passage.
And of course, don’t forget our favorite resource, CCBC’s own website. Since we started loading sermons and Bible teaching seminars on our new site, we now have more than 60 hours of great teaching on that site.
Another great site for teaching is Verse by Verse Ministries, which has lessons on many of the books of the Bible. Those lessons go verse by verse, chapter by chapter though lots of Old Testament and New Testament books.
If you have questions about a specific preacher or site, Pastor Jerod or the elders will be happy to give you a recommendation. Once you find a Bible teacher you like, you’ll have more than you could listen to in several months, even if you listen every day – I have been listening to MacArthur for more than a year and I haven’t even scratched the surface.
We complain a lot about how technology steals our time with God. But it can also give us time we never knew we had. And once that teaching gets into our heads, the Holy Spirit will use it to produce growth in our lives.