Life Application or Just Making It Through

 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

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Reading the Bible is a multi-faceted assignment. At first glance you may read the Bible leisurely. Some people find it to be an entertaining book, with lots of stories, romance, adventure, and a conclusion where good wins against evil. Sometimes, as Christians, we read it very casually the same way. We know it’s about God and that it’s important, but we read it with no implications for our life, as if it were a fictional entertainment book.

At other times we read the Bible at a different level. Maybe you read it because of an assignment. At class you may have been told to read the book of Genesis and identify the major characters in the book. In that case, you are reading it with your eyes focused on one specific thing.
I challenged myself to read through the whole Bible in a year. This resulted in a just doing it to get it done, checking it off their check list of things to do. This is what I tended to do when I read the Bible straight through… afterwards I felt happy that I read the Bible straight through but I also felt empty because there was not too much of it that I actually retained. Besides the stories that I already knew for the most part.
Recently I have been looking at the Bible in a different way… I get my pen and pad of paper open up to whatever book I am reading through and I take it nice and slow. I let the Holy Spirit speak to me. I look for practical application because I need this to be the living Word of God in my life.

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Finally, during those times I really come to the Bible to study it, to know it, and to know God, who it is all about. In this case, I don’t come with a set number of verses to read for the day. I don’t looking for some agenda of characters or stories. No, instead I come prepared to let the Bible speak to us. I want it to impact my life, and transform my minds and our actions to be more in line with what God wants them to be.

All these approaches have their time and place. You may get someone to read the Bible simply for its entertainment value, but the Holy Spirit uses it to speak to their heart. You may need to get your mind off a busy schedule and just want to read the Psalms and enjoy God’s Word with no agenda. Other times, you may need to study one specific aspect of God. Each time we approach God’s Word, no matter the reason, we have to understand how we approach it. This week, we are going to learn how to study the Scriptures. It’s the building block for everything else we do. Some of it you may already know and you just take it for granted. But it is extremely important that we come to Scripture the way God wants and intends us to.

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Why do you read the Bible? Do you find yourself reading it for pleasure or requirement? Do you read it like a fiction or non-fiction book? Do you have a plan and commitment to reading the Bible? Why or why not?

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