By Kelly Shaw
Kelly is a member of the SVM2 international facilitation team and currently lives among the unreached.
What kinds of impact should we expect to see if we are examining the Scriptures with faith? Paul continues in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Lives of righteousness filled with many good works should be the outworking of being a student of the word of God. If we read the Bible, but don’t correct our behaviors then we are like those who James writes about being only hearers of the word but not doers.
As students of the Scriptures, we should constantly be growing in faith and discipleship. If we become stagnant in our walk with God, we have likely ceased to allow the Scriptures to make an impact on our lives.
In humility, we must respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit as we are reading Scripture and the true thoughts and intents of our hearts surface. A false sense of self, thinking we’ve got it all together, will not bring us closer to the heart of the Father. Rather, boldly coming before the throne of grace with a broken and contrite spirit will allow us to move upward in our call in Christ Jesus.
Finally, the word of God produces impact in our lives through meditation. In Colossians 3:16, Paul writes, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” The Scriptures should be living inside of us, creating life within us.
The word of God dwells in us and produces life within us through meditation. Over and over through the Psalms we see the importance of meditating on Scripture.
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:2
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11
This idea of meditation is where we rehearse, recount, ponder what God has spoken to us. In the beginning of Luke’s gospel, Mary is told several things about this child born to her. Luke writes, “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) This is the kind of meditation we need to practice in our daily lives.
Oftentimes, it is tempting to run right out and tell your friends what you just felt like you heard God say to you. The next time you hear something while you are reading the Bible take a couple of days just to ponder it, to meditate and pray about it before the Lord. Then, share with your friends and see if the Lord will increase your understanding by waiting on Him and pondering it.
We cannot fully grasp the power of the word of God in our human finite understanding. God spoke and the world was created. God’s words possess infinite power and life. As these words dwell within us and we meditate upon them, they have the power to transform us from glory to glory.
Practical Steps to Make the Bible Come Alive
1. Pray before you read the Scriptures. Ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten the eyes of your understanding and open your ears to hear what God is saying to you as you read.
2. Ask the Lord Jesus Christ as the Author and Finisher of your faith to increase your faith in order to come with expectation to God’s holy word that you might receive fresh manna each time you read God’s word.
3. Set aside ample time to wait on the Lord as you read the portion of Scripture.
4. Read the Scripture verses several times and jot down in your journal the things that jump out at you.
5. Read the passage of Scripture out aloud.
6. Take 3-5 minutes to write down a prayer regarding this Scripture in your own life. This could be a principle that you gleaned from the passage, a key phrase that jumped out at you, or make me more like this person in this specific way. Try to be as specific as possible rather than some generic prayer.
7. Either chew on this principle throughout the day or try memorizing a verse or group of verses from the passage of Scripture.
8. Throughout the day as you sit down for a meal, use these times as a reminder to consciously recall what the Lord was teaching you through your reading of His word.
The Bible is not just another book that you read. It is a book that speaks. The words found in the pages of the Bible contain life because they come from the Father. Take His words seriously – then taste and see the difference they make in your life and in the lives of those around you as you walk them out. Start today!