The following was originally published on Aug. 25 in preparation for BELIEVE
I keep thinking about Randy's illustration of the 12th man in our congregation and making our church relevant. I love studying the Bible but as the following devotional asks, does our Bible studying make a difference in our lives? If it does, our behavior and our being should be becoming more and more like Christ.
And if we are becoming more like Christ, we will not be merely cheering in the stands, waiting for the coach to put us on the field.
I told our LifeGroup teachers in preparing for Believe that the goal of a good teacher is not to merely teach information, but to teach to transform individuals. Read today’s devotional and ask yourself “Am I studying the Bible for information or transformation?”
When Jesus finished His Teaching on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), He concluded with two foundations: a foolish man built his house upon the sand and a wise man built his house upon the rock.” The same winds, rain and floods came upon both, but one fell while the other stood firm.
Jesus said that the difference between the two foundations was the same as a person, a fool, who hears His words and does not do them and another person, a wise man, who hears the words of Christ and actually puts those teachings into practice.
This week, ask yourself if you are building on sand, or on rock.
The following devotional is from Zondervan to help us prepare for Chapter 13, Bible Study, which will be taught and preached at FBC Killeen on December 11, 2016.
How do I study God’s Word?
The Bible is unlike any other narrative. It is God’s story chock-full of amazing depth and application for our lives. Jesus reminds us that the condition of our heart is important when we hear or read God’s Word. If we are open and receptive to God’s words, they will take root in our lives and transform us.
But how does our heart open up to God in order to be receptive to his words? Jesus told his disciples that after he returned to heaven, the Holy Spirit would come to reside in them and to remind them of everything he had said. This same Spirit lives in all believers today.
The desired outcome of studying God’s truth is transformation. It guides us along a path of maturity in Christ. We get into the Bible and the Bible turns around and gets into us and changes us for the good. (See Hebrews 5:11-6:3).
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
I study the Bible to know God and his truth and to find direction for my daily life.
What difference does this make in the way I live?
We regularly read and study God’s Word. We come to see that studying God’s Word in community with other believers is of great value. We align our lives to the Bible because we believe it is from God.
Consider this: What if for one week you exchanged your mobile phone for your Bible? Anywhere you normally take your phone, you take your Bible instead. Anytime you normally look at your phone, you look at God’s Word instead. The time you spend calling, texting, and browsing online with your phone is traded for time reading Scripture. If you normally place your phone next to you at a business meeting or by your plate at dinnertime, you now put your Bible there. What difference would this exchange make in your life in just one week? Whose life would be impacted? This line of questions is not intended to trigger guilt, but rather to inspire us to increase our engagement with the one instrument that can truly change not only our lives but the lives of those around us.
The psalmist expresses a profound love for the Scriptures. (See Psalm 19:7-11.) What emotions does the Word of God evoke in you?