Shaped by the Word of God
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”.Psalm 119:105
Every where we go and in everything we do, we come across signs that remind us that we are in the midst of a pandemic. The C word has become our daily bread. It has invaded and affected almost every aspect of our life in such a way that it might be worth calling it CV-19 (Life Curriculum 19-20).
Despite the confinement and all the restrictions put in place due to CV-19, people have managed to find different ways of doing physical exercises to keep their body fit. In 1 Timothy 4:8 Bible says
“‘Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.'”
This leads me to ask the question: What are the exercises that we have done or could do to maintain our spiritual fitness?
One of the exercises in which we are to engage, privately and corporately, is the devotional reading of God’s word (the Bible). Like an athlete who must have the right food to be strong, grow muscles and produce tone, we (Christians) must also feed on God’s word if we are to become strong spiritually.
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation”.1 Peter 2:2
As believers we know that the Word of God is a spiritual food for our souls and reading it is essential to maintaining our spiritual fitness. But for many people, they often find it difficult to understand and apply. One simple and effective tool that can help us understand and apply the Bible is asking good questions when we read it.
For our understanding or interpretation of the Bible, we can ask the following questions:
1) What is happening in this passage?
We can identify the what, who, when and where to help us summarise what we are reading and tell the story in our own words.
2) What do I learn about God (and/or Jesus) and people?
What does the passage tell /show you about God’s (Jesus’) heart and his character or attributes of God? And/or possibly, what does the passage show you about the heart of people?
Since the goal of reading the Bible is to be transformed into the image of Christ (Eph. 4:20–24), we must ask a set of questions that lead to find what we should do in response. We can ask the following questions to help us learn about yourselves and how to apply the passage to us, personally.
1) What does God want me to understand/think, believe and/or desire?
This question leads to reflect on: a)- our wrong ways of thinking exposed in the passage and the renewal of our minds (Rom. 12:1–2); b)- the false beliefs that the passage reveals and God’s promises that we need to believe; c)- the difference between the sinful actions, desires, feelings mentioned in the passage and the godly inclinations that we should cultivate.
2) What does God want me to do? Who does he want me to love?
The aim of everything we learn is to produce a tangible change and be transformed into the image of God’s Son. For this reason, we must think carefully about specific actions and practical steps to put into practice what we learn.
In this times of bad news, uncertainty and hopelessness, we need to hear the good news of hope that energise our souls. Does God have anything to say about what is happening around? Why not open your Bible to hear from God today? Why not try the aforementioned questions to help you understand the Bible?
If you want to learn more or be encouraged, come and join us on Wednesdays. For amazing resources whether you’ve been reading the Bible for years or don’t know where to start check out the Bible Project. If you know another practical way to read and understand the word of God or stories of how God has spoken to you, share with us in the comments, we’d love to hear.