Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Growing in GOD'S WORD (Part 6)

Let the Bible Guide Your Daily Life 
Always read the Bible as a guide to your daily life. Aim at discovering spiritual truth which you can apply to your life. Set your heart to obey it, not simply to know it. Read it with a humble attitude of self-judgment, being prepared to make changes in your life as it pinpoints areas of failure. 

The Bible generally presents broad principles to be applied to our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit, rather than specific rules for us to impose on ourselves and others. Recognize the place of individual conscience and judgment in applying the Scriptures. God treats us as His children, giving all we need to live as obedient, fruitful and happy children. 

Recognize that although our understanding of God’s revelation is limited, there is no limit to what He can reveal through His Word. The more we study, the more will be revealed to us. In accordance with 2 Timothy 1:13,14, seek to develop a systematic understanding and knowledge of the various doctrines of the Bible. Collect and classify its various teachings, seeing god’s truth as one grand connected whole—a totally consistent system. Never stop seeking to learn more of God’s precious truth. 

Use Different Ways to Learn the Bible 
Although the Holy Spirit has been given us to understand the Bible (Jn. 14:26; 16:13), we must diligently learn what it says to discover its precious truths. There are at least 5 basic ways of doing this: 

1. Bible Reading: This involves reading a passage from the Bible—perhaps a chapter, several chapters, or even a whole book of the Bible. The purpose in Bible reading is to get a general view of what God is doing and saying. Its purpose is not to get into the details of the passage. God gives us a wonderful promise about reading the Bible in Revelation 1:3: “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” 

2. Bible Hearing: This involves listening to others as they teach the Bible, whether in person, over the radio, on tapes, or in other ways. In listening to others, we need to have our Bibles open. We need to be like some early Christians of whom it is said: “…they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). 

3. Bible Study: This involves analyzing a Bible passage in order to grasp its meaning; and to see its significance in relation to other parts of the Bible. A good reason for studying the Bible is found in 2 Timothy 2:15: “Give diligence to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 

4. Bible Memorization: This involves repeating a verse or passage of the Bible over and over again until you can quote it without looking at the passage. In Psalm 119:11, this is called, “hiding the Word in our hearts.” If we memorize the Bible, we can think about the Bible at times when we are not able to read it. It becomes even more valuable when we understand the significance of the verse or passage we have memorized. Then it is not merely a matter of rote memorization of words and phrases. 

5. Bible Meditation: This involves thinking and reflecting on what we have already learned from the Bible, as we heard, read, studied or memorized it. If we truly delight in the Word of God, we will do this often. Psalm 1:2 speaks about the blessing of one who meditates on the Word of God: “But His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

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