Being in the Word each day nourishes your spiritual being and brings you closer in fellowship with our LORD GOD. Adding the GOING DEEPER INTO THE WORD OF GOD segment of the podcast challenges me as your host each and every day. The Lord has been leading us all over the bible as we consider Jesus' return for His Bride as John detailed in the book of Revelation. For the first time ever while spending time in Revelation, I am not "scared" or filled with the sense of "doom." The Spirit is at work and yes, I am indeed being CHANGED in the process. My biggest concern in sharing what "I" get out of the chapter is that my "opinion" may not be what the LORD wants YOU to take away. That is why I often ask questions ... to engage your mind and encourage you to pull up or out that chapter to feast on all the LORD want to reveal to you.
In 2020, the Bible and those who trust in God's truth is being attacked on all sides. Charles Spurgeon once related the Word of God to a lion. He said, "Open the door and let the lion out; he will take care of himself." The Bible stands firm as ever so we do not need to engage in defending what He has placed within the book from Genesis 1.1 all the way through Revelation 22.21. Yet, when any of us open God's Word we should approach these living Words with care.
In my "after-thoughts" of reading Deuteronomy 10, we went over five questions we can ask ourselves as we are reading or considering a passage or a chapter of scripture. Asking questions, spending time ruminating (chewing on the Word), will change you and bring new awareness and yes, deeper fellowship with our LORD and Savior.
Five Simple Questions:
1. What did what you are reading communicate to its original audience?
Think about what was happening to the first readers at the time this was written. What was their story? What challenges and obstacles were the first readers facing? Figured out the context not only breathes new life into our study time but also informs us of the deep historical narrative in which our faith is anchored. 2. What type of literature am I reading?
This question speaks to the genre of the writing. Is this an ordinary form of written language that is telling a sequential account (prose)? Or is this written with special intensity given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style and rhythm (poetry)? Are these words meant to be taken literally or figuratively? This will help us understand the intention of the text and determine how to interpret it.
3. What is the real meaning of what you have read?
As best you can tell, what is the plain, straightforward meaning of the text? It is a very human characteristic to "read into" the text what we want it to say. Be careful to not only focus on the verses that do not cause a negative reaction within you. Be attune to your emotions while reading the text. Does it make you happy, neutral, uncomfortable, or are you finding yourself wrestling with the text to justify self-serving interpretations of Scripture.
Approach each Bible passage with humility and an attitude of surrender to God.
4. How can I apply this message to my life?
James 1:22 says, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." In Jesus' life, we find a classic example of a people group who could recite the Scriptures down to each dot and tittle. Yet, what they knew as God's Word did not penetrate their hearts. Their lives were unchanged by all their brain knowledge of God. This group was the Pharisees.
Guard against "reading the bible" as a duty or chore without allowing the Holy Spirit to use what you have read or heard to change your mind, heart, attitudes, and beliefs.
Grasp and think on the Truths of the Bible, allowing them to renew our thoughts and actions, asking for God's help to obey what He has spoken to us in His Word.
5. What does what you have read say about God's nature?
Instead of simply thinking, "What can I get out of this?" ask yourself, "What Truths does this passage reveal about who God is?" When we are struggling or our life circumstances have knocked us for a loop, it is only natural to look for answers, solutions, tips and how tos in the Source of Truth. Yet, if this is the primary interaction with the Word, that type of study can quickly become short-sighted and self-centered.
Don't miss out on the richness of simply knowing God more deeply as you read His Word.