Friday, August 15, 2008

The Word

I've been reading "The Imitation of Christ" a little here and there lately, and I've really loved it. It's a devotional book written by a monk in the 1300s. It's been especially good for someone being in ministry. The guy talks a lot about making sure you don't replace intellectual study with care of your own soul.

"I would rather feel contrition than know how to define it. For what would it profit us to know the whole Bible by heart and the principles of all the philosophers, if we live without grace and the love of God?"

The Bible is not just for information, but transformation. (not from the book)

It's so easy to have a theoretical faith, I think. I don't want my faith to be theoretical or intellectual. I want it to affect my soul, my mindset, the way I view people, the way I view life. Sadly, sometimes that takes effort. Instead of studying Greek words in a text, I'm trying to ask what practical implication it has for my life. That can be difficult when I study the Bible upwards of six hours a day in school. But I have to, or I'll get spiritually sick.

The reason it took so long for me to become a Christian is because I knew many people who talked about God on Sundays, but then it was like He went on vacation the rest of the week. I wanted nothing to do with that. I couldn't flirt with God, I knew I needed to marry Him.

I love God. I think He wants me to live out His Word not just in the letter, but in the heart. I'm striving to "be an imitator of God" (Eph. 5) when I approach the Word. Instead of asking "What does this mean?" and stopping there, I want to ask "How can I be more like my Father?"

I love that approach.

How do you read the Bible?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post Joshua... I think for me the Bible is much much more than a book of do's and don'ts. The Bible is the inspired word of God to tell me how to live a enriched life. It also touches me on how to enrich others life by what I learn out of it.

I don't think the Bible was meant to tell you what to do per say. The instruction I get, and reproof it gives are food for the soul. It transforms me to be all that I can be spiritually and in turn, intellectually. To be like Jesus and love our fellow man just as we love ourselves.


Larry Bob