For the word of God is alive and active.
It is always changing, always moving, always prepared to be applied to your life; no matter where you are in your walk with Christ, God’s Word is there to lift you up, exhort you, love you, and correct you.
Recently, I've been trying out a new method of study when I read the Bible. I don’t just read the verses; I enjoy studying it deeply: “chewing” on it, so to speak. :)
My latest tactic has been to shut off all my electronics, close my door, get a favorite pillow to lounge with, then crack open my Bible and read each verse line by line – word by word – before moving on to the next verse.
Take John 3:16 for instance. Nearly every Christian new and old have either memorized this verse, or have it scrawled just in their Bible cover, or can nod with recognition on their face when you mention it in conversation. But what if you paused for a moment and reconsidered just how deep that scripture really is? Let’s read it in its’ entirety, first:
“For God so loved the world that he freely gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Now, let’s take that moment to read into it a little more. There is so much power lying just beneath the surface of this short verse:
For God [the almighty Creator, who doesn’t require anything from us to exist] so loved [if you don’t know how strong love is, keep reading] the world [the entire world. everyone. The murderers, drunkards, rapists, thieves—everyone. Loving them sincerely, like a father loves his little children.] that He freely [not expecting any gift in return] gave [imagine this: having to give one of your friends or family members up to a group of heartless murderers, knowing your loved one would be brutally beaten, and you’d have to watch every moment of it.] His one and only Son [Romans 8:29 says Jesus was the first son of God’s; the role model which we as Christians are to look up to, so we can live a Godly and flourishing life. We’re talking about his very first born baby; the perfect and pure apple of His eye who never sinned or did anything to deserve brutal death. God watched every moment of Jesus’ childhood, just like He watched you grow up. Of course God watched him as close as He watches you now.] that whoever [all the grungy sinners included, who certainly did not deserve abounding and unmerited love] believes in [accepts the Truth of His existence] Him [not Buddha or Allah or any mute stone statue or false god (Habakkuk 2:18-20)] shall not [ever] perish [have their spirit annihilated] but [here’s the good part] have [shall enjoy and possess] eternal [forever and ever amen] life [the kind of life in John 10:10. Abundant, vivid, amazing life filled with rich love and joy, and the sweet presence of God without any sadness, or weakness, or torture to your soul.]Pause. Take a breath. Think about it.
As someone who enjoys ministering, I not only love having a good relationship with God, but enjoy the feeling of confidence when speaking about His will and Word to others. As ambassadors of Heaven, it’s important for us to be ready for virtually any question that may come our way.
The heart of the righteous studies to answer…
When I answer a question, I like to give the simplest but deepest (and most accurate) answer I can. My job is to challenge you to seek out God for yourself; only you can take the time to read or get quiet. I can’t do those things for you, but I can help point you in the right direction.
God gave us His Word for a reason. He gave us the ultimate how-to manual for this thing called Life, and He is more than ready to equip us throughout Life’s open-book test with everything we need to pass the test with an A+. He said this about His Word:
Bind them [these sayings/scriptures] continually on your heart; Tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching is light; And reproofs for discipline are the way of life…
The entrance of Your word gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple.
Think about these things. Remember to take some time with God. Length of time isn’t as important as quality of time; even if you only read one verse and really ponder on it, you’ll find your understanding is going to be a lot deeper!
Then he added, "Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given--and you will receive even more.
Mark 4:24 (NLT)