Nothing New Here!

What happens when you sit down to read your Bible and nothing new or fresh stands out on which to SOAP journal?  This happens to me more days than not.  When that happens I have learned to pick a verse or passage anyway and journal on it.  Even when there is nothing new, it is still good to rehearse what I believe with words.  For example, I know that the Lord is worthy of my worship – this is not new to me.  Yet, one day my SOAP journal was on Psalm 29:1-2.  It was good to engage these verses and spend some time thinking on how worthy my God is of my worship.

If I had closed my Bible that day and said to myself, “Well, I guess there was nothing new for me today from God’s word,” I would have missed out on what turned out to be a good day of ascribing to God the glory due his name.  By writing out my thoughts on this passage I was forced to engage the meaning of their content, causing a calibration of my heart.

How do you keep your devotional life fresh?

Holy Hands

Scripture

I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. (1 Timothy 2:8)

Observation

Paul’s point here is not so much that hands should be raised in prayer, but that when hands are raised they should be holy.  They will be holy when there is no anger or disputing going on between them.  It reminds me of Jesus’ teaching to leave your offering and go be reconciled first before coming back to offer worship to God (Matt. 5:23-24).

Application

My worship of God is hindered every time there is an unresolved dispute or tension between me and others.  I need to always be taking an inventory of my relationship to be sure they are reconciled.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, help me to live in reconciled relationships with all others.  Do not let me hold anger or disputing in my heart.

I Have a Bible Question

I am a teacher.  I love to help people learn to read the Bible and reflect on it.  My passion is to see people drawn into a closer walk with the Lord as a result of engaging the Scripture.  So you can imagine my excitement when someone walks up to me and says, “I have Bible question.”  Teachers love students with questions.  Questions mean they are hungry to learn.  Now picture the look of disappointment on my face – hopefully not – when they ask me some question about an obscure Bible fact or mystery.  They ask something that will never nurture their relationship with the Lord, such as “What did the gold the on posts of the tabernacle symbolize?”  Why can’t they ask me to help them grasp what Paul is referring to when he writes, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27)?

Too often Bible study is focused on gathering facts and trivia.  It is about gathering data that supports a theological agenda at the expense of life-changing engagement with the Lord.  I would much rather enter into a discussion on what “Christ in me” looks like and how it provides a “hope of glory,” than a debate on angels or the details of the tabernacle.   What about you?  Are you reading the Bible in order to nurture your relationship with Jesus?  Or are you studying the Bible to win a trivia contest?

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