Application for transformation
In the famous chapter discussing the value of Scripture, the psalmist writes, “Open my eyes so I can truly see the marvelous things in your law!” (119:18). The psalmist recognizes the Bible contains incredible gems. But if the psalmist only saw marvelous things, he’d miss out on the last step of Bible fun—application.
I often find myself reading Scripture to check it off my spiritual disciplines list. “Ok, done.” I make sure to read at least an entire chapter so I can feel better—more spiritual.
Sometimes, I see something in the text that proves insightful. Like the psalmist, I see good stuff in God’s Word. This truth proves encouraging to my soul. It makes me feel secure. But if I stop there, I miss out on the reason for Bible fun—application.
Having graduated from seminary in 2010, I have sat under the world’s most respected scholars. I’ve listened to their wisdom in the classroom. I’ve also read their books and gained invaluable knowledge. But often I see great truth without ever letting it move me to action. Instead, like a fat sponge, I soak up wisdom without ever using it to cleanse my soul.
In contrast, the psalmist commits to action. He writes, “Spare me shame and humiliation, for I observe your rules” (v 22). He obeys Yahweh’s rules. Notice he doesn’t make Scripture reading his end goal. Instead, the psalmist treasures God’s Word so he can do something—observe God’s rules. And not only that, observing God’s rules proves delightful to him for “they give me guidance” (v24).
So when we read Scripture, let’s remember the last step of Bible fun—application. Apply what you learn. Let the Bible move you to action. Do something with it. Start out with small action steps. For then you’ll find great delight in observing God’s rules when you see they give practical guidance that works.
Scripture and/or notes quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org All rights reserved.