James tells us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourself. Do what it says.” (James 1:22 NIV). There could be a possibility that we could be self-deceiving Christians by not responding to the word of God. We may often highlight a passage we read, write notes besides it, but do we let the Bible highlight our lives so people can note our changed behavior?
For example, say you get serious about losing a few pounds and then in order to do it, you buy a best seller: “How to lose weight in 90 days”. Then you read, underline and even memorize the important ideas. After 90 days when you see your buddies and you tell them, this is the greatest book I’ve read on weight loss. I have highlighted every point, memorized them and even intend to start a small group based on this book. But I haven’t really lost any pounds. How ridiculous will this sound?
Let the word of God change us. Intentionally seeking God, allowing the Holy spirit to change us and surrendering yourself for God to restore us is important as we read this Bible. Here are some things we should do.
- Pray before you start reading the Bible, start with praising God and then ask God to speak to you and pray for a listening heart.
- As you read, ask yourself, what is God teaching me through this passage, and does this passage show me a sin I need to confess before God or an attitude I need to change.
- Is there something in this passage that I need to pray about, this prayer could be for you or it could be for others. Spend as much time as you read praying for things God has spoken to you about. Thank him for revealing his heart to you.
Remember the best translation of the Bible is the “living translation”, the one that is translated into our daily lives. Let us make a commitment not merely to listen to the word, but to do what it says.