Reading the Bible in 2016: Knowing How to Read

As 2016 gets underway, many of us are starting a new Bible reading plan (and you can even start today though it’s January 7!). What is essential to making your Bible reading worthwhile this year? There’s a lot we could say, but let me boil it down to three things we must do: we must read successively, thoughtfully, and prayerfully….

Listening Is the First Thing

Here is an encouragement to all who make it their regular rhythm to read and listen to the Scriptures. Not to mine it for religious information or obscure facts or historic controversies or proverbial nails in your friend’s doctrinal coffin. But for shaping. For transformation. For God. This comes from Eugene Peterson’s introduction to The Message. “Revelation” means that we…

Roundup of Posts on Scripture Application Questions

Over the past several days, I wrote several posts about questions to ask to help with meditating on and praying Scripture. Ultimately, these questions help us to aid in heart-level application of Scripture. This is the only kind of application that will have lasting value. Now, these questions are not the only ones we should ask, but they…

Law & Gospel: Four Questions

Yesterday, I wrote a post on how to ask questions that facilitate meditation and prayer when you are reading Scripture. In that post, the focus was on the character of God (utilizing the A-C-T-S acronym): What is God like? What does a text reveal about him? The questions below are related, but slightly nuanced: what does God require of…

Moving From Reading to Relating

The most difficult aspect of personal Bible meditation, application, and prayer is that most of us simply do not know what to do after we have read a passage. You look at it. You look at it again. You close in a prayer. Five minutes has gone by. While basic Scripture reading is always helpful (God’s word is alive…

The Holy Spirit or a Bad Piece of Beef?

Have you ever wondered how to know if something is from the Holy Spirit or something else? You feel something warm inside at a concert or revival meeting. Your church has a wave of emotions come over the congregation at a service. A person says they have a message from God for you. You feel…