This is the last article in this series about “swallowing whole books of the Bible.” I hope these words have aided you in delighting even more in God’s Word. My prayer is that these messages encourage God’s people to read even more of God’s more, more often.
The food we eat must be converted into useful energy. Activity does that! I know, I know, it’s crazy. There’s not an app for that. You actually have to walk, run, jump, bend, stretch, sweat to maximize that food intake. Working usually involves all of those activities.
The Word of God must be put into action. Head knowledge is just the beginning. But action is not the ultimate. God desires to incorporate both in the process. He designed them to work together.
We don’t want to be ditsy jocks or weak eggheads. One of the best ways to avoid these extremes is to remain grounded in a Bible community, the Church. In the same way that we have one body with different parts which function together, God has called His people one body.
In community, we find those who will push us further along the mission. We will also find the blessing of those who will fill and very refill our minds and hearts with the Good News.
When we start to use what we’ve been given, we get hungry for more.
Spiritual thirst and hunger is countercultural to the physical realm. When we yearn for His Word and gorge on it, we get even more hungry for it. Here’s the deal, when we graze on the Bible we get all kinds of zeal and vigor. We therefore begin to pour it all out immediately, from sacrificial lifestyle and attitude treating ourselves as drink offerings.
It is at this point, when we become desperate for His Word to fill us and for His Spirit to empower us to embody, obey, and proclaim that we are really digesting Scripture.
Here are 3 ways I have found digesting wh ole books to be even more (not comparison but in addition) gratifying for the mission:
- The context is often a story which has direct parallels to our current situations. We miss the behind the scenes stories because we don’t see them when each chapter is isolated.
- We find surprises. We think we remember the Bible better than we actually do. Taking a full story usually highlights details you realize that you’ve never noticed. Surprises like this usually inform our mental and spiritual status.
- We find space through sympathy with the entire human experience. Reading the Bible by full books erases many of the clichés associated with Bible reading. The Bible is full of mourning and rejoicing, death and birth, all the ups and downs of life.