“But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25
I have heard people describe some folks as “all talk and no action.” As a follower of Jesus Christ, that is the last thing that I would ever want said about me. I want, as James 1 declares, to be not only a hearer of the Word but also a doer. How then do we take what the Word of God tells us and apply it to our lives?
There are a lot of Bible study plans out there that will help us navigate our way through the Scriptures. What should we be looking for as we study the Bible that we can practically use in our everyday life? I want to provide you with six application questions to use as a guide when you study the Bible.
1. Does this text reveal something about the nature of God?
2. Does this text reveal something I should praise, thank, or trust God for?
3. Does this text reveal something I should pray for, for me, or others?
4. Does this text reveal something that I should have a new attitude about?
5. Does this text reveal something I should make a decision about?
6. Does this text reveal something I should do for Christ, others, or myself?
From these questions, we can look next for specific applications for our lives. These specific applications are:
1. Is there a sin to confess?
2. Is there a promise to claim?
3. Is there an example to follow?
4. Is there a command to obey?
5. Is there an idea about God to know?
6. Is there an error to avoid?
7. Is there someone to pray for?
My desire is that I will be effective in obeying God’s Word and living out the Christian life from a Biblical Worldview. When we make the everyday decisions of life whether big or small according to the Bible we are in essence living with a Biblical Worldview. I pray that our lives will be more than just words.
“So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
A lot of times in life when people ask us to do a favor for them we will jokingly use the phrase “What’s it worth to you?”. The idea here being that if I do what you are asking will it be worth my time and trouble. In other words, will it benefit me to do whatever you are asking.
As Christians, we have been taught in church and also read in the Bible that we are to discipline ourselves to study and memorize God’s Word. Unfortunately, not many people in our culture actually spend time in the Word nor memorize it. The busyness and demands of life keep us from following what God would have us to do. The key question then is what are we missing from not reading and memorizing God’s Word.
What is it worth to us to study and memorize Scripture? Isaiah 55:11 tells us that His Word will accomplish great things in our life. This verse tells us that His Word is something that changes who we are and more importantly prospers us spiritually. Even more than that, let me give you some specific ways that memorizing Scripture will bless you.
Memorizing Scripture will:
Supply Spiritual Power
“Thy word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against Thee.” Psalms 119:11 His Word in our hearts will give us the tools to see sin coming and avoid it!
Strengthens Your Faith
“Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge; for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, that they may be ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord, I have taught you today, even you.” Proverbs 22:17-19 God’s Words will be available to you when you need it so that you may see your faith grow.
Prepares You to Witness
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 As you and I are filled with His Word and His Spirit we will begin to experience the boldness and desire to tell others of His marvelous grace.
“Thy testimonies also are my delight; they are my counselors. “Psalms 119:24 Memorizing His Word will provide great counsel as we navigate the trials and daily demands of life.
“O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.” Psalms 119:97 Memorizing God’s Word will cause us to begin to meditate upon His truths which will change our hearts and our lives.
The reasons above are why we value teaching our students to memorize Scripture. I pray that we will all see the value of studying and memorizing God’s Word. As you can see, it will accomplish much!
Good afternoon Metrolina family!
This is an exciting day for our school as we launch our new Worldview Magazine entitled “IMPACT.” We will be publishing three editions of the magazine this school year. We pray that the articles will not only be a blessing to you but also a great tool in aiding you as you are working to instill a Biblical Worldview in your children. Please follow this link and enjoy this fall’s edition of “IMPACT”.
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Joshua 1:8
Most people I know want to succeed in life. We work hard at succeeding and then we also sacrifice to give our children all the opportunities we can for them one day to succeed. This is such an overwhelming issue that we are constantly looking for help on how to succeed.
Joshua 1:8 provides the answer on how to succeed. That verse tells us that we are to take seriously the spiritual discipline of Bible study and application. Joshua instructs us to study God’s Word continually, meditate on it constantly, and obey completely what it tells us to do. Only then, Joshua says, will we prosper and succeed in all we do.
What does this really look like in our daily lives? We must be committed to doing three things:
Hearing God’s Word
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
Most Christians should be able to discipline themselves to attend church regularly and to listen to messages via radio or media. Are you committed to being in church so that you can hear God’s Word regularly from God’s man?
Reading God’s Word
“But He answered and said, "It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matt 4:4
Studies show that less than 15% of Christians read their Bible daily. Worse yet, a large majority of Christians only open their Bibles at church or very minimally during the week.
Studying and Obeying God’s Word
“For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord, and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.” Ezra 7:10
Ezra purposed in his heart to study God’s Word, to obey it, and to teach it. He made up his mind and he disciplined himself to make Bible study and application the priority of his life. Ezra did not waffle on the issue of being in the Word of God. He knew the value of doing it and committed his life to it. What about us? Is it not time that we set our hearts towards God’s Word and not allowing it to be anything other than our top priority?
From Joshua 1:8, we know that establishing this discipline will change our lives. We will see success in what we do. It will not be success as the world defines it, but it will be success as God defines it. That is the only kind of success that guarantees to bring us peace, joy, contentment, love, and so much more. That kind of success will help us to lead our kids to a faith that will bless them in this life and guarantee their eternal destiny. Who does not want that kind of success?
What’s keeping you from setting your heart to study, obey, and teach God’s Word? I pray we will all see the value of prioritizing the spiritual discipline of Bible study and application in our lives!
Prayer is such a vital part of a growing relationship with God. Prayer changes our focus, our attitude, and our pursuits. James 5:16 says that “the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” For this reason, I am convinced that the devil will do anything he can to distract us from having an effective and powerful prayer life.
The Bible provides insight as to what some of the enemies of prayer are that can keep us from a prayer life that produces wonderful results. Below are some of those enemies:
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. James 4:3
If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear; Psalms 66:18
A Closed Bible
He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination. Prov. 28:9
“But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord.” James 1:6-7
"Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity.” Ezekiel 14:3
"When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” Matt. 6:5
“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:25
“In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:1-7
“You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.” James 4:2
I pray these verses will help as you pray and seek the heart of God. I am convinced that the spiritual discipline of prayer can change our lives. As we grow closer to God, we will begin to pray as the Psalmist describes in Psalm 37:4 when he says: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.”
In other words, when we get consumed with God then we will begin to pray for things that will bring Him glory. At that point, we will begin to see God do things that are beyond our imagination.
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” - Martin Luther
In just about every hospital room in America, there is a monitor above the bed that displays the patient’s vital signs. The vital signs monitored are usually heart rate, oxygen levels, and blood pressure to name a few. These signs provide the doctors with an idea of how the patient is doing in the most critical areas such as breathing and items related to the heart.
In our spiritual lives, we need to keep an eye on some of the vital areas of our lives that indicate what our Christian walk really looks like. One of those vital areas is that of our prayer life. Are we spending time with God in prayer building that relationship? Do we really know how to pray so that we can have an effective prayer life? We cannot grow our prayer life unless we really know how to approach God in prayer. I believe the best way to learn how to pray is to follow the model of Jesus. How did Jesus pray?
He prayed before making major decisions - It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12 (Prior to choosing the twelve disciples)
He prayed after great victories - After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. Matthew 14:23 (After the feeding of the 5,000.)
He prayed with the right motive - Now, Father, glorify me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. John 17:5
He prayed to overcome temptation - And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation." Luke 22:39-41
He prayed scripture - Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17
He prayed for intimacy with God. - This is eternal life that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3
He prayed during a crisis - When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?" Mark 15:33-34
He prayed to impact the world - I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. John 17:15
I pray that the model of Jesus will help you as you pray but I also want to leave you with another simple formula for prayer and it is called the ACTS model. ACTS stands for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication.
Begin your prayers with praise for God, followed by any sins you need to confess, then express your thanks for all He has done for you, and finally make known your requests to God in the manner that Jesus did above. May each of us begin to experience the true power of prayer!