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Relationship with God August 26, 2009

Posted by TJ Friend in General Principles.
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The Bible is God’s word. Before we can even begin studying it, we need to take time to thank Him for giving us this gift and ask Him to reveal it to us. God wants to speak to us and the primary way He speaks to us is through the Scriptures. The process of reading and studying the Bible needs to be in the context of a relationship with the One who desires to speak to us and reveal Himself to us.

Hebrews 4:12 says that the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any double edged sword, it divides between soul and spirit, joints and marrow and judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. God’s word is living and active. It has the power to transform lives. As you spend time in the word, be open to His voice. He wants to speak to you.

When we come to the text our ultimate goal should be communion with God. As we read and study the Bible and God reveals Himself to us, we begin to become more attentive to God’s voice. Through prayer and thoughtful reflection the truths of Scripture soak into our lives and we are transformed into His likeness.

God gave us His word so that we would get to know Him. Through His word He reveals His decrees, His values, His desires, His truths, His promises, His heart and ultimately Himself. But even though you can learn a lot about God and what He is about, you can’t get to know Him without allowing Him to come into your life. It’s not about information it’s about transformation. As you read and study the Bible let Him encourage you and strengthen you. Communicate your needs and desires to Him and watch as he speaks identity and purpose into the very core of your being.

Reading the Bible without involving God in the process is like trying to learn to swim by reading a book. You may be able to learn things about swimming, but unless you dive into the water you aren’t truly swimming. In the same way, we can read all kinds of things about God, thinking that we know Him, but unless we dive into the ocean of His love and mercy we will never truly experience Him.

In a way reading and studying the Bible is an extension of worship. The Bible reveals God to us, and our natural response to that should be praise. The very process of learning more about who God is and who He has created us to be brings joy and thanksgiving. We should celebrate that God loves us, in spite of our weaknesses. He cares for us and draws us in when we feel unloved and unlovable. He is watching over us and speaks directly into our lives. He is directing our steps and forming our character. He provides and sustains us and cares about us deeply.

The Bible has been compared to a love letter written by God to us. This is partially true. The Bible is not written in the style of a letter, so by definition it is not a love letter. But, when you read and understand the message of the Word and allow God to show Himself to you and speak to you, you will like Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian Church be “rooted and established in love” and “may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high is the love of Christ, a love that surpasses knowledge…”

Reflection

When you come to the Bible what do you expect to get out of reading it?

How can you integrate prayer and praise into your time in the Word?

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