Jesus is very clear about the importance of knowing and applying the truth we find in the Bible.
24 Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.
Matthew 7:24-27 (NLT)
Here are some practical ways to make the Bible an integral part of your life:
HEARING - This is one reason that weekly worship participation is so important. Together, we hear messages from the Bible. Those who neglect this usually find themselves spiritually malnourished.
READING – This is where New Hope’s Bible Reading Plan is a big help (nhcbrp.com). Personally reading the Bible in a systematic way helps it become familiar and understandable. Another way is to look up the verses and stories used in the weekly messages. Having a current translation that is comfortable to read is important. A few that we use are The New Living Translation, New International Version and The English Standard Version. YouVersion.com is a free service with access to many translations and Bible reading plans.
STUDYING – This is where we research the meaning of words and the background of stories and doctrines. A good study Bible helps here. The Quest Study Bible, The New Bible Commentary and NIV Study Bible are good resources.
MEMORIZING – Picking specific verses that address an area of your life where you want to grow/change is important. General understanding is good, but specific truth is essential. For instance, if you have a tendency to worry, memorize Philippians 4:6 and 7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (NLT)
MEDITATION – If you know how to worry, then you know how to meditate! The idea is to focus attention on the meaning of a verse or passage, so that it becomes clear in both its meaning and implications to your life.
APPLICATION – This is the goal: for the truth we learn in the Bible to become part of how we think and behave. “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NLT)