What do you think of when you hear “the Bible”? Oftentimes, people think of it as a set of rules or a guidebook about moral instructions on how to be a “good” person. Many believers will look at the Bible and see it as a way of obtaining what they desire or they may treat it as an emotional crutch to receive comfort within its verses. If we, as believers, have read the Bible in the past to serve ourselves, let us reflect upon how we can further study the scriptures to perceive the heart and mind of God, so we may grow deeper in our relationship with Him.
What does living according to the Bible look like?
We could boil it down to living a godly life, but that does not offer much of a guide as to how we can become righteous in God’s eyes. From this statement, I’m hoping we see that living a biblical life requires developing an understanding of the scriptures. As mentioned in John 1:1, God is the word, however this does not mean He is within the physical ink on the pages of the Bible, but rather His heart and will can be discovered within the true understanding of scripture. Yet, in order to know how to live a life of faith that imitates Christ, whether it be a code of ethics or a set of rules, we must first know it well.
An example to consider is that if the Bible is truly within our hearts and minds, then the worries of this world will not defeat us in our pursuit of deepening our relationship with God. In Matthew 6, it mentions how we do not need to worry about earthly things, like clothes and food, because God knows we need them. He even takes care of the birds, which are considered lesser than humans, so then would He not also care for us? If we are able to understand this concept, then we are able to gain peace and comfort from knowing God will take care of us if we trust Him. However, trust is not blindly believing in the unknown but it grows over time as one individual makes the time and effort to know the other individual intimately. As believers are the children of God, they acknowledge God as their Father, and therefore, to maintain a healthy and bountiful relationship with our spiritual father, we will develop a heart of gratitude and sacrifice toward God.
In God’s Image and Likeness
Amidst hardships and temptations we endure on a daily basis, the Bible addresses them clearly, but what of the inward, such as the spirit and soul? In 1 John 3:10 it says:
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. (1 John 3:10, NIV)
As believers who claim to be the children of God, made in His image and likeness, then we will have similar characteristics of God too, such as not doing what is evil or sinful in God’s eyes and loving one another. Yet, how can we learn to achieve such things in our own lives? As it says in John 1:1, the Word is God, which is not to say that the physical Bible you are holding is the Almighty Himself, but in fact the understanding of those words is what contains God’s heart. If we are able to gain an understanding of the word, then we grow closer to God in obeying His commands and learning to develop His heart within ourselves so that we may show the same grace and love to others around us. Through receiving understanding of God’s deeper thoughts, we can grow in the mindset of being someone who overcomes our own sinful nature. In doing so, this will even change our lives overtime. The mindset of someone who overcomes is one who does not give into their own worries and earthly desires, but is an individual, who learns the bible with an open and humble heart.
As it says in Jeremiah 29:13, NIV: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
What does it mean to apply the Bible to our daily lives? This looks like someone who is victorious over their own greedy desires and does not give into their worries and struggles. It is also someone who studies the Bible and prays to God with an earnest heart for their life to be changed and recreated according to His word.