How Do I Apply The Bible To My Life?

by Roger Barrier

Dear Roger,

I am a pretty new Christian. I have some Bible studies that help me know about the facts of the Bible, but I am not sure how to apply the Bible to my life. Do you have any ideas?

Sincerely, JG

Dear JG,

Let me make this as simple and practical as I can. I am going to share with you two sets of questions that I consider when I am applying a Bible passage to my life. The first set is designed to help us understand what we believe and how we behave. The second set is designed to help us along in our relationships with God and others.

Remember the purpose of the Bible is not to make us smart. The purpose of the Bible is to mature us into more loving relationships with God and others. Jesus clarified this in Matthew 22:37-40:

“One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Christianity is best understood in terms of what we believe, how we behave and how well we relate with God and others.

I always try to open my heart and soul to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as I seek to apply a particular teaching to my life.

I begin by asking a set of doctrinal and behavioral questions as I progress through the passage:

  • Are there doctrines that God wants me to know and believe?
  • Are there lessons here for me to learn?
  • Are there examples for me to follow?
  • Are there sins for me to avoid?
  • Are there prayers for me to pray?
  • Are there commands for me to obey?

Then, I move to the relational questions. I take my time in meditating on these:

  • What does this passage reveal about God’s heart?
  • What does it do to my heart to realize that God wants me to know His heart? Sadden me?  Gladden me? Humble me? Intrigue me? Compassionate me? Anger me?
  • How am I to respond to God and to His response to the people in the text?
  • How will I live to improve and deepen my relationships?
  • How can I better love the people around me?

Well, JG, I hope this helps as you allow God to use the Scriptures to mold you more and more into Christ’s image.

Thanks for asking.
Love, Roger

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