God's Heart and Scripture {Part One}


God's Heart and Scripture Ever gotten home after a hard day, flopped onto your bed, and reached for your Bible in desperation? You begin searching through Scripture, hoping that something will jump out at you to offer guidance or encouragement. But, for me at least, this usually leads to reading a lengthy passage about goat sacrifice or something.....not exactly helpful.

"How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word." -Psalm 119:9

I am a planner. If there was a vast, heavenly notebook that details our lives (mission work here, college this year, get married this date, pass go, collect 200 dollars), I would have mapped it out already. But God seems to delight in the unexpected and the impossible.

So, how do we study the Word and try to comprehend what God is saying to each of us?

The Bible is huge, exhausting and can be confusing at times. Where do we even start? How do we know when God is speaking directly to us, or when He is dealing with a specific time and issue?

When I attended Bible school in Miami, we were taught to ask a few questions when reading the Bible:

  1. Who is speaking? Is it God, or Moses, or a random person on the street? Find out who it is and keep that in mind as you read the passage.
  2. Who are they speaking to? Who the person is talking to will determine a lot - are they praying to God, addressing their nation, a friend or enemy? They will speak differently and their words will have more or less weight depending on this.
  3. What is the context? You need to think about the time period, and what is happening at this point. If Paul is talking to Timothy, he will be dealing with different matters than Moses speaking to the Isrealites. There are many things that are the same throughout humanity. Human emotion, love, relationships, but the way things were handled in the Old Testament will look different than the picture we are used to today.
  4. Does it fit with the rest of the Bible? Please hear me out on this one. The whole Bible has been inspired by God, and it is all for us to read and learn from. However, when thinking of context and such, it is important to note that these people had different cultural challenges than we do, that the world was a different place back then, and so their circumstances likely caused them to have a whole different set of questions. But, God is the same today as He was at the time the world was created, when Moses walked the earth and even today in the midst of the technology driven era. The basic principles will always hold true - who God is, who Jesus is, and the message of love that they teach. Our challenges are basically the same: selfishness, greed, envy, lust, perfectionism. And God’s forgiveness and grace is the answer to each one.

Now that we’ve got these four questions covered, its time to open up the Word. I received a good bit of advice awhile back: always be reading through a gospel. Although much can be learned from the rest of the Bible, Jesus' life is especially transformational. The more I study about His interactions with people, and His way of seeing the world, the better off I become.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete throughly equipped for every good work." -2 Timothy 3:16-17

A good place to begin your study of the Bible is Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. Begin reading one of these, at your own pace, asking God to open your heart to understand, and to use what you learn in your life. When you find a passage that is difficult to understand, try asking the four questions above. It nearly always helps me make sense of what is going on, and, by so doing, sift through my current questions to find an answer.

[pullquote width="300" float="right"]The Bible is about an Almighty God loving imperfect people, and making them perfect through His Son.[/pullquote]

But, back to the original question - how do we understand God’s will through scripture? Well, what is the Bible about, really? It’s about relationship. It’s about an Almighty God loving imperfect people, and making them perfect through His Son. It’s about Love.

How does this help us know the will of God for our lives? The Bible deals deeply with the character of God. The more you study it, the more you know His preferences, what pleases Him and what is an abomination in to Him. It's like getting to know a friend! As you read, you will learn to look at your dreams to see if they line up with God’s character.

That's why it's so important to study God's word every day - it's the spiritual food that feeds our Spirit and its the only way to get closer to God.

"This Book of Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall mediate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." -Joshua 1:8

We all want a practical way to look at this tangible gift God has given us - His Word can prompt us to act selflessly, live fearlessly, and boldly inspire. The world around us becomes so much richer when viewed through the lenses of love.

God has left us with not one, but many resources for helping us through our lives, including prayer, memorizing scripture, and faith. We’ll be looking at them in part two of this article, coming out soon!

And may I just say, friends? It is so encouraging to see a generation of young women reaching out to know God’s heart. I know He is so happy that you have made this decision, and He is sure to bring blessings into each and every life that longs for His touch!


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