Two weeks ago I asked myself this simple question—“Why do I study the Bible?” It surprised me that I really didn’t have a clear idea of why I did it. I concluded in all honesty that most often I just studied it to understand it better. Far less often I studied it with the purpose of conforming my life to it. I see that it would be a blatant lie to say that being changed is always my purpose. Especially since I often can’t even recall by lunchtime what I read earlier that morning! How often I have dishonored God by glazing over His commands!
I know also that my best times of spiritual growth have usually been times of intense meditation on specific commands of God with the express purpose of obeying them.
Let me connect this to something else I’ve been meditating on. Think about this verse:
Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Do people see your good works? If so, does it bring glory to God or to you?
Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 6:1)
My desire and prayer is that we will seek to conform our lives to Scripture in such a way that people will see the change in us and give glory to God for it. And if in any way this is not fully our desire, I pray that God would change our hearts. These verses are worth meditating on:
Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, (Philippians 12b-16a)
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
I hope this is encouraging.