|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Stay strong”
Our Bible verse for today: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “The Bible is transformational”
Many years ago, while still a seminary student, I was introduced to a book by Dr. Haddon W. Robinson that ultimately determined the course of my preaching ministry. The book was “Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages.” In that book, Dr. Robinson put forth a method of writing and delivering sermons which made perfect sense to me, and from which I’ve never departed.
Robinson begins with what he calls “The Big Idea”. What is the main theme of the passage before us? That then becomes the focus of the sermon. Then the main theme is broken down into easily manageable sub-points, each of which supports and explains the big idea. Then, as you are researching and writing your sermon, you do so with three primary questions in mind which must be asked and answered in your sermon – What does the text say? What does it mean?” and How does it apply?
That last question, the application, is crucial. More than just being informational, the Bible is intended by God to be transformational. More than just telling us things about God and about ourselves, the intent of the Bible is to transform us. It’s a tool used by the Holy Spirit to mold us and shape us into the individuals God intends for us to be. Its lessons apply to our lives. We don’t study the Bible so we can know more, we study it so we can become more.
This is exactly the point being made in Eugene Peterson’s great little book “Eat this book: A conversation in the art of spiritual reading.” We must internalize the Word of God into the very fiber of our being so that it determines not just what we know, but rather, who we become.
As disciples of Christ seeking transformation and spiritual growth, we should come to our time of Bible study or listening to a sermon with the question in mind, “How should this be shaping me?” understanding that God’s primary purpose in giving us the Bible was not just to inform us but to change us.
I encourage you to thoughtfully and prayerfully apply yourself as you study the Bible and listen to sermons. As Hebrews 4:12 teaches, seek to allow the Word of God to penetrate deeply into your heart, into the very marrow of your bones. The Bible should be, and is intended by God to be, transformational. Your study of it should make you better; it should make you stronger.
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