7 The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the LORD are firm, and all of them are righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb. (Psalm 19.7-10)
“But we must also allow scripture to stretch our reason back into shape. We must allow scripture to teach us how to think straight, because by ourselves we don’t; we think bent, we think crooked… Just so, the Spirit broods over us as we read this book, to straighten out our bent thinking; the world-views that have got twisted so that they are like the world’s world-views. God wants us to be people, not puppets; to love him with our mind as well as our soul and our strength. And it is scripture that enables us to do that: not by crushing us into an alien mould, but by giving us the fully authoritative four acts [i.e. the biblical story], and the start of the fifth [i.e. the story of the church in the world today], which set us free to become the church afresh in each generation.” (N.T. Wright, “How Can the Bible Be Authoritative? (The Laing Lecture for 1989)”)
Prayer: Lord, mold us, shape us according to your perfect will and word. By your Spirit, may we obey and live out your word. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “May the Words of My Mouth” (Tim Hughes). Click here.
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1.22-25)
So, how can we live out the Bible in our lives?
“First, we need to be mastered by the Story by reading the Bible so deeply that its story becomes our story. If we let that story become our story, we will inhabit the Bible’s very own story. Now, let me remind us that it is not simply this story that masters us but the God of that story…
Second, together as God’s people we are to so inhabit the Story that we can discern how to live in our world… We read the Bible with all the tools of history and language… but a proper reading of the Bible is attended by the Spirit, who will transform us, guide us, and give us discernment to know how to live in our world.” (S. McKnight, The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible, p. 211)
Prayer: Lord, empower me to live out your word, your perfect law of freedom. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “Build My Life” (Tribl/Maverick City Music). Click here.
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3.14-17)
Reading and living God’s Word renews our minds, re-shapes our lives, and breaks us free from the transient, limited patterns of this world.
“Now the supreme purpose of the Bible, Paul writes to Timothy, is to instruct its readers ‘for salvation.’ […] Salvation is far more than merely the forgiveness of sins. It includes the whole sweep of God’s purpose to redeem and restore humankind, and indeed all creation. What we claim for the Bible is that it unfolds God’s total plan.” (J. Stott, Understanding the Bible, p. 19)
Prayer: Lord, make me a servant of God who is thoroughly equipped for every good work. Use your Scriptures to teach me, rebuke me, correct me and train me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “No One Like Our God” (Matt Redman). Click here.
3 [Jesus] answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? […] 5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? […] 7 If you had known what these words mean…” (Matthew 12.3-8)
“It is a grand thing to be driven to think, it is a grander thing to be driven to pray through having been made to think. Am I not addressing some of you who do not read the word of God, and am I not speaking to many more who do read it, but do not read it with the strong resolve that they will understand it? I know it must be so. Do you wish to begin to be true readers? Will you henceforth labour to understand? Then you must get to your knees. You must cry to God for direction. Who understands a book best? The author of it… So, beloved, the Holy Spirit is with us, and when we take his book and begin to read, and want to know what it means, we must ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the meaning.” (C. Spurgeon, “How to Read the Bible”)
Prayer: Father, as we come before your Word, fill us with your Spirit, and enable us to understand its meaning. We know you are here with us. We want to know you more. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “Peace Be Still” (Kari Jobe). Click here.
Let’s read aloud together the following passage, confession and prayer:
Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes. To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless. (Psalm 119.89-96 NIV)
“The Word of God par excellence is Jesus Christ, God and Man. The Son is the Eternal Word, ever-present in God, because he himself is God: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’ (Jn 1:1). The Word reveals the Mystery of the Triune God. Eternally spoken by God the Father through the love of the Holy Spirit, the Word carries on a dialogue which expresses communion and leads a person into the depths of the divine life of the Most Blessed Trinity.” (“The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church,” Instrumentum laboris, 2008, Synod of Bishops)
Prayer: Lord, your word is eternal! We praise you, Jesus, Son of God, Eternal Word! Fill us with your Spirit now, as we proclaim your word! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing “Raised to Life” (Elevation). Click here.