Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Deuteronomy 10 & 11 - Application: Fixing These Words in Your Heart and Mind

Wailing Wall 3, originally uploaded by pmgilmer.
Bible Study Tools: Application

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as a symbol on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. (Deuteronomy 10:18)

This is how the Orthodox Jews apply this verse (and Deut. 6:6-8). They tie boxes of Scripture to their forehead and arms called phylacteries (see picture above).

But how do we as believers in Jesus Christ apply this? We can do this by hearing, reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating on the Word of God! (See the Word Hand Illustration for more details about this.)

Having a heart for the Word of God is one of the key marks of a person who attains in the Christians life, and it is the third point in Many Aspire, Few Attain:
3. Hunger for the Word
“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Pet.
2:2).

The third way to lose in the spiritual conflict is to lack a hunger for the Word of God. The Bible, throughout its pages, emphasizes the importance of hiding the Word in your heart. “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly”
(Col. 3:16). “Thy words were found and I did eat them” (Jer. 15:16). “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (Psalm 119:11). “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper that any two-edged sword” (Heb. 4:12). Your only chance of survival is to take the Word of God and
to hide it in your life. The Word cleanses. The Scriptures give you the life and character of Jesus Christ. The Word of God gives you power and the ability to do the will of God.

How well are you hiding the Word of God in your life? Has the Word become perfunctory for you? Are you doing Bible study or are you
studying the Bible? There’s a big difference between the two. Most people do Bible study rather than actually studying the Bible. Are you really devoting time to study the Word of God?

I can fill in the blanks in a Bible study outline in about five minutes, but it takes me about twenty hours to really study a chapter of the Word. I can show up to a study with only a few minutes of preparation all the blanks filled in and look and sound pretty good. I have not, though, actually studied the Bible.

If you are not hiding the Word in your heart, if it isn't as milk and honey to you. If you do not regularly drink deep from its well, you won’t make it. You, like so many others, will have
started well, but finished poorly. You will not survive.

I run across people in the Christian community again and again who say to me, “You now, Henrichsen, you can’t be legalistic about these things”. They're absolutely right. They also say things like, “When I’m around people like you, they kind of squeeze me into their mold”. I know exactly what they are talking about. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man” (1 Cor. 10:13). Remember, however, if you have that attitude, it's not the fault of your Bible study
leader or those trying to encourage you in our faith. The fault belongs to you. It's the result of the coldness of your heart and your lack of hunger for God’s Word. Yours is not really a legalistic problem, but a spiritual one.
 
The Bible encourages our daily study and meditation of its passages. When we
encourage one another in this we are not being legalistic, unless we go beyond God’s admonitions and manipulate others into following our rules, or unless, of course, you feel that you are gaining merit with God because of your effort.

I suggest three steps in an effort to help you use method to unlock the treasures of the Bible rather than becoming trapped in the web of method alone. First, spend a lot of time in the Word. Second, meditate and think on it rather than doing a perfunctory ritual of the form. If you do, you can really make the Word of God come alive. Third, apply what you read to your life. After all, the Word of God was given primarily to change your life, not to increase your knowledge. Make sure you're a doer of the Word and not a hearer only.
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