I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)
Once a month(ish), I’ll be writing you a blog post about one of the various spiritual disciplines referenced in the Bible, explaining its importance and relevance, and giving a suggestion or two on how to practice it.
This month, let’s take a look at study.
At Christ Community Church, we regularly encourage you to engage with God's written word. A fundamental facet of following God is knowing God. And the only way to really know him is by reading what He has inspired others to record about Him. This is how we familiarize ourselves with how God thinks, speaks, acts, and behaves. If we truly intend to take on the character of God, we must understand what it is. But, in engaging with the Word, we must differentiate the forms that takes, and make a concerted effort to incorporate both.
The Word should be read devotionally. Just read it. Take it in. Consume it as bread for your spirit. Let God and your spirit accomplish with your reading what they will.
But the Word should also be studied. Make time to dig into it. Understand it. Use commentaries. Try to understand any differences between your translation, and others, and the original language. Try to understand how the message might have been understood differently by the original audience to which it was delivered. Consume it as bread for your mind. As the scripture above says, you will be transformed by the renewal of your mind. Study is the primary tool for accomplishing this renewal. If you want to live like Jesus, you have to begin by thinking like Jesus.
Think about it.