“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
I was once asked what the best translation of the Bible was. My answer: When you translate it into your life. That’s what Bible study is all about. If you’re not translating God’s Word into your life, you’re not studying the Bible the way God intended.
God gave us the Bible to transform us, not simply inform us. It should give us a bigger heart, not a bigger head. In the Book of James, we're told, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22, NIV)
In other words, God wants our beliefs turned into behavior.
God makes his purpose for the Bible even more explicit in 2 Timothy 3:16-17: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (NLT)
The purpose of Bible is more than just showing us what is wrong in our lives or how we should live; God gave us His Word to radically transform our lives.
The Bible describes itself in different ways. For example, it calls itself a hammer, a sword, and a scalpel. All of those are tools designed to make radical changes. God intends for the Bible to dramatically change our lives.
The Bible also describes God’s truth as milk, water, bread, and meat. What do all those things have in common? If you don’t eat or drink them regularly, you’ll die. We were never meant to live without the Bible.
The Bible is essential to our lives because it gives us life. In fact, the Bible also talks about Jesus as the Word of God. John 1:14 says, “So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father.” (NLT) God gave you the Living Word -- Jesus -- to be the author and finisher of your faith, and He gave you the Written Word to prepare you to live out your faith.
Talk about it –
- The Bible is more than a mere wisdom dispenser or repository of information. How do you see God using the Bible to transform your life?
- Jesus is the Word of God. Talk about how intimacy with the Bible is connected to intimacy with Jesus.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.