Thursday, June 25, 2015

On Reading the Bible

From the time of Matt Talbot’s conversion and abstaining from alcohol, he read (and marked) his Bible daily and the writings of such authors as St. Augustine. When he didn’t understand a passage, he would seek clarification from his spiritual director.

The Bible contains keys to right living that Matt applied and we can apply immediately: do unto others what you would have them do unto you, turn the other cheek, and honor your father and mother. But it’s more than just a self-help book. The most important aspect of God’s word is its ability to bring us face-to-face with Jesus, who is the living Word of God.

Augustine was raised by a Christian mother and was probably familiar with many of the stories and teachings in the Bible. But it wasn’t until he had a personal experience of God speaking to him through Scripture that his life turned around. 

What happened for Augustine can happen for us. If we spend time with the word of God every day—not just reading it but pondering it, praying through it, and listening to it—we’ll begin to find Jesus. Our hearts will be stirred by what we read, and the words will begin to come alive for us, as if they were written just for us. We’ll hear Jesus speaking them to us, showing us how they apply to our own situations and filling our hearts with freedom and hope.