Putting The (Ing) In Living
Checkout this marvelous statement from the great Princeton Theologian Charles Hodge in The Way of Life.
We cannot make progress in holiness unless we devote much time to the reading, hearing, meditating upon the Word of God, which is the truth whereby we are sanctified. The more this truth is brought before the mind; the more we commune with it, entering into its import, applying it to our own case, appropriating its principles, appreciating its motives, rejoicing its promises, trembling at its threatening, rising by its influences from what is seen and temporal to what is unseen and eternal; the more we may expect to be transformed by the renewing of our mind so as to approve and love whatever is holy, just, and good.
Did you notice all those words ending in (ing)? Spend a few minutes asking yourself if this is what your time reading the Bible looks like.
Reading - First, do you actually read the Bible consistently? If you do, is it just to meet the minimal requirements so you don’t feel guilty, or do you read and reread the passage to know and love God.
Hearing - When you read, do you ever read the Bible out loud? You should try it, it will remind you that the speaker is present there with you.
Meditating - Do you chew your Bible like a good steak or choke it down as quick as you can, so you can move on. Spend time thinking deeply about what you’re reading.
Entering - Do you just come to your time of reading on the fly or nonchalantly or do you anticipate coming to the Word as if you are entering the very presence of God?
Applying - Do you read with your own life in view or distance yourself from its teachings, or worse still apply it to other people instead of yourself?
Appropriating - When you read, do you think about how that passage fits into your everyday life? Do you look for places to be convicted or encouraged by what you read?
Appreciating - Do you ever pause in your reading and thank God for the written Word. God has given us the written Word for our good. He intends good in our lives by his word.
Rejoicing - How often have you been kept from despair by the promises of God? Memorize them, claim them and live in them.
Trembling - Do you ever tremble before the threatening of our Holy God? If not, ask yourself why? Spend time thinking about the sure fulfillment of his judgement.
Rising - When you read the Word, does it cause you to breath the air of heaven. The Bible refocuses our minds from the temporal to the eternal.
Renewing - Do you find your Bible reading transforming you more and more into the image of Christ?
My prayer for you is that you would develop a devotional life of reading Scripture in the light of these (ings). God’s Word is alive, and it has the power to change you from the inside out. Now pick up your Bible and live.