“But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only.” James 1:22
In other words, it’s not enough to just read or hear the Bible.
We have to “do” the Bible for it to help us be more like Jesus.
In other words, we have to apply the Word of God to our lives.
Here are four simple questions to help you apply the Bible today:
1. What does this tell me about God?
Every passage of the Bible tells us something about God.
No matter where in the Bible you are reading, you can discover something about God and His character. As you read through the passage you are studying, write out the things you can learn about God.
Does this passage show that God is merciful, loving, and kind?
Does it show that He judges sin?
Take some time and meditate on what you learn about God. Let the wonder of who He is draw you to worship and praise Him!
2. What does this tell me about mankind (myself)?
Just like we can learn something about God from every passage of Scripture, we can also learn something about mankind from every passage.
Read the passage again, and see what it shows you about the character and nature of man (it’s rarely good!).
More importantly, reflect on what the passage shows you about your own heart.
It’s one thing to admit that other people are sinners. You can easily think of that prideful coworker or dishonest family member. It’s much harder to stop and think that you are also a sinner!
Compare and contrast what you have learned about mankind with what you have learned about God.
Does this passage reveal man’s need? God has the solution!
Does it reveal man’s sin? Contrast that with God’s holiness!
3. What am I going to do about it (today)?
As James says, we are supposed to be doers of the Word, not just hearers.
The entire point of application is to take action on biblical truths and change our lives!
After the first two questions, you should have a pretty solid grasp of both God’s holiness and goodness, and man’s sinfulness and neediness.
With those things in mind, how will you take action on what you have learned from the text you are studying?
Do you need to ask someone for forgiveness? Get rid of some harmful entertainment? Be a more faithful witness? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what you need to change, and then write out something specific that you will do.
Try to think of something you can do today! Don’t just write, “I’ll be a better witness.” Instead, write, “I will invite my coworker to church today.”
What will you do about the biblical truth you’ve studied?
4. What am I going to ask God to do about it?
You need God’s grace and power to apply the Bible.
It’s no good trying to do things on our own! Take what you have learned, and what you intend to do about it, before God.
Ask for His grace and help to better live for Him. Ask Him to work in your situation.
Did you read about trusting God? Ask God to provide your need!
Were you convicted about getting angry with your children? Ask God to change your heart and empower you to be patient.
All of our efforts will be in vain if we fail to rest in God’s power!
Ask these four questions and write out the answers to each as you study the Bible and you will be overwhelmed with how God speaks to you!