What is your relationship with Scripture? Do you only come into contact with it when it is preached? Do you simply go through the routine of reading it each day, but without really being nourished by it? Or do you devour it? Do you chew over it regularly in Bible meditation, until it begins to transform you?
The Bread of Life
Jesus describes himself as the Bread of Life:
Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. (John 6:35 NRSVA)
In other words, Jesus says I am the only One who can truly satisfy your deepest needs. I am the only One who can nourish you and make you feel whole. The Bible enables us to take on this nourishment. It is the Bible, that speaks of Jesus Christ from beginning to end, that feeds us and slakes our innermost thirst.
Taking in Nourishment
It is therefore essential for Christians to take in Scripture. To feed on it and to drink from it. Our relationship to the Bible should not be like fast food. When you eat fast food, you may feel full for a while, but because it lacks healthy nutrients, very soon you begin to feel hungry again. It is the same when you glance at Scripture, or go through the motions of a personal devotional time, or simply wait until it is preached to you on a Sunday. Each Christian needs to spend time chewing on the Word, not just our favourite passages, but those passages we have to gnaw on until they begin to make some sense to us.
Bible meditation is more than simply reading through a passage. It is slow-paced. It requires reading through the Bible passage several times, looking for certain words and phrases that jump out at you. You may need to pause and ask questions of the text. It needs a certain amount of patience, both with ourselves and with the text. It may mean continuing to engage with the text in reflection later in the day as you mull it over in your mind. Finally, eating alone never seems as pleasurable as eating a meal with company. There is something to be said for getting together with other Christians and meditating on the Bible together. I am thankful for being part of a great Bible study group.
How do you study the Bible? Do you have any tips? Why not leave a comment below. You can listen to the Bible Message this post is based on here.
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