We are getting to the end of the year when almost every Christian I know resolves to read the Bible through again the next year. I'm not sure how many times that has been one of my yearly goals. Do you do that?
If you are like me, you get into periods of your life in which you read the Bible like crazy, only to be followed by times when you go for a while without reading it like you should. Sometimes, I think, we don't realize what our Bible study is actually supposed to do for our lives. We sometimes just do it our of habit or because someone else has told us about its importance for our lives.
God's goal for us has to do with so much more than just reading through the Bible in a year.
One of my theology professors gave me me this idea of how theology is meant to function. The Bible, or our study of theology, is supposed to impact our head, heart, hands, and habitat.
Let me explain:
- Head: God's Word is to renew the way we think. Our sinful minds think a certain way, but the Bible is meant to come into our heads and cause us to think God's thoughts. We are to meditate on Scripture in order to reprogram the way we think and align our thoughts to His thoughts.
- Heart: The truth of the Bible is to reside in our hearts so that we come to love the truth that we know in our minds. The affections, or the part of us that values things, must see the truth of the Bible as something that is precious. Our hearts come to love what God loves and hate what He hates.
- Hands: After coming to know God's Word in our minds and loving it with our hearts, we begin to live according to those truths that we have come to know and love. Our actions are influenced by our affections, and having come to love God's truth, we will begin to live it out with our hands.
- Habitat: When we live according to what God's truth tells us, we begin to have an impact on our habitat. Our families, coworkers, friends, and neighborhoods will be impacted as our lives are restructured according to the truth of God.
As you begin a new year, may you resolve to allow God's Word to influence your head, penetrate your heart, guide your hands, and impact your habitat.