My dear one:
Itís been a while. Have you finished reading the book of John? †
I have some additional thoughts to help you as you study the Bible.
Godís word transforms us by renewing our minds.
Romans 12:1,2 warns against imitating the world, and exhorts us rather to be transformed by renewing our minds. We have all been programmed since our conception, by influences and our reactions to them. Most of our programming is wrong having derived from our natural inclinations (Isaiah 55:8,9). The Bible exposes our erroneous thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and actions. To be transformed we must give up our old ways for His. Itís a slow process, but one that is sure to transform us. We literally get a new mind ó the mind of Christ as we become more like Him which is Godís perfect will for us.
How to get the most out of the Bible?
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. The word of God is a large book comprising history, law, poetry, prophecy, and letters.† Choose one book as led by the Spirit; pray for revelation, and read slowly and thoughtfully.† If your Bible has divisions with subtitles, that will help further divide chapters. However, while reading, if a segment of Scripture really impacts you, donít rush on. Stop. Reflect on it and pray about it. I suggested the book of John, because it was written to help people believe in Jesus (John 20:31), and so I thought it would establish and strengthen your faith as a new believer. I trust it has been effective.
Knowing God from His word.
The greatest benefit you will derive from scripture is knowing God intimately. I learned from Inductive Bible study to mark every reference to God with a triangle (use a colored pencil but be consistent as to the color.) This enables you to quickly review everything the passage reveals about God. List everything you learn in a prayer journal, and respond to God about it.† Remember to always thank Him for the privilege of building a relationship with Him. John 14:21,23 tells us He reveals Himself to those who obey His word. Do not miss Godís direct commands, promises, and what He hates and loves.
The most profitable activity ó meditation.
As you conclude your time with God, take whatever He speaks to you into your heart (Deuteronomy 6:6; John 15:7a). Meditate on it all day and repeat this at night as you go to bed either with the same scripture or a fresh word He gives you as you prepare for bed. Reflect on it and ponder it. God says (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2,3) meditation will ensure your success and prosperity. This is the process by which Godís word sets us free; one thought at a time. †
One final word: Everything Iíve described here, will be attacked by the enemy of your soul. Donít be discouraged if establishing these disciplines doesnít happen overnight. Remember that anything worth doing, is worth doing badly at first. Ask God to help you; Heís greater (1 John 4:4)! He loves you, and is so pleased and honored by your efforts. You are the apple of His eye. He dotes on you, and is proud you are His (Isaiah 43:1). His strength and wisdom are yours for the asking.
Perhaps in my next letter I can demonstrate this process using the most widely read passage in the Bible.
Remember Whose you are!
I am praying for you always! †
Siyan Fayiga is a guest columnist of the Waxahachie Daily Light.† She resides in Allen, Texas with her husband of 17 years, and their three children aged 13, 14, and 15.† Siyan owns a business in Waxahachie, and her husband has practiced medicine in Waxahachie for more than 16 years.† She teaches a ladiesí community Bible study, which meets at Chick FilíA on 1st and 3rd Saturdays at 7 a.m.† Comments may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.