This week we have been taking a deeper look at the application of God’s Word. Today I want us to look even more closely at theological concepts verses practical action.
There are two things a text will show you. Either it will teach you something you should know, or it will tell you something you should do.
What we should know:
When we think of practical application we often think, “What should I be doing?” Not all passages are about doing something. Many passages show us what we should be thinking.
Our minds need to be renewed (Romans 12:2) and this is done by learning to think rightly. Our thoughts influence our speech and our actions. If we are not thinking rightly about the goodness of God, for example, it will affect the way we talk about God and our circumstances. It will affect the advice we give others in their struggles and it will affect the way we act in our particular situation. Right thinking leads to right living. Sometimes, our practical application will be all about making sure we are thinking properly about God, sin, ourselves, or the world.
Here are some questions to think through:
- What does this passage tell me about God’s character (sovereign, good, patient, just, holy)?
- What does this passage tell me about God’s actions (rules, forgives, judges, hears, loves)?
- What does this passage tell me about sin in the world, or in myself?
- What hope does this passage offer?
What we should do:
Some books and passages will have more straight forward application for our lives than others. The book of James, for example, is a very practical book about what we should be doing and how we should be living. The books of the law (Leviticus or Deuteronomy) or some of the prophets (Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc.), can be a bit more difficult. When you come across a verse that requires action ask yourself these questions:
- What does this passage call me to stop?
- What does this passage tell me to start?
- What lie am I believing that this passage contradicts?
- How should this passage inform my prayer life?
- How should this passage result in praise to God?
- How can I share the truths of this passage with others in my life?
Don’t skip over the passages that don’t clearly tell you about something you should be doing. Look for truths that will help you renew your mind and love God more.
As you close today, take a few minutes to answer the above questions about today’s reading from Psalm 119:9-16.
Looking to Jesus,