Last night we talked about how God's words give us wisdom, knowledge and life. We looked at Proverbs 2:1-6 and noticed all the words (apply, call out, cry aloud, look, search) that require effort on our part. To connect with God requires some effort on our part. This shouldn't surprise us. It's true of any relationship. Whenever we call / text / post / message / tweet / etc. people, it takes effort. Most of that effort is just trying to find our phone! (How'd it get in the dryer??) So it's going to take some effort to dig into the Bible and connect with God. The good news is that it's totally worth it.
A good way to connect with God when reading the Bible, is to ask questions while you read. You might have heard the saying, "There are no stupid questions." That may or may not be true, but for sure some questions are better than others. Some questions get answers faster than others. And some questions get you off track. (What does the fox say?) Learning to ask good questions is important. And guess what? It takes effort. (Doh')
So the first question when reading the Bible, or anything for that matter, is to ask "What is it talking about?" I know what you're thinking, "But Jim, I just read what it says. Why do I have to ask or think about what it is talking about?" That's a good question. (See, you're already asking good questions.) Here's the deal... if we misunderstand what it says, then we have a much, much, much greater change of misunderstanding what it means. Here's an example I've seen on facebook about punctuation. "Let's eat, Grandma". If you read the sentence wrong by skipping over the comma, then you'll get "Let's eat Grandma." So we go from a lovely evening with family to some sort of possible zombie cannibalism. Grandma's life hangs in the balance of the question "What is it talking about?" Obviously reading, or misreading a sentence affects the meaning.
So the challenge for this week is to read Genesis 22:1-19, Psalm 13:1-6, Mark 15:1-41, 1 John 1:1-10 on four different days this week, and ask the question "what are the verses talking about?" I know that these are the same verses from last week. There's a reason for this. The questions that I'm teaching (this week and the next two) build upon themselves. There is a connection in the order the questions are asked. It's kinda like math. First you learn numbers (1, 3, 6, 10), then you learn counting (4, 5, 6, 7 . . .) and then you learn addition (2+4 = 7). There's a process to learn. By reading the same verses each week it should help you focus on the process, as well as the questions.
So here's the plan. Let me (Jim) know when you read any of the verses. Either text me, comment on this blog, post on facebook, tweet me a message, or even go old school and tell me in person. However you do it, I wanna know so I can encourage
Each week two blogs will be posted for Blast and Ignite.