Bring The Bible Home To Your Heart -- By: David Mathis

Journal: Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry
Volume: JDFM 04:2 (Fall 2014)
Article: Bring The Bible Home To Your Heart
Author: David Mathis


Bring The Bible Home To Your Heart1

David Mathis

David Mathis is executive editor at desiringGod.org and an elder at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis. He has edited several books, including Thinking. Loving. Doing., Finish the Mission, and Acting the Miracle, and is co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary. (@davidcmathis)

We all want to be “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22)

Who wants to feel the failure or share in the shame of being pegged like one “who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror . . . and goes away and at once forgets what he was like” (James 1:23-24)? It would seem like Bible application is an essential spiritual discipline to consciously pursue every time we encounter God’s word — but that depends on how we define “application.”

The key question we need to answer is what effect should regular Bible intake have on our hearts and lives — and how does it happen?

God’s Word Is For You

For starters, we should be clear that aiming to apply God’s words to our lives is grounded in the good instinct that the Bible is for us. Optimism about life application makes good on these amazing claims that all the Scriptures are for Christians:

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

“Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. . . . [T]hey were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:6, 11).

“Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

The whole Bible is for the whole church. We have good Scriptural warrant to come to God’s words expecting them to be understandable and applicable. We should make good on Puritan preacher Thomas Watson’s counsel,

Take every word as spoken to yourselves. When the word thunders against sin, think thus: “God means my sins;” when it presseth any duty, “God intends me in this.” Many put off Scripture from themselves, as if it only concerned those who lived i...

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