Reflection on scripture is the number one catalyst for spiritual growth. This is true for those who are close to Jesus and those who are far away. There are many ways in which we can study scripture. Here are two simple questions that will help you grow.
What struck you the most?
One of the greatest challenges when reading the scriptures together is to listen for what God is saying to us today. It is much easier to recount the events of the day, the attitudes of the original hearers and the needs of the people in the texts we are reading. Understanding the context of any given piece of scripture is important, but we often stop there. The Bible tells us that “all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) It is as true for us today as it was for those who read and it heard it as it was spoken for the very first time. As you read scripture together remember that God is still in the business of speaking to us. Pay attention to what struck you the most about the scripture and ask God to help you focus on what He is saying to you.
What do you think God wants you to do about it?
You’ve prayed, you’ve listened, you’ve even noticed something specific about the scripture that you’ve read. That’s great! But now what? What do you do with what you are sensing? That’s an excellent question and one that we need to ask over and over again in order for us to truly practice the scriptures. As Jesus was teaching the people around Him He said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash” (Matthew 7:24-27).
When we ask these two questions it helps us to discern what God is saying to us specifically and put His word into action. Embedding the scriptures into the regular rhythm of our life helps us to not only grow in the word of God but also helps us grow with others in community. Ask yourselves these two questions and see what God does!
If you are looking for some more ideas about how to cultivate this practice click here to learn more about developing intimacy with God and One Another.