Spiritual Practice


Richard Lawton

What is God saying to me through this passage? That question is my key to reading the Bible, whether I read devotionally or as a way to learn and grow. If we do not ask what God is saying to us, what is the point of reading scripture?

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:16 (NRSV)

If I’m reading historical sections such as Kings or Chronicles, the answer to my question may be “not much.” But almost always, if I ask the question, ponder it, and turn it over in my mind, I will discover an answer. What God says to me through the Bible may be different from what God says to someone else, and it may be different from what God said to me ten years ago or what God will say to me tomorrow. So I’ll keep asking—and listening.


PRACTICE: What does God say to you as you ponder 1 Corinthians 13:3? (God tells me that anything I do, however heroic, is pointless if it is not done in love.) What is God saying to you through Jesus’s prayer in John 17:22–23? (God tells me that anything less than unity with my Christian brothers and sisters is less than what Jesus prayed for.) As you read scripture, ask yourself: What is God saying to me through this passage?

—from devozine (March/April 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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