reading the Bible with Jesus

I went to seminary and learned to study the bible.
I can dissect the Hebrew and the Greek, and use commentaries and concordances with ease.
But when I study the bible, I am the subject (the one in charge) and the bible is the object (that which is studied).
I am in the position of authority as I interpret and apply what I read.
This is not good.

What needs to happen is that the Lord, with the Spirit, through the bible, reads and studies me.
I am under the microscope when I read the bible.
This is why I hesitate to speak about or promote bible studies.
More important, I want to encourage myself and others to spend intentional time alone with Jesus, allowing what I read to read me.
Its not just about understanding what I read, its about seeing myself through what I read, through His eyes.
This is why journaling, praying out loud and using the SOAP method of Bible reading has been so good for me.

Take a passage, maybe the assigned reading for today, and talk it through with Jesus.
It is very helpful to get background information, to learn about the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHYs of the passage.
But this information needs to be discussed with Jesus, and applied.

I read through Malachi 3-4 today, and as I did, I tried to see myself in the reading, and to hear how the Lord was speaking to me.
There are a lot of details that puzzle me, but the basic sense that came to me was that the people wanted the Lord to judge their enemies, but He promises to come and judge them, to refine and purify them.
He exposes things like greed (in respect to the tithe) and disrespect (considering it futile to follow Him).
As I read, I wondered what issues the Lord would expose in my own heart.
And this led to a whole reflection on my own need to be judged… to allow the Lord to look deep into my own motives and values, lifestyles and priorities, and to point out what needs to change.

I believe that every passage of the bible can be read with Jesus, and with an openness to the Spirit, we can be taught, rebuked, corrected and trained in right living, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
This is what He wants, a disciples “walk and talk with” relationship between Him and us.
If your devotional time is just time spent with a book, reading a chapter or verses (or looking for a sermon text or sermon ideas – my issue), then you are missing what those words are meant for.
“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39-40)

Did you read the Bible with Jesus today?


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