Is Your Bible Study Self-centered?
By Lisa Appelo
Now, it’s eternal life: let them know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. – John 17: 3
Who is god?
How is he? What does he do and what does he like? What is its order of things and what does it require?
So often we come to our fairly egotistical biblical devotions.
Answer me. Encourage me. Teach me. Help me.
When all the time God has given us His Word as an amazing revelation of Who He is.
Yes, God will meet us and teach us and encourage us, but there is something much bigger: when we open our Bibles, we worship the One who shaped the galaxy, who is infinitely beyond this galaxy and yet Himself. made known to us.
We read our Bibles to find out who God is, what he does, and how we can align our lives with him.
When Jesus broke through time to dwell on earth, he came to a religious people who knew him, but did not know him. The Jewish elite could keep the law nobody’s business, but they could not understand a God above the law.
Their tight little boxes of Who’s God did not fit snugly around Jesus.
They constantly challenged him:
How can you say that you forgive sins?
Why do you eat with sinners?
Why don’t your disciples fast like our disciples?
Why do your disciples gather grain on the Sabbath day?
How dare you break the Sabbath by healing on it ?!
John 5 tells of Jesus coming to the pool of Siloam in Jerusalem. When he saw a man who had been lame for 38 years lying there, Jesus asked him if he wanted to get better and healed him, ordering him to pick up his mat and walk.
Why did Jesus heal this man? He hadn’t even asked for it. Nothing is said about Jesus healing the crippled and lame others lying in that same pool.
I believe this man’s healing – compassionate as it was – was secondary to Jesus’ real work: revealing who he is.
When I read this story, my heart is immediately drawn to what Jesus can do for me. He can heal me. He can take care of my need. He can reach for my pain and take it away.
Yes he can.
But if I stop there, I’m stuck in the claustrophobic cosmos of my own need.
Jesus is revealed in this passage and we are the lame if we miss him.
This passage explodes with the statement of Who Jesus is.
Jesus revealed his authority as the Son of God. Second person of the Trinity. All powerful. Worthy of everything. All holy. So far from the limits of the law and yet the only true righteousness that could fulfill the righteous requirements of the law.
And suddenly, magnifying God for whom he is realigning the trajectory of my heart and my thoughts. I can worship and worship and appreciate and marvel. I can repent and cry and realign myself so that my life revolves around his.
What about my need? My fear? My concern? It is only when I know who God is that I can rest in him with all my needs, fears and worries.
Over 15 minutes of Bible reading to see what you got for me.
No longer come to You to meet me.
No need to read Your Word anymore to assert myself.
No more self-centered Bible study.
Editor’s Note: Some of this devotion was taken from Is Your Bible Study Self-centeredby Lisa Appelo. You can read the full blog post here.
Want more from your daily Bible verse? We have also a podcast! This podcast features different verses from the written devotion you just read, but carries the same commitment to take a closer look at the scriptures every day. You can find out more by clicking on the link below!