Maybe you want to study your Bible but you don’t know how. Where do you start? What do you do? How do you make sense of this collection of sixty-six books written by forty authors, none of whom ever had an iPhone or WiFi or access to digital media of any kind?
It can feel hard to relate to these authors, and digging into the Bible can feel overwhelming. I want to show you two questions you can use to get right to the good stuff when you open God’s Word.
I borrowed these questions from the apostle Paul. In Acts 22, Paul tells a crowd his conversion story. Paul (he was called “Saul” at the time) was on his way to Damascus to round up and arrest Christians when Jesus stopped him in his tracks—literally.
Paul thought he was doing a great service to God by trying to stamp out this Christianity movement. He thought Christians should be arrested, even executed. Paul thought he was on a mission for God, but he had things upside down and inside out.
Thankfully, God is really good at straightening out mixed-up people. A great light appeared to Paul, and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”
“I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting,” the voice replied.
Paul responds with another question: “What shall I do, Lord?” And you know what? Jesus tells him what to do! He doesn’t leave Paul to figure it out alone.
We don’t usually hear Jesus speaking to us out loud—I never have—but He does speak to us through His Word. Through Scripture, the Holy Spirit tells us who Christ is and what we should do!
When you open your Bible, try using Paul’s questions to better understand the text:
- Who are you, Lord? and
- What should I do, Lord?
Remember to keep the questions in that order. Christ Himself—who He is—means so much more than what I do for Him. I must always start with Him, never with me!
Sometimes when I’m reading the Bible, I like to take a piece of paper and fold it lengthwise into two columns. On the left I write the heading, “Who are you, Lord?” and on the right, “What should I do, Lord?”
I’m almost always surprised by what I find. There’s usually a whole lot more about God in a text than there is about the people following Him; this is a huge comfort! He’s the refuge, and I’m the one under His wing. He’s faithful when I’m not!
So often, we think being a Christian means we’re supposed to do a lot of things (or not do a lot of things). Really, being a Christian simply means following Christ. To follow Him, we must keep our eyes on Him, and we do this by hearing Him speak to us through His Word.
I invite you to turn to Psalm 91 and try this experiment today. Get out your paper and pen and dig in! Who are you, Lord? What would you have me do?
What did you discover? I’d love to hear.