Bible Engagement Blog: JumpIntoTheWord

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Twenty Quotes From the Bible Engagement Blog

Anything I’ve written that may be deemed insightful or informative is solely due to the insight and understanding that comes from God. In fact when my writing seems to be flowing well, those are the times when I’m most conscious of being empowered by God. Conversely, when being a word-smith is a strain, that’s when I’m usually striving in the flesh.

So with thanks to God for the gift of writing, here are my favourite twenty quotes from the Bible Engagement Blog:

Bible engagement is first and foremost about letting the Bible have its way with us.

To know God and be godly, we must know God’s Word intimately. To know God’s Word intimately, we must grow in intimacy with God’s Word.

The Scriptures are best digested if we “eat them” slowly. Take your time. Masticate on each word. Listen for what God is saying. Enjoy the moment. Open your heart. Pause to pray.

We should read the Word with thought given to prayer and pray with thought given to the Word.

God wants us to be doers of the Word. The ultimate goal of Bible reading and reflection isn’t to learn the history of the Bible, to understand doctrine, to enjoy the stories, get our theology straight, or know everything there is to know. Bible engagement must include application. God gave us His Word to give us life and to change lives!

Always remember that God’s Word is far more important than anything we can ever say about it. The primary aim of all preaching and teaching should be to equip others to actively indwell, engage and get caught up in receiving and reenacting the Word.

The message should master the messenger. Christians should be living epistles!

To embrace a relationship with Christ that matters deeply requires a deep commitment to the Scriptures.

Belief matters! When people love Christ, they will love His Word.

The Bible desires to be known, dares us to chase after it, invites us to connect with it, and challenges us to be immersed in it.

We don’t need a Bible reading revival, we need a Jesus revival! For when people start falling in love with Christ, they can’t help themselves from falling in love with His Word.

If we read the Bible to know the Word of God, yet don’t read it to know the God of the Word, we miss the mark!

What’s ultimately important isn’t the Bible study method; it’s whether or not we’re engaging, internalising and incarnating the Word of God.

When the Bible is reduced to a handbook for church dogma, a moral rule book, a depository of propositional truth, or a collection of wise sayings to guide people through life; it is easy to take it or leave it. But when the Bible is shared, in the power of the Spirit, as the Story which runs deeper than the world’s stories, it invites us to enter into a different world and see ourselves in a different light, that is, to share God’s view of the world.

So what is the best English version of the Bible? The one that gets read!

In what Leonard Sweet describes as “the Age of Participation” it is unlikely that non-Bible readers will read the Bible if we do not cultivate ways for them to interact with it. People need to be helped to connect with the Story in relationally interdependent frameworks where there is a participatory flow of imaginative reason and metaphor.

Let the Bible read you. The Bible is more than a book – it’s alive and active (cf. Hebrews 4:12). Given permission, the Bible will weigh and measure you, and then, finding you wanting, will proceed to fill your heart with faith, hope and love.

As Bible engagement goes, so goes the nation. When our Bibles start falling apart, society will stop falling apart! If we want to see renewal and revival we must read the Word for all it’s worth and live it out for all to see.

God’s Word must lodge inside us and burst out through us! It should whisper in our spirit and trumpet through everything we say and do. It should be in our hearts, but also in our hands. In our minds, but also on our lips. In the privacy of our homes, but also in the public square.

So read the Bible, but not as an end in itself. Read it as a means to an end. Read it to find life and fullness of life in Christ (cf. John 10:10). Read it to see and know the Person behind the text. And read it to be like-minded, have the same love, to be one in spirit and of one mind with Christ (cf. Philippians 2:1-4).

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


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Leonard Ravenhill on Bible Engagement

In the classic, Why Revival Tarries, by Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994), the main thesis is prayer, but there are some Bible engagement nuggets worth sharing. Thus this post.

Ravenhill was a 20th Century revivalist who rebuked, reproved and exhorted Christians to live righteously. His single-minded warnings and appeals sometimes shocked and alienated people. Folk either loved or hated him. Regardless of what people thought about him, the bigger issue is whether or not he spoke the truth. You decide. Here are some of the things he had to say about Bible engagement:

One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed.

With a stack of books beside us and marginal notes in Bibles for props, we have almost immunized ourselves from the scorching truth of the changeless Word of God.

There are only three classes of People in the world today: those who are afraid, those who do not know enough to be afraid, and those who know their Bibles.

We have millions of Bibles, scores of thousands of churches, endless preachers – and yet what sin!

We have adopted the convenient theory that the Bible is a Book to be explained, whereas first and foremost it is a Book to be believed (and after that to be obeyed).

The Holy Book of the living God suffers more from its exponents today than from its opponents! We are loose in the use of scriptural phrases, lopsided in interpreting them, and lazy to the point of impotence in appropriating their measureless wealth.

Let any man shut himself up for a week … with no books except the Bible, with no visitor except the Holy Ghost, and I guarantee … that that man will either break up or break through and out.

Most preachers are only echoes, for if you listen hard, you will be able to tell what latest book they have read and how little of the Book they quote.

There is a world of difference between knowing the Word of God and knowing the God of the Word.

Leonard Ravenhill, Why Revival Tarries, 1991.

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5