JumpIntoTheWord

Bible Engagement Blog


2 Comments

Assimilate the Word

assimilate vb. to learn and understand thoroughly, to absorb, to incorporate, to be changed into another.

Starfleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard was assimilated by the Borg in late 2366. His assimilation allowed the Borg to acquire all of his knowledge and experience. Now I’m not a Star Trek fan like my wife, but I’m big on assimilation. Not what the Borg do. I’m into assimilating God’s Word.

Is God’s Word part of you? Are you consumed with longing for it? Is it embedded in your soul – undividable from who you are? We set our hearts on many things. Have you set your heart on being a man/woman of the Word?

To make God’s Word a part of who you are, you must read and reflect on it. There are no short cuts.  Reading and reflection require discipline – a regular routine of listening to the Scriptures, meditating on them and memorizing them. On a daily basis God’s Word must enter through your eyes or ears before it can be fixed in your mind.

Reading and reflection are the preliminary stages of assimilation. To go deeper you must be shaped and changed in the depths of your being. God’s Word must be absorbed into your DNA. Your mental knowledge of the Scriptures must be actualized. A metamorphosis has to take place. Information must transmute. What you know, you must become.

Becoming . . . 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. And, like the Borg Collective, it should continue multiplying through further assimilation!

© SU Canada 2013


Leave a comment

When the Going Gets Tough

TOUGH goingSomeone recently said to me, “I’m embarrassed to say this, but I have to admit that my Bible reading’s dry – I’m getting nothing out of it. I’ve been reading the Bible for fifty years and for the past two years it’s been a grinding routine.” “I know”, I replied. “Sometimes it can be a tough slog. I’ve had times when it feels like there’s nothing fresh.” We chatted for some time . . .

So how do we turn it around when we’re struggling to meet with God through His Word? What do we do when our expectations of hearing God speaking through the Scriptures are at an all time low? Here are some suggestions:

  • Mix it up. Sometimes we get in a rut. We read the same version of the Bible over and over again. Why not try a different version or a paraphrase? There are more than 800 English versions to choose from!
  • Connect with others. Personal Bible reading and reflection must be balanced with communal reading and reflection. Why? Because two are better than one. When one falls down the other can help pick him/her up (cf. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
  • Open up. The Bible is good news for our lives. Are we reading it as such? Let’s be careful not to tame the Word or reduce it to the scale of our own ideas. Before reading the Scriptures we should ask God to unlock our minds to His transforming power (cf. Romans 12:2).
  • Use a reading guide. Be alert to the insights that come through others. Yes I know the Holy Spirit is the Teacher and instructs us directly from the Word, but He also works through human teachers to unpack the meaning of a text, challenge our prejudices and expose our blind spots.
  • Linger longer. We’re more likely to encounter God when we slow down. Most of us live with the tyranny of the urgent, but not God! To meet on His turf we must “be still” (cf. Psalm 46:10), which in context means “Enough! Stop trying to have control over things!”
  • Focus. There’s a tendency to read the Bible almost exclusively to find out what to do. We should rather read it to find out who we are and who we ought to be. Interact with the Bible like you would with a mirror. Look into it and ask, “Who am I? Who do You want me to be?”
  • Live it. God’s Word has a claim on our lives – a purpose. We should be living epistles. The litmus test of Bible reading is whether or not we’ve acted on what we’ve discovered. Bible reading must translate into a response. Imitate Jesus (cf. Philippians 2:1-11). Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (cf. Micah 6:8).

© Scripture Union Canada 2013