Ways we can Use Scriptures

I use a daily liturgical reading guide.   I also use the WORD AMONG US which has meditations for the daily reading.  Try reading the Bible and not stopping until you can say that you found something which you believe is God's word specifically for you.  Last week, the first reading was from the prophet Amos.  At first I found it irrelevant so I continued reading until the part about God becoming angry because the people during Amos' time were unjust idol worshippers.  God said He was going to allow a famine in their land, not a famine of flood, but of the word.  My reaction to this was that I should be more diligent in memorizing God's word, so in case there is a famine of God's word, which is not impossible, then no one can take it away from me.  The verse I'm memorizing now is from Hebrews 4:12:  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division between soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Another way for the Bible to come alive is to read the narratives while putting yourself in the story.  Like the story of the marriage in Cana, you can be one of the wedding guests or one of Jesus' followers.   You go through the passage and visualize what is happening, the conversation, the setting, what you are feeling, etc.  You can even talk to Jesus as you do this.   Just be sure not to mistake your own imagination for God's word.

One of the easier and more helpful ways to study the Bible is to pick a topic and read what the Bible says about it.  For this you will need a concordance, or a bible with lots of cross-references and footnotes.  

What I do is I have a file of index cards, and every time I come across a verse pertaining to thanksgiving, or intercessions, or God's love, for instance, I write it down and file it.  It's very rewarding making your own concordance.  You can also add quotations from your favorite Christian writers, etc.  When I was asked to give a talk on prayer and Scripture, I opened up my files and prayed that God would lead me in what to say.

So these are just some of the ways we can study the Bible- but the most important thing is to apply it in your life.  A study of God's word falls short if our own attitudes, thoughts, and behavior remain unaffected by it.

There came a time in St. Francis' life that he was not so much praying as he was a living prayer.  This is possible for all of us.  Prayer can become as natural as breathing.

Ordinary people like you and me doing ordinary things, can live extraordinary lives.  Our days are not filled with obstacles but with material for spiritual flight.  All it takes is the eyes of faith, the renewal of our mind and a life of prayer.  Diapers, dust, mounds of paper on our office desk, traffic- such everyday things, but then again, so are 5 barley loaves and fishes.  Let's give God what we have and let Him do the miraculous.


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