Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

When You Want the Bible to Change Your Life

42 Comments

God's Word. Two keys to a life transformed. 1. Look Carefully into the Word. 2. Do What It Says. Here are 4 ways to apply scripture to your life.

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably lived this scenario many times. You push against an overflowing Lego bin or laundry basket to get the door of your child’s room open. Fighting dust bunnies, dirty clothes, books, and empty glasses, you make your way into the deep recesses of the room to locate your offspring. You tell him to clean his room. He’s looking straight at you and even says, “Um, yeah. Okay.”

Five hours later, his room looks exactly the same. And the best part? He has no idea what you’re talking about when you ask why he hasn’t cleaned his room! NOT EVEN A RECOLLECTION of your asking him.

We get frustrated when our kids don’t seem to listen, yet how often do we do the very same thing with God? Sometimes I read scripture, yet I’m just skimming along, not really paying attention. I say, “Um yeah. Okay, this is great truth.” But later? I don’t remember a thing. I face a challenge and blow my stack, snap back, or give up. Just as if I’d never seen a Bible in my life.

James compares this response to God’s Word with someone who looks in a mirror, walks always, and forgets what he looks like. That sounds incredibly dumb, but I do it all the time.

God's Word Changes Lives Scripture

James 1:23-25

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to have ho-hum devotionals day in and day out, yet stay the same. I want listen to God’s voice and let it change me. I want to live a life marked by God’s power and presence. I want a life marked by God’s Spirit and His Word.

James gives us two keys to a life transformed:

1. Look carefully into the word.

2. Do what it says.

In order to avoid forgetful “listening” when we read the Bible, here are 4 things we can look for to put into practice. I like to highlight these as I find them, so I’m including the colors for you here:

  1. COMMANDS (Orange):  Do I see a command I need to obey? Something God is calling me to? Something I can do or put into practice?
  2. PROMISES (Pink):  Do I find a promise I need to stand on today? Something that encourages me where my faith is lagging? Something I need to declare out loud?
  3. SINFUL ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS (Brown):  Do I see something I need to repent from or avoid? Where do I need God’s power to change?
  4. GODLY EXAMPLES (Green):  Do I find a man or woman in the Bible with characteristics I’d like to emulate? (I highlight the name and characteristics.)

As we seek to engage with God’s Word, of course we need to do more than highlight our Bibles. We need to pray over the truth we find and ask for Holy Spirit power to put it into practice.

God's Word. James gives us two keys to a life transformed. 1. Look Carefully into the Word. 2. Do What It Says. Here are 4 ways to apply scripture to your life.

When we put the Word to work in our lives by doing what it says, we have a promise: “God will bless you for doing it.” Unlike that person who even forgets what he looks like, we won’t stay the same. We’ll be marked by God, blessed by Him, and set apart for His purposes.

Now it’s your turn: Have you read anything in the Bible lately that is making a difference in your life?

This post is part of a series: God’s Word: Your Best Love Letter and Greatest Treasure. Join me each Tuesday in January for more tips and encouragement for digging deeper into scripture.God's Word Tweet

I’m excited to link up with Suzanne Eller’s #livefreeThursday. Suzie’s prompt was “marked.” Also joining with Thought Provoking Thursday, Holly Brown and the Grace and Truth Community, and Susan B. Mead’s Dance with Jesus.  Check out these communities for more encouragement.

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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

42 thoughts on “When You Want the Bible to Change Your Life

  1. Such a great point here. Thank you for encouraging me to look into His Word more fruitfully. I’ve been loving this promise lately: “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” -Colossians 1:13-14

  2. Good morning Betsy! Love the 4 colors for marking the Bible verses so you know the intent. Brilliant!

    Hugs. Susan

  3. Often I think about this situation — all the hours I have spent over the past decade or two, studying the Bible to teach it, reading it every day. Shouldn’t I Know it better than I do? I don’t want to read with my mind in neutral! Thanks for this turbo-shot of a wake up call!

  4. Betsy, I love how you move from the inspiration to the practical. Such good stuff in this blog post today! ❤

  5. I love this, Betsy! It stepped on a couple of my toes today, if I’m being honest. I’m with you… I want to be CHANGED by the Word! Thank you for including your highlighting strategy as well! Blessings! #livefreeThursday

  6. Oh Betsy, I don’t want a ho hum prayer time either! Love your practical advice – and the different color highlights! Thank you!

  7. Amen, friend. The answer is in this: “We need to pray over the truth we find and ask for Holy Spirit power to put it into practice.” Thank you for pointing us to the truth. Love your heart and your words… both come from Him. Bless you!

  8. Looking forward to the rest of this series, Betsy. Count me in. 🙂

  9. Can really empathize with what you share…Thanks for the useful tips to study Scriptures. What really struck me lately in diving into His Word was from Colossians 3…where we are told “HE is your life.” Nothing else matters. “HE is your life.” It really hit home, as I had my eyes on other things and not Him.

  10. Hi Betsy, Those James verses are are great to see again Thanks Ken

  11. Oh, I do love to highlight…. And I LOVE this strategy! My eyes tend to drift at times too,…I always speculate there’s a particular Word I’m supposed to pay mind to and the devil is distracting me so I’ll miss it. Can miss a rainbow colored page!
    Happy Thursday!!!
    Megs

  12. Great post Betsy! I forget what I look like all the time….literally AND figuratively! Thank you for your reminder and encouragement!

  13. Thank you Betsy for sharing these colors. I once used a system with colors and drawing of symbols and others that were becoming too confusing. Your system will work great for my daily devotions. And YES I want God’s word to be alive in my heart and spill over.

  14. What a practical word today, Betsy. Simple, and yet profound.

    My pastor growing up used to say, “Obey all that you do understand of God’s Word, and then you will understand more.”

    Love the idea of reading it and then doing what it says!

    Found your post today on Grace and Truth.
    Hope you have a blessed day~
    Melanie

  15. Thank you. I love also the highlighting ideas. Appreciate your down to earth thoughts and your sharing.

  16. Oh, Betsy, I can so identify with you. So many times I catch myself just reading through the Scripture without really paying attention. I’m trying to be more attentive and spend more time in prayer. It’s really true that if we want to change our lives we need to read and heed the scriptures we read asking the Holy Spirit to help us. Thanks for sharing! I’m your neighbor at Susan Mead’s linkup!

  17. Hi Betsy! I think it is the greatest challenge of my life…to put into practice what I learn and love in Scripture. I know I read the passages, love them, agree with them, promise to follow them…and then fall when I try to do them. Being a human being is very hard sometimes, isn’t it?
    But I know life is falling and rising, so I’ll keep trying. Your highlighting idea is a good one!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

  18. Such great truth! I started reflecting on my quiet time this morning and realize that it was not stellar. Life pulls us away if we let it. God needs us more and we need to honor that everyday. Thank you for sharing your marking system for God’s word. Sounds like it is easy and works well.

    Have a great week!

  19. Guilty as charged, Betsy. Thanks for this reminder. But excuse me, I’ve got to go clean my ears out!

  20. I love the thought process and tips you are sharing in this series Betsy. I keep a notebook handy to write down bible verses i hear or read in devotionals. Then i go back and read again myself asking God to speak to me and show me what He wants me to learn about Him. I love that you focus on how important obedience is. If we are not willing to obey, the reading becomes fruitless. I must admit that Joseph is one of the biblical characters that I most want to emulate. It spite of all the difficulties ,(pit,slavery.prison) He remained faithful and God blessed him Thanks for reminding us about the transforming power of god’s word. Blessings to you and yours!

    • Thanks so much for your encouragement, Horace. That notebook you have must be a goldmine. I agree that Joseph is someone to emulate, recognizing God’s hand, even when life gets difficult. Blessings to you too.

  21. Thank you for these very helpful ideas for making the scripture come alive. It is so true that sometimes we read a passage and don’t remember a few seconds later what it said. We skim. I’m printing and saving this list as a reminder.

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