Monday, August 29, 2011

Now What?

The final step of reading and understanding our Bible is application. After we have made observations and interpretations, we ask the question "now what?" Now that I have read this passage and dug into its meaning, what does it mean in my life? How does this passage connect with me?
You can see that this step is fairly subjective. How you look to apply a passage depends on where you are in your faith journey. This is one of the amazing things about Scripture. It can speak to someone reading the passage for the first time or someone who has read it many times. The only rule is the application must not go against God's nature of love and grace. If you think the passage is telling you to do something that goes against God's nature, then you probably need to study it a little more.
So as we read and understand our Bibles we also need to looking for ways the Scriptures connect in our lives. It could be calling us or challenging us to do something. It might be encouraging us to stop doing something. Maybe the passage just wants to remind us of something we need to remember.
The passage we read yesterday was John 5:1-9 the passage about a paralyzed man waiting to be healed in a pool with healing powers. He can never get into the pool in time to be healed. Then Jesus comes along and asks him if he wants to get well. He kind of says he has been trying, and then Jesus heals him.
Different people mentioned applications in this passage could be to not get too focused on one way to be healed. This man only saw the pool as a place of healing, even when Jesus, The Great Healer, was standing there talking to him. Another application was to never give up hope. The passage said this man had been that way for 38 years, and now he was finally healed. An application that came to my mind compared the pool to the church building. Many times we might feel like we need to get someone there in order to help them be healed or have a relationship with God, but this passage reminded me that we don't have to bring people to the building, we take the presence of God to them wherever they are.
Let me know if you have other applications for this passage.

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