Probably like many of you, turning the clocks back this weekend has made me feel out of sync. My body got used to Daylight Savings Time, and I liked the routine I had developed over the summer months. Yes, I know that by mid-December I will have re-learned what 7AM feels like in Standard Time, but why do we have to change? I’m not sure I enjoy having my pre-scheduled life interrupted, transformed or shuffled around.
Change is difficult. It’s something that’s not naturally embraced. Routine, on the other hand, is reassuring and comfortable. But change does occur, and as Christians we are called by Christ to change (transform) our very character. A transformation of self into more of what God has created us to be.
We spend a lot of time talking about Bible literacy and how that literacy applies to our children. But what about us? Being scripturally literate may seem like a natural process when one is raised in the Church. No doubt, most of us know our Bible stories. Many of us may even have significant knowledge about the history of the Israelites, the early Christian Church and we can probably rattle off some pertinent facts about the Reformation. But is that what it means to be truly Biblically literate?
There is a difference between knowing what’s written in the Bible, and being totally changed by the Word. Perhaps that’s where we must start when defining our own Biblical literacy.
We know that the Bible is more than just a book. The purpose of God’s Word is to transform us. He gives to us His Spirit to assist us in applying that Truth; not only in our own lives, but in ways where we are called to become His hands and feet in the lives of the rest of the world!
I remember reading a blog post that equated merely reading the Bible, without applying its truths, to that of having a sports car sitting in the garage and never using it. Every now and then the owner might simply sit in the car and pretend to drive it; but in reality it would never move out of the garage. That awesome car would never be used! What a waste!
What about this “transformation”? How will I know when God has worked this miracle within me and I’m not just staggering around, sort of like I was this morning, trying to embrace an uncomfortable change?
When we think of being transformed by God’s Word, the one example that comes to mind are the fruits of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” Gal. 5:22-26
We are called to not only know what’s written in God’s Word, but to live it. It’s an action-verb, not merely a state of being.
Perhaps that is Bible literacy in its truest form. Being changed from within, and being able to model God’s own character to the world.
Of course we need to make getting into God’s Word a priority in life. Studying it, letting it envelope us; transforming our minds and hearts, and then asking for Wisdom in how God is asking us to use this new heart for His Kingdom. I’m personally in need of greater accountability in this area, because I have many times let my priorities go haywire!
My prayer today is for those of us on this site; that God continues to transform our minds and hearts to be more like His, and that we choose to invite that life-altering transformation into our lives!
Let’s discuss this further. How has God’s Word transformed you?