I think the Christian community has failed to teach young adults how to truly implement Scirpture in to their lives. They know they are "supposed" to read it, but they don't know why, nor how to, for that matter. They know the classic Bible stories featuring the "heroes of the faith", but they have little idea on how to use what is in the Bible and apply it to their life today. Scripture is timeless; it is as relevant today as it was when it was originally written and then canonized. It speaks to every circumstance under the sun, and it is when we apply the knowledge to our lives, that we truly see power, and therefore, change.
I challenged our C/C to read the Bible, and be able to answer the following questions at the conclusion of the passage. It's not a magic formula to effectiveness in one's life, but it's helpful tool to break down, digest, and implement the passage in to our every day situations.
We started with Nathan's confrontation with King David in II Samuel 12 (just because that's a passage that I've been meditating on for the last few weeks)
What can I learn about God from this?
How can I apply this to my life?
How can I use this to make God known to others?
1) God is Holy and he disciplines those he loves, and He allows consequence in our lives when we are disobedient and sinful. God sends others to us in order to sharpen us, and challenge us, and even convict us. God honors repentance, and He forgives readily. God is faithful to restore our lives and build them back up, after we have humbled ourselves and admitted our weakness. God has plan B for when we mess up plan A.
2) Sometimes, I can be so blinded by my sin, that I don't see it in myself. That's why I need to be open to relationships that convict my life, just like David was open to Nathan. Humility plays a weighty role in the restoration of my life. Once I confess my sin, I don't have to be afraid that God will not forgive me. I don't have to wallow in my consequence or I don't have to continue to punish myself, for I am not condemned. I can rejoice because God is a God of second chances.
3) I would love to share the message of hope that is indicated in this chapter. God has a plan for man. The course seems to go like this: Man fails. God restores. I know many people who could use this message of hope, and unconditional love. I want to help others see that their life is not a loss. God is able to give them grace as they endure their consequences for their actions, and He is able to redeem them, and bring them to a new place of celebration and victory.
It's not enough to READ God's Word...we must LIVE it.