“Seeking to Savor Glory in Scripture”
written by Will Schuitema, class of 2022
We are in serious trouble. In an article entitled, “The Scandal of Biblical Illiteracy,” Albert Mohler, the President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, clearly demonstrates the precarious reality of the current state of America. “Americans [might] revere the Bible—but, by and large, they don’t read it. And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.” Mohler goes on to write that the Barna Research Group has found, “Many Chris- tians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples. The bottom line? ‘Increasingly, America is biblically illiterate...’” And in case any more needs to be said, “[A] survey of gradu- ating high school seniors revealed that over 50 percent thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife” (Mohler). If we don’t start paying attention to these warning signs, Christians are headed for a whole new world of danger, one where people believe everyone goes on to live happily ever after—including Sodom and Gomorrah.
What needs to be recognized is that we are being shaped by what we consume. An article for an online marketing company conducted research that shows, “Digital Marketing experts es- timate that most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day” (Marshall). That’s a lot of advertisements! The idea behind ads seeks to pull us into believing that we are lacking something, and that this specific product can give us what we lack. It’s no large leap to say that we are being shaped by the things we consume. When we choose to scroll endlessly on our phones, looking for the latest and greatest meme, the best family photograph, or the newest social media craze, we are being influenced. Our worldview is molded by the things that we choose to spend time doing. If we read the Bible and choose to practically apply it in the way the original author intended, we!re going to live with a biblical mindset. If we hashtag and like and comment while we attempt to do our devotions, we’re going to live a life focused on ourselves and the things that please us precisely because that’s what technology is telling us to do.
The Bible commands us in many different passages to study the Word of the Lord and to apply it to our lives. David, in Psalm 119, tells us, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word... I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you... I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (English Standard Version, Ps. 119.9, 11, 15). Paul also encourages us to store up Scripture within our hearts in sev- eral of his epistles: Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom,” and in Philippians 2:16, he writes, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God with- out blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.” Paul also commands us in Romans 12 not to “be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of [our] minds, that by testing [we] may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12.2). Based on these passages, we are commanded to be transformed by the Word of God. Sadly, the biblical illiteracy of present-age Christians greatly hinders their ability to live in a way that honors and glorifies Christ, and therefore, they must re-learn how to read, study, understand, and apply the Bible to their lives with the ultimate goal of growing in the love and knowledge of God Himself in order that they may reach all nations for the glory of God.
What exactly is biblical literacy or biblical illiteracy? It might be obvious to the Christian who we are called to be, but what does biblical literacy actually look like? Truth78 defines bibli- cal literacy as “[t]he ability to rightly read and understand the Bible, using proper tools of study, thereby becoming well-acquainted with the Bible’s character (innate qualities) and content” (Nelson). Put simply, biblical literacy is knowing the Bible. Therefore, biblical illiteracy is just the opposite: namely, not knowing the Bible or being well-acquainted with its character and con- tent.
Before discussing exactly how we are called to study the Word of God, it will be benefi- cial to understand some of the common pitfalls that exist around studying incorrectly. Several of these methods of incorrect reading are discussed by author and speaker Jen Wilken in her book Women of the Word. She explains that people studying the Bible can frequently fall into several fallible approaches while studying Scripture. First is the Xanax Approach, which treats the Bible as if it exists to make us feel better. The Pinball Approach consists of reading whatever Scripture we turn to “as the Spirit leads.” The Magic 8 Ball Approach occurs when we point to a passage and read it to find a hidden “yes” or “no” that we believe to be contained within it. The Personal Shopper Approach (also called the Topical Bible Study) occurs when we let others—usually well-known commentators or teachers—do all the studying for us. Finally, the Jack Sprat Ap- proach picks and chooses specific passages, verses, books, or even testaments that we “prefer” to read. These are a sampling of the many dangers to avoid, as the list provided by Jen Wilken is non-exhaustive. While these approaches may seem to work at first glance, they can be dangerous and are unhelpful to true biblical exegesis, which is “the careful, systematic study of the Scrip- ture to discover the original, intended meaning” (Fee and Stuart 23).
Contrastingly, Jen Wilken exhorts her readers to consider what true biblical studying would look like. She writes that,
A well rounded approach to Bible study...challenges us to navigate all areas of the Bible, even those that make us uncomfortable or that are difficult to understand...takes into ac- count how any given passage fits into the bigger picture of what the Bible has to say, honoring context, authorship, style, and more...recognizes that the Bible is always more concerned with the decision-maker than with the decision itself...addresses a topic as it arises in Scripture, rather than attaching Scripture to a topic...recognizes that books about the Bible, like topical studies, are a supplement to personal study, not a substitute for it... [and] challenges us to learn the full counsel of God!s Word. (Wilken 39-44)
These words should encourage us to consider how we are currently studying the Bible. Are we reading with a well-rounded approach? Or are we allowing negative habits to influence the way in which we read the Holy and Inspired Word of God? Questions such as these are essential to the Christian’s understanding of true biblical literacy.
While there is certainly great peril in biblical illiteracy throughout all stages of the Christ- ian life, there is an obvious and clear danger of this illiteracy that has been linked to certain be- haviors in college. Damon Maryl and Freeden Oeur from the University of California at Berke- ley conducted research several years ago and wrote an article concerning this subject. In it, they attempted to answer these three questions: (1) What do college students believe, and how do they practice their faith? (2) How does the college experience affect students’ religious beliefs and practices? and (3) How do students’ religious commitments affect their college experience? They found incredibly interesting information from a collection of studies done during the early 2000s, and they wrote,
Studies demonstrate that rates of religious practice decline precipitously in college. A longitudinal study of over 30,000 seniors at 118 colleges found that students discussed religion less often, attended services less frequently, and considered themselves less reli- gious relative to their peers than they did at the beginning of their freshman year... [and using] data from two surveys featuring a sample of 3,680 students from 50 colleges and universities, [it was] similarly found that students “were less likely to attend religious services, discuss religion, and pray or meditate at the end of the first year of college rela- tive to when they entered.” (Maryl and Oeur 264)
What can be inferred from this passage is the danger of going to college without a firm faith. College, whether private or public, large or small, Christian or secular, is a catalyst; it can strengthen one’s faith or it can weaken it. It either prepares one to enter the adult world ready to be transformed by God’s Word and swim against the current of the world, or it continues to lead one on the path of destruction that comes from allowing oneself to be shaped and molded by pleasures and pressures of our present culture.
What needs to be grasped is that we are never not being influenced. There will always be someone or something that is swaying our minds and hearts. Biblical illiteracy isn’t simply a neutral approach to life, where we are only missing out on being transformed by the Word of God. No, biblical illiteracy means allowing something or someone other than Scripture to influence our lives and stir up our affections. It is impossible to go through life without facing some kind of influence, and when we choose—whether consciously or unconsciously—to remain bib- lically illiterate, we are choosing to be shaped and molded by the world (Rom. 12.2).
Lastly, Maryl and Oeur sought to forge a connection between religion and certain pro- miscuous behaviors, such as partying, drinking, drugs, and pre-martial sex. In general, a lack of religion has been found, via surveys, to be directly linked to several sinful activities in college and universities. They found “that religiosity was a strong negative predictor of the ‘hedonistic’ student (i.e., one who drinks, smokes, favors the legalization of marijuana, and parties frequent- ly),” as well as a similar conclusion “that religious students spent less time partying than nonreli- gious students” (Maryl 267). This research reasonably shows that those who are deeply commit- ted to remaining faithful to the Lord in college are much less likely to go astray toward the things the world has to offer. It follows that the most solid Christian students are the ones who know how to study the Word of God and practically apply it to their everyday lives. A Christian with- out the Word of God is a soldier missing his gun, his ammo, and his communication device with HQ. It is therefore no surprise when he is taken captive by the world.
Another danger in reading the Bible incorrectly stems from reading for the wrong rea- sons. Reading the Word of God for a kind of emotional high is not true sight, and thus any mean- ing that might be gleaned during this will ultimately be worthless, since it is not truly a part of God’s Word. Rather, it is an additional feeling that the reader has added on to his time in the Word. Adding on one’s own personal opinions and presuppositions to the Bible can be extremely dangerous because it causes one to miss out on the true purpose of reading and studying and ap- plying the Word: namely, bringing glory to God and being transformed by that glory. It instead redirects that glory to oneself, since that person is deciding what they believe the Word is saying. John Piper, in his book Reading the Bible Supernaturally, writes that, “If the people of God fail to be transformed into the image of Christ—from glory to glory—the ultimate purpose of God [that all people would know and savor His glory] will fail” (96). Since it is impossible for God to fail, if we desire to take part in this glorious transformation, we must read to see the glory of God and to savor it above all things, rather than simply reading for an emotional high.
In addition to being aware of the danger of reading the Bible in the wrong way or for the wrong reasons, we must also be considerate as to how our current technology-centered culture is affecting the way in which we read and apply the Word of God to our lives. Several decades ago, reading was the primary was to engage with the world and to gain knowledge. Now, we look to different means to provide those same things. Pastor Murray Hogg wrote an article in which he attempted to discuss the dangers of current technology. He said,
In the book age, our brains were adapted to engage with prolonged written works. Now frequent engagement with the internet results in our brains restructuring themselves to accommodate a different type of reading: one which involves scanning documents for snippets of pertinent information, rapid movement to new subjects when we find some- thing that tweaks our interest, the acceptance of quick answers, even to the most complex questions, answers whose value is determined largely by popularity rather than factuality or fidelity to truth... (Hogg 2)
These observations certainly seem to be accurate. It can be extremely easy to find ourselves scrolling through different social media platforms, not learning or seeking to gain new informa- tion but rather entertaining ourselves with many trivial subjects of minimal interest. Hogg continues his discussion by explaining, “We are not merely forgoing the sort of reading the book encourages, we are losing the ability to engage in that sort of reading altogeth- er” (2). This thinking not only applies to culture, but also to the church: “The Bible is a piece of prolonged writing, and as people lose the capability to engage with prolonged writing, so they lose the capability to engage with the Bible” (6). Technology is physically changing the way in which our brains think and relate to the world around us; therefore we need to be extremely con- siderate as to what we are putting into our minds. A Christian who desires to be careful needs to be willing to ask questions like, “Am I willing to watch this movie? Should I read this article? Or are there more important, eternity-centered things that I can be putting into my heart and mind?”
In addition to what Hogg discusses, it is important to continue asking thoughtful ques- tions concerning our technological devices. Trevor Sutton, an author for the Gospel Coalition, writes, “The digital age is doing some curious things to the Bible. Not only can modern Bibles ‘die’ because of low batteries, but they can also speak, search, share, notify, and hyperlink... It is normal to announce to an empty room, ‘Alexa, add blueberries to my grocery list and read Esther chapter four.’” Technology can make life both easier and more difficult. It adds distractions, but it takes away the lengthy amounts of time needed to complete other tasks.
To better explain this, it may be helpful to understand a concept that designers use when creating certain products. The term “affordances” refers to the possibilities an object, whether digital or physical, provides to the user. A refrigerator affords us the ability to keep our food longer without it spoiling. A coffeemaker affords us the opportunity to brew coffee without hav- ing to strain the grounds through a hairnet. Both digital and analogical Bibles provide us with their own affordances, as well as their own anti-affordances, or things they prevent (Thornton). Christians who desire to make the most of their time in the Word need to determine what affordances they are looking for. Do they want a Bible free from the distractions of time-sensi-tive reminders, replies and likes on social media, stressful emails, and texts from friends, family, and classmates? Do they want to be able to listen to their Bibles in six different accents? Do they want a Bible that can be hyperlinked directly to a commentary that explains the particular mean- ing of the passage? Sutton agrees that these are important and critical questions that need to be answered. He explains, “Complex questions... demand nuanced reflection. We should celebrate how digital technology enables more people to encounter God’s Word, but we must also recog- nize that how people engage it matters” (emphasis added).
The “Me, My Bible, and Jesus” mentality of individualistic Bible study is the final danger I will be addressing. There are no Lone Ranger Christians. No one can live the life Christ has called us to by seeking only solitude and not community. We lack true biblical transformation when we lack biblical community. Not only does this community provide accountability for con- sistently spending time in the Word, but it also helps us grow in our own biblical literacy as we see others who are striving to take the Word seriously and understand the Bible as the Lord has called them to. Sometimes, biblical community means going out to coffee with a group of two or three friends to discuss what we’ve been studying and how the Lord is working in our lives. It could also look like gathering in a church small group. Biblical community is simply Christians opening the Word together with other Christians. True friends desire to see us grow in the knowl- edge and love of Christ, meaning they are willing to point out the faults in our studying in order to point us to what is true and right and good (Beals). Proverbs 27:6 tells us, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; / profuse are the kisses of an enemy.” Biblical community provides us with the opportunity to come alongside our friends and spur each other on toward Christ, especially when it comes to biblical literacy (Beals).
Now that we’ve established the dangers of (1) studying the Bible with wrong methods, (2) not studying the Bible, (3) the potential dangers or benefits that technology can pose to read- ing the Bible and applying it to our lives, and (4) the danger of individualistic Bible study rooted in isolation and solitude, I want to look at the why behind Bible reading and application. We can read any book of the Bible and memorize it and meditate on it, but if we don’t do it for the right reasons, we might as well be doing all of the above with any pleasure book or theology book or classic work of literature that strikes our fancy. Why should we read the Bible? Why should we care about what it says and how that impacts our lives?
Our highest motivation for reading the Word is provided by John Piper in his book, Read- ing the Bible Supernaturally. He writes, “The Bible itself shows that our ultimate goal in reading the Bible is that God!s infinite worth and beauty would be exalted in the everlasting, white-hot worship of the blood-bought bride of Christ from every people, language, tribe, and nation” (39). Piper then clearly lays out six implications that stem from this idea: (1) The infinite worth and beauty of God are the ultimate value and excellence of the uni- verse; (2) That the supremely authentic and intense worship of God!s worth and beauty is the ultimate aim of all his work and word; (3) That we should always read his word in order to see this supreme worth and beauty; (4) That we should aim in all our seeing to savor his excellence above all things; (5) That we should aim to be transformed by this seeing and savoring into the likeness of his beauty, (6) So that more and more people would be drawn into the worshiping family of God until the bride of Christ—across all centuries and cultures—is complete in number and beauty. (Piper 163)
In other words, we read the Bible because it reveals the glory of God, as it was designed to do. This glory can then be seen by us, and as we grow to behold more and more of His glory, we be- gin to savor that glory. This savoring is what then transforms us day by day, and ultimately leads us to bring others into the same savoring of the glory of God.
Before moving on, it will helpful to define yet another term: the glory of God. I will use this term much in next few pages, so it will be beneficial to get an understanding of what the glo- ry of God really is. Simply put, “The glory of God is the visible manifestation of God’s charac- ter” (What is the Glory of God). The glory of God is the demonstration of his perfection, his greatness, and his character. It is God showing how great he is. And ultimately, “The... goal of God is His glory enjoyed and exalted among all nations” (Platt). Enjoying and exalting is truly just another way to say seeing and savoring. In his last message at Together for the Gospel, David Platt makes it extremely clear whose plan this was: “John Piper [and any other theologian in history] did not come up with this idea. God had this idea billions of years before John Piper was born” (Platt). God has orchestrated reality in such a way that we experience great joy when we see and savor His glory in all things, especially in His Word.
While our goal in reading the Bible is multi-faceted, we ultimately read for the glory of God. Even this kind of reading has multiple layers and outcomes. The glory of God is what we come to see in the Word. The glory of God is what we savor, as revealed in the promises, prayers, stories, and all other aspects of the Bible. The glory of God is what transforms us as we grow in our ability to see and savor more and more glory each day. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 3, verse 18, that, “[W]e all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being trans- formed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (emphasis added). It is the glo- ry of God that drives us to the nations to share His glory with others.
While our goal in reading the Bible is the glory of God, there are real, tangible, personal benefits that come from reading the Word of the Lord. Heather Adams, in her article that de- scribes the importance of biblical literacy, explains, “I slowly built up a habit of reading a few minutes each day...[and over time] accounts about God’s love for the Israelite nation softened my own heart... the Gospels inspired me to love and serve others better... and Revelation filled me with a sense of awe about our amazing Lord.” As we read Scripture more and more, our eyes are opened to the wondrous passages hidden within. David describes this joy when he writes in Psalm 119,
Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.
I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.
I do not turn aside from your rules,
for you have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Ps. 119.97-103)
The Word of God is an instrument in the hands of our Creator, as He molds and shapes us in wis- dom, in righteousness, and in love for Him and others.
Since, therefore, we are commanded to read the Word and apply it to out lives, all while keeping a careful eye to prevent ourselves from falling into any of the common pitfalls of bibli- cal illiteracy, how exactly are we to study the Bible? Is there one particular method that is should be used across all sections of the Bible? And if not, are practical tips available for someone who feels like they need help growing in their time in the Word? The answer is yes. There are many practical strategies for digging into the Word.
Scripture is a supernatural book, while humans are, in general, considered natural beings. This poses a problem, as a natural being cannot fully interact with a supernatural book without supernatural intervention. Not only are humans helpless to gain supernatural intervention, they also are on the wrong side of their Creator from their very first breath in this world. Sin prevents them from being right with a Holy God, and sin blinds them from seeing the glory of God the Father as shown in His Word. Terrifyingly, Bible reading that does not aim to see and savor the glory of God is not Bible reading that Satan feels the need to stop. No, Satan is not scared by you reading your Bible. He knows there are tremendous amounts of glory locked within it, but as long as you are blind to that glory, the Bible in your hands presents no threat to him. The people who are ignorant of what the Bible says are often rebellious toward the One who wrote it. Yet by the grace of God, Jesus’ death and resurrection has provided us with this needed supernatural power, namely, the gifting of the Holy Sprit, who illuminates, convicts, and leads on behalf of the Father and the Son. Because of this amazing work of Christ, we are now able to grasp the glories of God hidden within the pages of the Word of the Lord (Piper: Reading the Bible Super- naturally).
Ultimately, when we read the Bible as new creations of Christ, we want to see and savor the glory of God. How exactly can one do that? In order to glimpse the glory of God, we must read to know what the author intended for us to see and experience. This is the first step toward studying the Word literately. We cannot read without considering how the author intended for us to see and savor the glory of God in this specific verse, passage, chapter, or even book. John Piper writes on this idea in his article “Unlocking the Riches of Scripture”. “First, [reading for the author’s intended meaning] implies courtesy. If you wrote me a letter with instructions for how to get to your house, and I got lost because I put my own creative meanings on your words... I would be disrespectful.” Piper also adds, “It implies humility. When we read this way, we confess that we don’t know things and that others probably do.” His last point is that, “[R]eading in search of an author’s intentions implies the objective existence of reality outside my own mind...We are reading to discover more about objective reality” (Piper: Unlocking the Riches). These implications should then bleed over into how we approach a text, as we seek to honor the author by searching for the meaning they intended for us to discover.
When studying the Word, we should ask specific questions to understand the author’s in- tended message. We need to ask detail-oriented questions to unlock the riches of Scripture be- cause until we’re actually thinking about what we’re reading, it’s more than likely that we will miss the intended meaning. We should seek to ask questions about the meaning of words, as understanding definitions is a key aspect of studying the Word of God. We must also ask about the way phrases work, and about the relationships between two or more prepositions, since the author had a very specific reason for using this word. Why did he use it instead of another one? We should seek to ask how the point of the passage fits with points of other nearby pas- sages, especially if the points don’t seem to fit with each other. It is wise not to assume the Bible contradicts itself but rather that we’re missing something that needs to be seen. We must ask how the meaning (intended by the author) applies to the way we live, as well as the way the church and the world lives. This is not simply a knowing but rather a doing as well. And finally, we ask what affections are fitting in response to the truth of this text (Piper: “Unlocking the Riches”).
Finally, it may be beneficial to think through several practical tips and strategies that may help improve one’s time in the Word. First, we should seek to make spending time in the word a regular routine. No one decides to get fit and then show up at the gym sporadically; maybe once a week, then two times a day, then nothing for two weeks. It doesn’t work. Consistent Bible studying starts by building a regular routine, which not only includes when and where we study, but also what we’re studying. We should seek to avoid getting into the habit of missing time in the Word simply because we’re tired or have an early morning. Asking that the Lord would give the grace needed to come to His Word with a fully awake mindset may be a practical strategy to combat sleepiness. Another tip might be planning ahead for enough time to study effectively without feeling rushed. If needed, we can budget more time to get ready, eat breakfast, shower, etc.
It may also be helpful to try to find a comfortable place that is free of distractions. If the kitchen table is full of siblings or other people, the wisest course of action may be to move somewhere else. It also may not be wise to read the Word in a position that encourages falling asleep: therefore, we may not want to lay on the bed as we read the Bible. Having a hard surface to write on may make study time easier as well.
Another application is to leave all phones and technology in a different room. While this may seem extreme or harsh, the truth is that we don’t really need it anyway. It only distracts us from what we’re trying to do. In the Imperfects’ podcast, Johann Hari, an author and re- searcher on the human focus, explains the technical term for the tradeoffs of multitasking, the Switch-Cost Effect. He says,
When you try and do more than one thing at a time, you will do all the things you’re try- ing to do much less competently. You’ll make more mistakes. You’ll remember less of what you do. You’ll be significantly less creative... We’re living in a perfect storm of cognitive degradation, as a result of being interrupted... [It] takes you twenty-three min- utes to get back to the level of focus you were experiencing before being interrupted. (Jo- hanni Hari)
When we choose to approach the Word of God, we are not only approaching a book written by humans but also the supernatural Creator of the Universe. Being distracted by the dings and vi- brations of smartphones, iPads, and other tech doesn’t help with focusing on understanding the Word.
Having a hard copy of the Bible, along with a pen and something to can write on is extremely recommendable. John Piper highly encourages writing down a passage and recording all of the observations, questions, definitions, or any other applicable things from the study. In an podcast episode addressing tips to further one’s time in the Word, he says, “Writing helps you respond and preserves what you see. It gives you a way to respond and retain” (Piper: Advice for Better Bible Reading).
Since the Bible is a supernatural book, asking for the wisdom to see supernatural glory is also a wise course of action. We should humbly be asking the Lord to reveal Himself to us and to show what He wants us to see—not what we want to hear or see in the passage. What the Lord has planned for us to see and what we want to see may be very different. However, it is rare that we will ever regret learning what the Lord desires for us to learn—even if it is hard, convict- ing, or painful. In Women of the Word, Jen Wilken provides a very helpful explanation on why prayer is central to biblical literacy. She writes, “Prayer is the means by which we implore the Holy Spirit to take up residence in our study time,” and “[w]ithout prayer, out study is nothing but intellectual pursuit” (emphasis added, 103). This is why Satan tries to get us to simply read the Bible rather than to see and savor the glory of God in it. Prayer is the vehicle that allows us to glimpse God’s glory in Scripture. Without prayer, we’re just reading. With prayer, we can be- gin growing in true biblical literacy.
As we start to dig into the Word, it’s important to begin by grasping the context of the passage. Who wrote it? When? Why? To whom did they write? How would the circumstances surrounding the book change the author’s intended message? What’s the specific context of this passage? How does it connect to the other chapters in the book? Next, it could be helpful to move on to determining what the passage is actually saying. What does the author wish to communicate? How is he getting his point across? How does he argue his case? Why does he use a story versus theological exhortation, or vise versa? How does this passage show you more of God? What can you learn about Christ and His Father from the author?
Finally, we should begin thinking about how we can practically apply the passage to our lives. How does what I’ve learned today change how I do ____? How can knowing that ____ is true change the way that I view ____? How can I remind myself of this throughout the day? In another interview on how to make the most of the time we have in the Word, John Piper suggests a simple trick that he has employed over the years of his life:
Take one crisp, clear sentence with you — something encouraging, something motivat- ing, something strengthening, something guiding. Write it down on a little piece of paper, stick it in your pocket, stick it in your purse, whatever. Say it to yourself over and over again during the day. Those sentences accumulated — 365 of them — is an amazing power and stockpile of truth over time. (Piper: How Do I Make the Most)
It’s important to remember that continually applying the things we learn in the Word is essential to growing in the knowledge and love of God.
Because biblical illiteracy greatly cripples the way in which Christians are affected by the glory of God, present day Christians need to recognize their negative tendencies toward the Word of God and relearn how to read, study, understand, and apply Scripture in such a way that the glory of God transforms them and drives them to share this glory all around the world. There are plenty of dangers in studying the Bible incorrectly, and we must also be aware of the effects our technology presents to our studying, but there are true and glorious benefits that occur when we choose to study the Word with intentionality and care. It is impossible to live life without being influenced by someone or something. Neutrality is not an option. Either we are seeking savor God’s glory as revealed in Scripture, asking good questions about the text to find the author’s intended message, and providing opportunities for the Lord to work in and through us to accom- plish His will, shaping and molding us for His glory; or, we are choosing to allow the world to shape and mold us, causing us to miss out on the glorious transformation the Lord offers. Bibli- cal literacy isn’t simply knowledge of the Bible and its characteristics and content, but practically applying this knowledge of the Word to our lives for the glory of God. Seeing and savoring the glory of God in Scripture keeps our souls satisfied and on mission to demonstrate His glory to a world in serious trouble.