D. L. Moody was a great evangelist and Christian educator in the late 19th century. He used to say, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.”
You can receive God’s Word with an open heart. You can memorize it. You can meditate on it. And once you finish those things, you will have loads of Bible knowledge. But the ultimate goal is for God to use the Bible to change your life.
Jesus told his followers: “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (John 13:17 NIV).
The book of Hebrews has strong words for people who don’t apply the Bible’s principles: “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness” (Hebrews 5:11-13 NIV).
Think about your own life. Are you consistently applying the Bible truths you have learned? Or are you still learning the basics?
Hebrews goes on to say: “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity”(Hebrews 5:14–6:1 NIV).
Do you see there how you move on to maturity? It’s not by constant Bible study or constant conference-going. You become mature by intentionally, constantly applying what you’re learning in Scripture. You have to put your knowledge into practice.
If you have been practicing what you’ve learned, then it’s time for you to start teaching other people. Teaching is one of the fastest ways to grow in spiritual maturity. God doesn’t need you to be a perfect teacher; he just needs you to be available to him.
I challenge you to make three commitments today:
- Begin a regular program of Bible intake by reading it, studying it, memorizing it, and meditating on it.
- Accept God’s Word as the final authority in your life and start doing what it says.
- Join a small group Bible study where you can learn and teach.
Do these things, and you’ll see Jesus’ promise in John 13:17 becoming true for you: “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (NIV).