“But this doesn’t relate to my life. It’s old and outdated.” This was the number one complaint I heard during my time as a youth pastor.
I vaguely remember muttering these same words as a child, trying my best to get out of another family devotional.
But later in life, I discovered that the Word of God isn’t dead. It’s not irrelevant to today or powerless.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (New American Standard Bible).
There is a message for us today just as there was a message for those for whom it was originally written. God’s Word still connects to all of your situations.
Each book of the Bible was intended for its original audience as well as a universal one.
Think of it this way: Teachers still have students read Shakespeare, which was written in Elizabethan English from the late 1500s to early 1600s. Why?
You and I are obviously not the intended audiences of Romeo and Juliet; we don’t even speak the same style of English. However, there are universal truths found in the story that resonate with us. Teen angst, love, mental illness and family issues are just a few of the themes that still apply to our own lives.
The Bible works in much the same way. The setting may be ancient Israel or in the belly of a big fish, but the story reveals timeless truths about God and who we are in relation to Him and one another.
Be intentional: Make a plan to study the Bible. Explore a whole book or a specific passage.
Become familiar with the style of literature you are reading. The Bible is not just one book but 66. By knowing the genre or literary style of a book, you will understand more of what the author is trying to say.
Next, take some time to learn about the time period, culture and issues of the day compared to our own. There are resources available to help with this. What was different about their day-to-day life (their government, community, traditions, etc.) and what was similar to our own? You probably have more in common than you think.
Try asking these questions about the biblical passage you’re reading:
Uncover the author’s purpose:
Consider the following:
Make the connection to your own life:
Cultures change, but God does not. The more time you spend exploring His enduring truths, the more relevance you will see.
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