Getting Scripture Wrong

One of the most difficult tasks I foresee us having in student ministry, is convincing students how important it is to spend time reading scripture. It shouldn't be that hard, but it seems that for quite some time students have been watching their parents and the churches they attend treat scripture like a Christian handbook or a detailed explanation of all the rules Christians are supposed to follow. This is the scripture I knew for a long time. Before I would hit the sack, I would pick up my Bible and read a chapter or two, hoping that I would know more about what the Bible says when I was finished. I read the Bible in pursuit of knowledge. After all, don't we tell our children how important it is for them to know and memorize scripture? I was aiming for that. I am so incredibly aware that all those hours I spent reading the Bible before I went to bed did nothing to change my life or my perspective. I could quote you some stuff, but I didn't know why it mattered. I was pursuing knowledge. If we want scripture to change our lives, then we have to shift the focus. We must stop treating it like a little handbook that gives us all the answers for every little thing. When we pick up God's words with the intention of getting smarter, I think we miss the point. I believe we have to start picking up scripture in pursuit of the heart of God. I want to know God's character, who He is, what He is passionate about, where He leads people, what He teaches them. I'm not interested in reading about rules, I'm interested in understanding why the heart of God has determined what is right and what is wrong. I'm not really interested in building a stable and safe set of guidelines that give me the assurance that I am doing what God wants me to do... I'm interested in seeking God out in my everyday life and letting Him lead me, even when it means that I will find myself in unsafe, uncomfortable situations... I don't really want to be able to quote you the definition of faith, I want to spend every moment of my life pursuing a belief that compels me to act where the heart of God is leading me.For I have found that this is true: Those who look at scripture in pursuit of knowledge can remain hard of heart and distant from a relationship with him; But those who search scripture in pursuit of the heart of God will never be the same... indeed, they cannot.

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