The more you read the Bible, the more you will be able to discern the gaps between who you are and what God wants you to be. In James 1:22-25 the Word of God is compared to a mirror. When you look at the Bible intently, you see a reflection of yourself, which enables you to identify areas where you need to make changes. James warns, however, that we should not be like people who walk away from a mirror and immediately forget what they look like, but we should continue to look and continue to do what we have heard looking there. Here’s aÂ funny poem I wroteÂ about that passage.
Of course, being willing to change takes humility. You will not make changes if you think you are already as good as you can get. It also takes keeping at it long enough to make changes real and permanent. You have to replace your old, destructive habits with new, constructive ones.
Here are some key passages to study as you begin the process of trying to apply the Bible to your life.
- Being like Christ is the goal â€“ 1 Corinthians 10:1.
- Christ himself is the measure â€“ Colossians 2:6-7.
- Christ’s death and resurrection is the power for transformation â€“ 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.
- Faith in Christ is the connection to that power â€“ Romans 1:16-17.
- This faith involves a commitment to submit to Christ â€“ John 20:30-31.
- This faith involves a rejection and abandonment of sin â€“ Romans 6:16-23.
- This faith involves a public declaration of allegiance to Christ â€“ Matthew 10:32-33.
- This faith involves a re-enactment and personal association with the act of redemption â€“ Romans 6:1-11.
- This faith involves a life-long journey of following Christ â€“ Philippians 3:7-14.
- During this journey…
- Your mind is transformed â€“ Colossians 3:1-4.
- Your relationships are transformed â€“ Mark 10:29-31.
- You exchange wicked acts for righteous ones â€“ Colossians 3:5-17.
- Your focus shifts away from self to God and others â€“ Mark 12:28-34.
- The Holy Spirit bears His fruit in your life â€“ Galatians 5:13-26.
- Love becomes the dominant characteristic of your personality â€“ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
This personal transformation nearly always requires a team effort; you’re likely to crash if you try to fly solo. Find other people committed to the same goals and submitting to the same Lord as you are, and together you will succeed (Galatians 6:1-5).
Want to go deeper?Â Here are recommended resources for learning how to apply God’s Word to your life:
Recommended for purchase:
John Stott.Â The Message of the Sermon on the Mount: The Bible Speaks TodayÂ (1978). Lessons from the Sermon on the Mount on how to live as a Christian.
Jim McGuiggan.Â Mainly for BeginngersÂ (1978). Lessons on starting out the Christian walk from a great Bible teacher.