I was looking at a verse of scripture with some friends at church last night that nailed an issue that I have struggled with for many years. It’s an issue that lies at the very heart of our Christian lives, and something that is core to how you think about and run a home group. Are we tumblers (the thing for drinking out of that’s often made from glass) – or are we tadpoles (the slightly icky things you find in the pond in spring that eventually turn into big icky things that you find in a pond). Or to put it less mysteriously more helpfully – How does God speak to us?
Here is the apostle Paul, writing to his young disciple Timothy, giving a simple instruction about how to read what he has just written. He says two things:
- You need to think about it! The meaning, and it’s implications for us may not be immediately obvious. The Bible isn’t like Cooking for Idiots – where we just have to slavishly follow every detail of the recipe to get a fragrant and edible end result. To do it’s work in our minds and hearts, and from there into our lives, the words of scripture need to have the active engagement of our minds. We need to think about them. We need to meditate or ruminate on them. And in the context of our home groups, share our thoughts with each other on them.
- God will give you understanding. Notice that this understanding is a gift. It is something that God gives us in his love and mercy. The Bible may be difficult in places and need thinking about, but that’s not because God is trying to hide the truth from us. He wants to give us understanding. But notice also, that understanding is a promise. God promises to give us understanding when we engage with what he has said. The Lord will give you understanding.