How We Apply The Bible

We apply the Bible with a holistic and full application because the Bible is more than a collection of inspirational quotes and powerful statements.

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How We Apply the Bible

Chinese Restaurants

How many of you like Chinese food? Nicole likes Chinese food, she just doesn’t like Chinese restaurants. She’s the type of person that once a restaurant pops up on the news for health department violations, she’s writing off a whole genre of restaurants.

I’m not quite as dogmatic about it as she is, but I’ve got to say there is a Chinese restaurant in Evansville that the Health Department literally shut down, they closed it. However, when the place went through their suspension period and opened back up, it was once again packed out and I don’t understand that…

Fortune Cookies

Anyway, now that we have a chain Chinese Restaurant in town, we are able to eat Chinese food again. That means for the first time in a while, we’ve got fortune cookies in our lives again. I like fortune cookies, I don’t like the taste of them, but I enjoy getting the “fortune” out because who knows what it’s going to say. Often I get a laugh at how off base they are or how they’re engineered to be so vague to make anyone who reads them feel like it was meant for them…

I did a google search for the strangest fortune cookie fortunes.

Strange fortune cookie fortunes:

“You laugh now but wait till you get home.”
“A good way to stay healthy is to eat more Chinese food.”
“You will be hungry again in an hour.”

The Bible is more than a collection of inspirational quotes.

I’m afraid that we often approach the Bible with the same approach that we take with fortune cookies, it’s not really that intentional.  We don’t base our life upon the fortunes. We don’t even choose Chinese restaurants based upon the fortunes… They’re just nice or inspirational sayings that give us a little pick me up through the day.

If we are not careful, we’ll turn the Bible into a collection of empty sayings that have no real impact upon our lives, or if it does have impact it’s only in a very narrow portion of our lives.

God’s word is not a mine for us to dig out powerful statements to help with some areas of life.

The other day Nicole’s fortune cookie was empty…  In reality, all fortune cookies are empty. The Bible is not a collection of empty sayings.

The Bible is a grand work of literature built upon layers and layers of ancient truth. This truth is not for personal or partial interpretation, but a holistic and full application.

Deuteronomy 8:1-20

This book is the recording of Moses’ final statements to the people of Israel as they are about to enter into the promise land, which he led them out of Egypt to… They are on the brink of ending their time as fleeing slaves and enter into their own land. This moment of transition is similar to one that we go through.

We experience instant justification and progressive sanctification.

Through justification we are made right before God.  We are adopted into His family, become on of the children of God.

That happens instantaneously. Then we begin to progress into sanctification. This is the work that the Lord uses to make us more like himself.

I like the way I heard a preacher put it, being born into a family gives you a name and a position into the family, but what every parent wants for their children is for them to have more than that, they want to give them more than a name, they want to give them skills and training and ability… For us in a church context, we don’t merely want to build a church our kids can attend, we want to build the church our children will lead one day.

When we come into the family of God, God wants more than for us to be in the family,

God desires great work to be accomplished in and through our lives.

He wants to make us more like Himself, more like the person He made us to be. Now for me, there are things I want to hand down to my kids, but there are imperfections I don’t want to hand down.

With God it’s all good.

Moses could say in verse 1
1 “The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do…

All that God has for us is a lot, it will take our whole lives, and it requires a dramatic transformation, but before I get to the how of that, I want to tear down what I fear is a hindrance…

In our world there’s a incredible amount of emphasis put upon acceptance of who we are, loving ourselves, being comfortable in our own skin… etc. God wants what is best for us, and often that requires some work on us…

Ship of Theseus Though Experiment

“If it is supposed that the famous ship sailed by the hero Theseus in a great battle has been kept in a harbour as a museum piece, and as the years went by some of the wooden parts began to rot and were replaced by new ones then, after a century or so, all of the parts had been replaced. The question then is if the “restored” ship is still the same object as the original.

If it is then supposed that each of the removed pieces were stored in a warehouse, and after the century, technology developed to cure their rotting and enabled them to be put back together to make a ship, then the question is if this “reconstructed” ship is still the original ship. And if so, then the question also regards the restored ship in the harbour still being the original ship as well.”(

Our world today acts as if the rotten wood should be left to rot because I am who I am…

Kyle Whitten Observation on Wall-E

“Each time I watch Wall-E, a relatively old yet profoundly prophetic movie [my son] Oliver is in love with, I find something new that fascinates me. Here’s my latest find:

Over the course the movie, Wall-E changes various parts of his body: wheel treads, an eye, and, at the end of the movie, his CPU. Presumably, other than his CPU being changed, Wall-E has done this many times over as old parts have worn out.
In the final scenes of the movie, there is a moment when, after having his damaged CPU changed, we get a picture of a totally different, very robotic Wall-E. Moments later, however, with the help of Eve, another robot, Wall-E returns to his normal, almost human self.

I’m fascinated because this very subject is handled in Theseus’ Paradox, a problem in philosophy that asks at what point does something cease to be its original self if it experiences incremental or drastic change. (In the case of the paradox, the thing being changed is a ship, plank by plank.)

Here’s what I believe the writers of the movie are undoubtedly doing. Wall-E is the same throughout the movie because there is something essential to him that cannot be changed by mere physical reconstruction. We want the original Wall-E to come back to his normal self at the end of the movie because we deeply & intuitively know there is something about us that is beyond the reach of physical change and circumstance. We call it a soul.”

I want to share with you the 2 most helpful practices for applying all of the word of God.

People who never experience transformation in their lives usually keep it short and keep it superficial.

Keeping it short means they don’t stay anywhere for long.

To apply Scripture, go far in your life with God’s Word.

v.2 And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness,

v.3a And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know,

God raised up a new generation to enter the promised land. God took an entire generation into a school of faith and dependence for 40 years…

v.3b that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

There are lessons that it takes a long time to learn.

There are changes that take a long time to happen.  The world promises us microwave or insta-pot solutions, but transformation takes time. Takes a life time. Even when progress is made, transformation must continue!

v.11 Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 

v.12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 

v13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 

v14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God,

People who never experience transformation keep it short and keep it superficial.

To apply Scripture, go deep in your life with God’s Word.

11Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 

12For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 

13And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Actions are based on what we think. What we think is based on what we believe.

“Will and Ariel Durant spent four decades of their lives studying, compiling, and writing the history of Western civilization. The product of their efforts, The Complete Story of Civilization, went on to span several million words across more than 8,800 pages divided into 11 books.

After finishing the last one, they took on an arguably more daunting task: to summarize all they had learned into 100 pages in The Lessons of History.”  from DesignLuck

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