Most Christians fail to get anything from their Bible reading, because most Christians fail to DO anything with their Bible reading. Jesus warned us about that.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” – Matthew 7:24-27
It’s pretty simple, isn’t it? This is true in every single other area of our lives, why wouldn’t it be true in our Spiritual lives?
I recently purchased a new laptop. Up until now, my entire computer experience has been built off of a PC platform. But I surrendered to pressure and purchased a Mac. I love it. But it’s very different than a PC. In order for me to use it effectively, I’ve had to ask lots of questions. One thing that I learned was how to take a screenshot.
Screenshots are done differently on Mac. On a PC, you open the “snipping tool” and go from there. There’s no “snipping tool” on a Mac. So, I had to Google how to take a screenshot. I found some good articles, discovered the keyboard shortcuts necessary, and went from there. After doing it a couple of times, I remembered and have mastered that insignificant task.
But what would happen if after reading these instructions, I ignored them and tried to find a snipping tool like on a PC? “That’ foolish!” you say? Exactly.
For us to fully understand something, we must test it; use it; practice it.
No word in the Bible communicates this more clearly than the Hebrew word, “shema”. In fact, this word is found in the portion of Scripture that is considered to the Jewish mind, the most important passage found in the entire Bible:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV
This passage is all about how to live out the words of God. It should be something that consumes every moment of our lives. It should drive all that we think about, and all that we do. It should be what our homes and families are known for.
“Shema” is translated in this passage as, “hear.” But that misses the meaning. Hebrew is considered a “poor language” which means there are less words available to describe something. So one word may have multiple interpretations.
In Hebrew the word, “shema” is best translated “hear and obey.” It means that you haven’t really heard what was said, until you have taken action.
The rabbis of Jesus’ day would close out their teachings by asking the question, “I know you hear, but do you hear?” Meaning, “I know you’ve heard the actual words I said. Now, what are you going to do about them?”
Jesus used this language too.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear. – Matthew 11:15 ESV
So the point I’m making is actually pretty simple. If you’re not getting anything out of your Bible reading, ask yourself what you’re actually doing with what you read?
I know you hear, but do you hear?