I was out with a couple guys last night and we were standing around talking God stuff. It’s interesting talking to strong believers like these guys because you are basically listening to Jesus have a conversation with himself. In my opinion, these two guys have ears to hear and use them well. They can not only hear the holy spirit, but aren’t afraid to say what they hear. So when they start talking about what it means to be a Christian, I listen.
On of the things we discussed was the relationship between Bible study and ‘Bible do.’
Bible study is generally a group of 5-10 believers who get together on a regular basis and go through a reading plan, or just read random scripture and discuss it. It generally turns into fellowship and groups spend more time talking than studying, at least in my experience. I have been a part of a couple Bible studies that are focused and very educational. In fact, regardless of how the study goes, I will more often than not walk away from a Bible study having learned something new, being reminded of something I already knew, or with something to seriously ponder.
There is a problem, however, when the group stays stagnant. When the study becomes a ritual the group can throw up walls to protect their group. Instead of inviting new people and splitting into multiple groups in order to reach and teach more people, the group starts rejecting others in favor of ‘keeping it like it was.’ Then there is the question of, “what are you doing with all this information you are studying?” I mean, you are reading some of the greatest pieces of human history; getting some of the greatest knowledge ever spoken. You can’t just keep that information bottled up. You have to move. You have to let it move you.
‘Bible do’ is taking the knowledge you have gained as a believer and acting on it. If you want to know what that looks like read Acts. If you want the bottom line of ‘Bible do’ it is love. Love God. Love your neighbor. Take those unique gifts and talents God gave you and go out and love your community. When I heard that I felt a strong sense of conviction.
I am much happier sitting in a group of friends talking about the Word. I am out of my element going out and loving people. I guess when I first thought about going out and loving people I felt like I have to do something big. I have to start a food pantry, or make 1000 sandwiches and feed the homeless. I have to build a school. I have to share the gospel with strangers. Those things are good. But loving people doesn’t have to be so grand. It could be as simple as a smile, a polite word, or a word of encouragement. It could be simply taking the time to listen to your co-workers (really listen) and find out what their story is. There are probably 100 little things we could do each day that could make a huge difference in the lives of the people around us.
So maybe we have read enough books. Maybe we have studied enough. Maybe we’ve gone to enough spaghetti dinners at church, or volunteered for enough church clean-up days. Maybe it’s time to get serious about ‘Bible do.’
How can you show love to those people around you?