Gaining Practical Insights to the Christian Life
Those who aren';t personally familiar with the Bible may not realize it, but it really is a very practical book. It gives us specific instructions and guidelines for every area of the Christian life, and it gives them in a way that we can understand — as long as we are committed to understanding.
As a practical handbook for the Christian life, the Bible tells us everything we need to know in order to live the life God wants us to live, and it also gives us instructions on how to do those things in every situation that faces us. It gives us instructions in what are known as spiritual disciplines, which is really just another way of saying that the Bible tells us how to do the things that are involved in a growing Christian life. For example, the Bible tells us how to:
pray (Matthew 6:9–13, 7:7–11, 18:19–20; Mark 11:24; John 14:13–14; James 5:15; 1 John 5:14–15)
worship God (Exodus 20:4–5, Psalm 150, Matthew 4:10, Mark 7:7, John 4:23–24, Romans 12:1)
fast (Leviticus 16:29, 23:32; Ezra 10:6; Isaiah 58:6; Matthew 6:16–18, 17:21; Acts 13:2–3)
demonstrate Christian love to others (Matthew 5:43–48, John 15:9– 13, 1 Corinthians 13)
fight temptation (Psalm 95:8; Luke 22:40, 46; 1 Corinthians 10:13; James 1:2–12; 2 Peter 2:9)
Again, the list above is not a comprehensive one, and the Bible covers many other spiritual disciplines. There are also many other passages not listed here that deal with the subjects listed above. But these examples alone should show you that there isn';t anything in the realm of your life with Jesus Christ that isn';t covered in the Scriptures.
If you want to read some really practical instructions on the Christian life from Jesus himself, read Matthew 5–7, which records what has come to be known as the Sermon on the Mount. In it, he tells us how to pray, how to give, how to love, and many other practical insights and instructions.
When you study specific areas of the life of faith, it';s good to have your concordance and your Bible dictionary on hand. That way you can readily find the passages that deal with the area in question. Also, make sure you read the whole passage surrounding that issue and not just one verse. That will give you some context on that issue.