To know Jesus in the fullness of His being isn’t a casual happenstance – it requires the sweaty, undeterred discipline of regularly studying the Bible.
Whenever we talk about discipleship, we always emphasize reading the Bible and praying.
A lot of people will start reading the Bible with no particular goal in mind and meander around in the Scriptures for a few months until they get bored, and then drop it all together. Whenever Bible reading is mentioned again, they’ll simply say they didn’t get much out of it and not try again.
So, let me ask this basic question: Why do we read the Bible in the first place?
The answer is simple. We read the Bible to know Jesus better.
We pray for the same reason – to know Jesus better.
We read the Bible to allow the Scriptures to build a vision of Christ within our lives. The Bible tells us “This is who Jesus is.” “This is what He did.” “This is how He lived.” “This is what His living means.”
We use the stories and teachings of Jesus to construct a vision of Him within our minds. We then use this vision to guide our thinking, our desires and our choices that make up our living. If something looks like the vision of Christ presented to us in Scripture, it’s permissible. If it doesn’t look like Him, it’s not permissible.
The chief goal of this process is to make our lives look as much like Jesus as possible within the limits of our lifetimes.
So, start with the gospels. Read Mark, Matthew, Luke and John over and over again. Read them to the point that you know almost every word by heart. Then go back and study them. Don’t leave one moment of Jesus’ life unearthed. Dig for the meaning in every syllable.
This requires more than just reading the Bible. It requires study.
Study is the deep thinking and analysis required to know the story of Jesus inside and out. The teachings of Jesus have to be held up to reality and studied to see how they apply to the various situations of our lives. This takes time. This takes a lot of time.
To know Jesus in the fullness of His being isn’t a casual happenstance. To know Jesus like this requires a sweaty discipline that won’t let anything deter us from our goal of getting this biblical vision of Jesus as tightly focused as possible in our minds and hearts.
Then, once we get Jesus into focus, the rest of our lives will be as well.