In graduate school, I had a stark realization as first semester syllabuses were handed out in class. It reminded me of a similar eye-opener in college-level classes after high school – but this was definitely a step up. As I began to digest graduate school expectations, I noticed a panicky feeling inside. There would be no reminders, no pace set for us, no little “clues.” Set your own reminders, pace, and “get a clue!” The level of expectation was much higher. There was no option except to tear into it, and hope for the best!
Tear Into It
My educational “get-a-clue” experience is one small example of many times we just need to get going. Just tear into it with best efforts and discipline. Typically, people apply this tear into approach to –
- Jobs and career expansion.
- Involved and/or expensive projects.
- Surprise “pop-up” problems.
- Paying taxes.
- Treating illness.
- Getting into shape.
- Researching/complying with complicated legal or federal government requirements.
- Building a new home.
- Even writing a doctoral thesis.
But add to all that – what about relationships? Then add in time and responsibility management for everything you stuff into the cracks of life – like most people do. What about your own spiritual development? There comes a time when you’ve just got to tear into it. And similar to the “wake-up call” in higher education, you can’t wait till the last minute and expect to do a good job.
Tearing into life takes time, discipline, perseverance, and all the imagination you have.
Tear Into Complicated Life Stuff
Many times, life feels too BIG. Managing each daily detail is a stretch. But your daily life details dwarf slightly compared to much larger global realities – like:
- War, famine, national debt, natural disasters.
- Critical survival issues billions of global citizens deal with each day.
- Political maneuvers of nations.
- Sophisticated math and science developments that make modern realities, space travel, innovative options possible.
- Advanced medical treatments and formulas to help sustain life.
- Some who claim to be Christians – but their words and life don’t match Jesus’ words and life.
- How to predict and control weather patterns.
- The great expanse of the universe.
- And so on.
Do you know about all those things? I certainly don’t. Often, we feel pleased to handle a small corner of life. And working to be whole people in a large world, you can sometimes feel quite small. Yet, your life is valuable.
The value of your life is determined by God. Subsequently, it’s His design. You’re not an accident, but rather a treasured, anticipated, expected birth God knew about before He created anything. Your life matters to God – and to His purposes.
So interestingly, your life has impact beyond your current knowledge. What will you do with that information?
Tear Into Scripture
- Manage life
- Gain wisdom
- Know God, His love, and His comfort
- Figure hard things out
- Trust God for help
- Rest in God for everything beyond your control . . .
. . . you (and I) ought to be in God’s Word every day!
Incidentally, many Jesus followers struggle to know just how to make God’s Word applicable in practical ways. They know Scripture is critical to their growth and well-being. Yet, practical application? Especially with complex Scriptural principles interfacing our current world. Then there’s the idea some have that Scripture contradicts itself (which it doesn’t).
So, the point of this whole content: I want to share how to tear into Scripture. I call this activity “Scripture Dissection.” Quite literally – how do you tear Scripture apart, make sense of it, and apply it practically to daily life in a meaningful way?
WHAT?! – on earth is hermeneutics? Well, most dictionaries define hermeneutics with ideas like:
- The science of interpreting – especially Scripture.
- A portion of theology that delves into principles of Biblical exegesis.
So what’s exegesis? Again, most dictionaries define similarly to this.
- Critical explanation, analysis, exposition, or interpretation of a text, especially the Bible.
That’s a lot to think about, though, when you open your Bible!
How can this be simplified?
To effectively study God’s Word simply means – tear into it!
But it also means pondering it (meditate), committing to quick access (memorize), valuing it deeply because it contains God’s ideas, principles, and His very heart.
So, in summary, it means treasuring getting into God’s Word, and getting God’s Word into you.
Incidentally, when I started doing these things, Scripture began to mean a lot to me. And I’ve been tearing into it ever since.
So – What Shall We Tear Into Today?
Well, I hope to bring a Scripture dissection into our article rotation a bit more often. So – stay tuned.
Incidentally, today we’ll dissect a short verse. Most of today’s content provides backstory of why you need to tear into Scripture. And even more specifically, to tear into life using God’s Word – if you intend to live a purposeful life.
These are four categories we will explore with each Scripture dissection:
- What Does It Say?
- What Does It Mean?
- Make It Personal
- Make A Commitment.
In future publications, we’ll take more time to tear into Scripture portions and the dissection process together. I invite you to participate from your heart, and I’ll do the same. Ask God to open your understanding, creativity, and desire for more of God’s Word.
As a point of clarity, Scripture Dissection articles I’ll bring once-in-a-while are not a seminary study. If you want seminary, there are multiple schools you can apply to. This exercise is for us every-day-Jesus-followers to simply ask good questions, ponder, explore, and conclude reasonable and practical applications from the most important book on earth!
Today’s Short Verse: Jn. 11:41
First, let’s look up various versions of this verse:
- And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. (ESV)
- Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank You that You have listened to Me. (NET)
- Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. (NIV)
- Jesus looked up toward heaven and prayed, “Father, I thank You for answering My prayer. (CEV)
1. What Does It Say?
Each version also notes Jesus calls God – “Father.” So, He knows He’s a child of God – in fact, God’s Son!
Incidentally, gratitude is so normal for Jesus – it literally flows out of Him in His prayer even before He carries out God’s purpose.
And finally, Jesus has full confidence in His Father’s answer and interaction in His current situation. So –
- Child of God
- Full confidence
Keep in mind – the next thing Jesus intends to do is raise Lazarus from the dead!
2. What Does It Mean?
Jesus acknowledges and worships God. He “looks up” to God as a statement of reverence. His relationship as Son (child of God) to His Father is tender and deep. He is absolutely sure of the bond between them, so – no fear. The gratitude Jesus naturally overflows with is an example to others. There is no doubting His full confidence Father will always do what is best.
So what does this mean for you? Jesus’ response in this tiny verse forms standards to adopt as you approach God.
3. Make It Personal
- Jesus’ simple reverence for God provides a perfect example to respect and worship God. It’s a correct “fear of the Lord.” You can choose “fear of the Lord” in your relationship to God.
- Being human, like you, Jesus links you as a child of God. Remember you “belong” as God’s child. And you are Jesus’ brother or sister.
- His connection with God is joyful, filled with gratitude. Do you choose joyful gratitude when you interact with your Father?
- Consider Jesus’ full confidence, His intimate, eager reach back to God. Do you intentionally engage full confidence, eliminate doubt, and eagerly reach back to your Father?
4. Make A Commitment – Application Thoughts And Questions
- How will you conduct yourself each day to communicate reverence for God?
- What will you change to prove you are a child of God?
- Will you practice gratitude from your heart, even in difficult circumstances?
- What perspective must change to practice full confidence and an eager reach back to God?
Some Additional Articles That Tear Into Scripture
- A Resource For Better Thinking
- I Have Behaved
- Plans For Hope And A Future In Last Days
- G.S.G.S.R. – It Works!
- When You Need Something Sharp
- Sometimes It Takes A Third Party
- Looking For Donkeys – God’s Timing
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Visit our website for resources to get into God’s Word and live an Alive and Active Life.