So many of the New Testament quotations of Jesus reveal how the Old Testament scriptures were constantly in his heart. He knew every word from Genesis to Malachi.
This intimate knowledge of the Old Testament explains why our Lord's speech was rich in truth about everything, from the creation of man, the Ten Commandments, and the institute of marriage, to the accuracy of the prophets. Jesus treasured the Old Testament.
When I think about my own start-and-stop studies of the Bible, I am envious of how Jesus could use passages so easily in his conversations. I generally can remember the main idea of a passage, for example. But, to literally quote it in the course of conversation would, to me, feel like smoothing a warm sweater over chilly arms, satisfying.
As with most teachable moments, we learn by doing; when we bring scripture into our conversations with the desire to learn direct passages, the Holy Spirit will help us.
It goes back to the idea of where we put our desires, there will also be our heart.
In James 1:2-4, we know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. Bringing scripture into daily verbiage means we have to stop and consider, how would Jesus respond here??
In this way, we turn our conversations into times of learning, times to teach ourselves and others rather than reacting with everyday redundancy.
Choosing the language of Biblical response could be seen as a huge challenge. Or, it could be a whole new way of stretching our character for Christ.
If we believe James, our aim is not only to learn the truth but also to put it into action; that is, put faith words in our minds, hearts, and mouths.
There are two things that are essential to living a faith-motivated life. First, we must believe that God exists. Second, we must believe that He does what He has promised to do. In Hebrews 11:6, we see that, He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He rewards those who earnestly seek him.?
Even the slightest step of faith does not go unnoticed by God. In "Living the Extraordinary Life" Charles Stanley simplifies: A life of faith is dominated by Jesus Christ, not selfish desires. The person of little faith says, God can. The person of great faith says, God will. But the person with perfect faith says, God has done it.?
We have a Bible full of knowledge, wisdom, and love to help us grow our faith. Living by the Holy Word begins in the home and among extended family members. Being able to quote helpful, sacred insights in our daily life can help us keep our tongue from evil and our lips from speaking lies, Ps.34:13.
As for me, I'm working on praying, instead of worrying, over everything. A first example of Biblical conversation is with myself, from Phil. 4:6-7.
Bonnie Donnelly is a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Marietta. Thoughts of Faith is a weekly column written by various ministers and lay people. Those interested in scheduling a date for writing a Thoughts of Faith column should contact Christy Hudson at 376-5446 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, if a Thoughts of Faith column is written at the writer's convenience and sent to The Times, it will run the first available date.