Read Luke 7:31-38
But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it.” (Luke 7:35 NLT)
There are several different ways of reading scripture. One way, certainly, is to mine out the text in search of the truest meaning and interpretation. The fancy word for this is exegesis. When we “study” the Bible, this is generally the kind of reading we do. In my daily practice of reading scripture, however, I try to spend less time trying to exegete the scriptures, and more time letting it exegete me. In other words, I read, not looking for interpretation and right understanding so much as I look for what stirs in me when I read, and I listen. I listen for what God might be speaking to me in that moment… wherever it intersects with my emotions, my questions, my life, etc. In general, I follow a simple pattern when doing this kind of devotional reading, answering three questions: 1)WHAT? What’s going on in the text? What is the story? What is the setting? Who are the characters? 2) SO WHAT? Why might this story or the action in it matter? Where might this story intersect with my own? What emotions does it stir? What questions does it raise? 3) NOW WHAT? Is there something I should/could/can do with what I’ve just read? Is there an application… even something very simple that I can apply or test today?
I follow that simple pattern and then I pray for the faith and the opportunity to live out whatever it is that captured my intention. It can be as simple as, “Jesus loves you” or as challenging as living a life on mission, following Jesus no matter the cost.
I share all of this simply to offer some insight in my process for a devotional reading of scripture and for writing these reflections. They are not intended to be interpretation or commentary… simply reflections that hopefully stir a prayer in me and anyone who reads. It is an attempt to listen well to what God is saying and then respond in practical ways each day.
As I read this morning, while there is certainly much more in this text, one word grabbed my attention in this – wisdom. I want to live a life that is real. I want my faith to be authentic and I want to express my faith in such a way that it flows from the very core of who I am. So I pray for the wisdom to seek this kind of life. I pray for the wisdom to live in healthy rhythm. I pray for the wisdom to seek the Father daily.