Looking For God In All The Wrong Places

I am a Bible student. I don’t have, nor want, any advanced degrees in Bible. On the other hand, I’ve extensively read a variety of scholars over many years.

What am I reading for, you might ask. Good question.

While studying in the Gospel of John recently, this verse seemed printed in bold italics to me, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me.”

Some traditions take the verse about keeping it on your mind so literally that they print the verse, but it in a little container, and strap it to their head so that it is “on their mind.”

Some people can quote the words of the scriptures extensively. Perhaps in that way, “the word is on their minds.”

I am sitting here in my hotel room at another conference writing this and trying to recall one time when Jesus quizzed someone about the words of Scripture. Perhaps the discussion about which is the greatest commandment.

Jesus seemed most interested in the condition of the heart. And he was concerned about how we live. He didn’t say, go and quote scriptures at people. He said, go and sin no more. Paul later tried to explain this in various ways be describing good behaviour or bad behaviour or listing for us the fruit of the spirit.

John wrote his gospel so that we could know who Jesus was.  It’s all about choosing the correct person to follow and then following well. You should search the gospel of John not to be able to quote, but to be as impacted by who Jesus was as John was.

For me, studying deepens my spiritual maturity. But it all began with experiencing God a long time ago. Why study? It’s one of the disciplines which all help us point toward the experience of God so that we may live a life freed from sin.

One Response to “Looking For God In All The Wrong Places”

  1. Tim Says:

    Yes, “it is these that testify about me.” To seek Christ outside of the scripture, e.g. in your heart, is to make him as you would have him to be, in your image.

    Yes, Jesus is concerned about the “condition of the heart,” enough to change it. As the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, he removes the curse of sin from the heart connected to God by faith. This is the first kind of righteousness. The second kind is produced by the first as the heart redeemed loves its neighbors as itself.

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