by Rick Warren — June 22, 2023
From 40 Days in the Word
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”
James 1:22 (NLT)
When something is “dynamic,” it’s energetic and productive. It has a kind of life force that leads to change. Did you know that your Bible study times can be dynamic?
But how does that happen? How does something that we often call a “quiet time” become a dynamic time?
Things become dynamic when they become specific. So for your Bible study times to become dynamic, they need to become specific. In other words, when you read God’s Word, you need to look for the specific things that God wants you to do now. You need to focus on the truths that God wants you to apply to your life today.
Here’s a habit to help you do that: After you read your Bible, write a one-sentence application of what you’ve just read. It’ll help you become a “doer” of the Word, not just a hearer.
A good application sentence has four characteristics:
It’s personal. You can’t write an application for somebody else. It’s not about what the world needs to do or what your spouse needs to do or what your kids need to do. It’s about what you need to do!
It’s practical. Your application should be something you can actually do and something you are able to make a plan to do. Broad generalities won’t help you. In fact, generalities will produce little action and will make you feel helpless.
It’s possible. If you can’t actually accomplish your application, you’ll likely get discouraged. If your application says that you need to pray five hours a day, you won’t do it. It’s not practical! But, on the other hand, if your application says that you will not go a day without prayer, that’s practical. It’s something you can realistically accomplish.
It’s provable. In other words, you can set a deadline for accomplishing the goal. If you don’t set a specific goal with a deadline, then it’s just a dream.
You can make an application sentence with any portion of the Bible you’re reading. And when you do, you’ll obey what the Bible says in James 1:22: “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves” (NLT).