I can approach God’s Word as a scholar or a lover, but only one will lead to an intimate relationship with His Holy Spirit and a connection unlike anything the world has to offer. To know God’s Word is to love Him. If the point is simply to acquire information and apply it as I desire, an abusive relationship forms. Unfortunately, that creates widespread damage and causes many to turn from the love God offers.
Nothing breaks God’s heart more than having His Word used to inflict injury and insult. The same is true for us when others take what we say out of context and turn it for their own purposes. It’s so frustrating to see my words twisted and turned, but it is far more painful to hear God’s Word used in ways that inflict hurt rather than share love.
I believe 1 John 2:1-6 describes the relationship God desires for us to have with His Word.
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” NASB
As John beautifully reminds me, knowing is an important part of loving when it comes to God’s Word, but it is much more than scholarly information. I respect Bible scholars and believe they bring light to a dark world when they deeply know and love His Word. Keeping is the key when it comes to a loving relationship of any kind. Keeping is a deep intimacy, and it brings God’s Word to my life in a way that allows me to witness and share Christ’s love. Only He perfected the Word as He fulfilled it. I am not perfect, but I do my best to keep His commandments, especially the two He makes clear are the most important ones in Matthew 22:36-40
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” NASB
Knowing that loving is the key to God’s kingdom allows me to have a close and intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, and that allows me to live in God’s world in a different way. I pray I will keep my focus upon Christ’s precious love and use God’s powerful Word to get ever nearer to His precious side. God forbid that I, or anyone else, should abuse His love by using His Word in a way that doesn’t reflect His loving heart.