Anticipation about Application

James 1:22-25

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

Donald S. Whitney as found on page 53 in “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” (scroll down on link to find this book):

Because God wills for you to be a doer of His Word, you may be confident that He wants you to find an application whenever you come to the Scriptures. For the same reason you may believe that the Holy Spirit is willing to help you discern how to flesh out your insights. Therefore, open the Book expectantly. Anticipate the discovery of a practical response to the truth of God. It makes a big difference to come to the Bible with the faith that you will find an application for it as opposed to believing you won’t.

The Puritan minister and writer, Thomas Watson, whose influence was so great he was called ‘the nursing mother of gigantic evangelical divines,’ encouraged anticipation about application when he said,

Take every word as spoken to yourselves. When the  word                    thunders against sin, think thus: ‘God means my sins;’ when it presseth any duty, ‘God intends me in this.’ Many put off Scripture from themselves, as if it only concerned those who lived in the time when it was written; but if you intend to profit by the word, bring it home to yourselves: a medicine will do no good, unless it be applied.

Because of God’s inspiration of Scripture, believe that what you are reading was meant for you as well as for the first recipients of the message. Without that attitude you’ll rarely perceive the application of a passage of Scripture to you personal situation.

Ten Questions To Ask At Christmas Gatherings

From Donald Whitney:

Many of us struggle to make conversation at Christmas gatherings, whether church events, work-related parties, neighborhood drop-ins, or annual family occasions. Sometimes our difficulty lies in having to chat with people we rarely see or have never met. At other times we simply don’t know what to say to those with whom we feel little in common. Moreover, as Christians we want to take advantage of the special opportunities provided by the Christmas season to share our faith, but are often unsure how to begin. Here’s a list of questions designed not only to kindle a conversation in almost any Christmas situation, but also to take the dialogue gradually to a deeper level. Use them in a private conversation or as a group exercise, with believers or unbelievers, with strangers or with family.

  1. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you since last Christmas?
  2. What was your best Christmas ever? Why?
  3. What’s the most meaningful Christmas gift you’ve ever received?
  4. What was the most appreciated Christmas gift you’ve ever given?
  5. What was your favorite Christmas tradition as a child?
  6. What is your favorite Christmas tradition now?
  7. What do you do to try to keep Christ in Christmas?
  8. Why do you think people started celebrating the birth of Jesus?
  9. Do you think the birth of Jesus deserves such a nearly worldwide celebration?
  10. Why do you think Jesus came to earth?

Of course, remember to pray before your Christmas gatherings. Ask the Lord to grant you “divine appointments,” to guide your conversations, and to open doors for the gospel. May He use you to bring glory to Christ this Christmas.