1% LIFE: How To Apply (HEAR tool)

posted by Bethel Communications | Sep 16, 2021


Hi everyone!  My name is Laura Clemens.  I am the coordinator for the evening Women’s Bible Studies, as well as a teacher at Kid’s Express Preschool here at Bethel.  Today I am going to talk to you about the third step in the HEAR Bible reading method.  If you haven’t heard of the HEAR method (no pun intended), I encourage you to push pause on me and go back and listen to the last three podcasts.  
So, HEAR is an acrostic – HEAR – the H stands for highlight and the E stands for explain.  The third step I’ll be sharing about today is the A which stands for apply.  A lot of people today think that the Bible is irrelevant to their lives and our current times.  However, that is simply not true.  Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword…”  The Bible is not a boring, ancient text that has no bearing on our lives.  It is alive.  It is active.  And it is very much applicable.
Now, I do want to present two cautions before you dive off into applying the Bible to your personal situations.  First of all, the Bible is not a book about you.  It is a book about God.  It is not a self-help manual.  It is not a Magic 8 ball that will answer all of your questions if you just shake it and look at the first verse that opens up.  The Bible is a book about God and His character.  It shows us how God is and how very unlike God we are.

The second caution I want to give you is to make sure you’ve done your homework first.  Many people take verses out of context and try to apply them to situations they were never meant to be applied to.  And that’s where you run into problems.  It is important that you spend time actually studying the text in context, highlighting what stands out, understanding and explaining it, and even doing additional research on it before you try to apply it to your life.

Okay, so let’s actually talk about application now.  In essence, it is taking what a text says and applying some aspect of it to your life.  There are several questions you can ask yourself to aid in this.
  1. How can this help me?
  2. What does this mean today? or What does this mean to me?
  3. What would it look like if I applied this to my life?
  4. What is God saying to me?
So let’s look at a text and practice this for a moment.  We’re just going to read Psalm 19:1-4 right now.  In the CSB version, Psalm 19 is entitled “The Witness of Creation and Scripture.”  It is written “For the choir director.  A Psalm of David.”  Verses 1-4 say: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse proclaims the work of his hands.  Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge.  There is no speech; there are no words; their voice is not heard.  Their message has gone out to the whole earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”  We’ll stop there.

So, how in the world is this applicable to us?  Let’s go back to those questions I mentioned earlier and see if anything jumps out.
  1. How can this help me?
  2. What does this mean today?  What does this mean to me?
  3. What would it look like if I applied this to my life?
  4. What is God saying to me?

The question that stuck out most to me was the third one – what would it look like if I applied this to my life?  In this Psalm, David is describing how creation constantly “speaks” the message of God without even using words.  This makes me think about my own life.  Am I constantly speaking the message of God, both with words and without?  I think about all the times I am not a very good witness – when I’m impatient at the grocery store or frustrated with my kids.  What would it look like if day after day and night after night, I pointed others to Jesus, both through my words and through my actions?
See, that wasn’t that hard.  When you take the time to really dig in deep with scripture and understand it, it is a lot easier to see an application to your life.  You don’t want to stop with application, however.  In tomorrow’s podcast, we will learn the last step of the HEAR method – the R that stands for Respond.
Thank you so much for joining me today!  I will close us out with a word of prayer.  Heavenly Father, you have given us scripture to study and read.  Your word is alive and active and very relevant today.  I pray over all those who are listening to this podcast – that you would open their eyes and ears to what You have for them in their daily Bible reading and study today.  Help them to understand what they read and to see how it is applicable to their lives.  Thank you for the gift of your word, Lord, and thank you that anyone, no matter their background or qualifications, can read and study and engage with the Bible.  In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

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