Psalm 104 begins, “Bless the LORD O my soul; O LORD my God, You are very great.” Notice the repetition of the personal pronoun in this verse: “MY soul …. MY God …”. The Psalmist was very personal in his outlook here, which is a reminder to us that our religion must be the same way. Christianity is not just an “intellectual exercise” or a philosophy. It must be personal, or it is nothing!
When our second son David was a toddler, we recorded him and his brother singing the little children’s song, “The B-I-B-L-E. We laughed as he “amended” the words to sing: “The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for YOU!”
Unfortunately, too many have that kind of outlook — they love to teach others what their responsibilities from scripture are, but they do not apply it personally. Jesus said in Matthew 23 that this was the practice of the scribes and Pharisees, who “tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with so much as a finger.” (:4) He reserved His strongest condemnation for these men, calling them “hypocrites” and “fools”, and said they were bound for hell. While these words are striking for their frankness (and not what some might mischaracterize as the “gentle Jesus meek and mild”!) they are surely not too strong. A so-called “Christianity” which does not apply God’s word seriously in one’s own life is no Christianity at all. It must be applied personally. Be certain that you have not merely understood various truths about some doctrines you have studied, but that you personally have repented of your sins and trusted Jesus as your own Lord & Savior. And as you read God’s word today, don’t view it merely as a “lesson” to teach others — be sure that you apply it to “the man in the mirror” first of all!