The last perspective in this series is usually the first perspective that people try to understand about a passage of Scripture:
What is God's message for today?
What is interesting is that the time-locked message, at one time, was a timely message. In fact, one could say that both the time-locked and timeless messages that have been found in this study have been timely messages; there have been applications for today derived from each of them.
The timely message certainly is not static and can change greatly depending on the reader's (audience's) situation in life and maturity in Christ.
Questions to ask in a timely study:
1. How does this passage correlate to my life?
2. Does my life correlate to the passage?
3. How can I relate to the events/teaching in this part of Scripture?
4. Does the text teach me about God and thereby enlighten my worship?
5. Does the text teach me about myself and my actions?
6. Am I convicted by Scripture that points out sin?
7. How does this passage draw me closer to God?
8. Is there an example to follow? To avoid?
9. How am I encouraged in my walk with God by this passage?
10. Does the passage teach a timely principle or idea that I can use in my life?
Timely study shines the light of today upon God's timeless Word. We see it through the lens of our position in Christ as well as the light of all of Scripture. Remember, though, timely study is not about making connections that aren't there and reading into Scripture things that God never meant. There are plenty of teachings that force the square peg of Scripture through the round hole of skewed applications; that should never be.
Rather, as we prayerfully consider the Word of God, we allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind the application that He can use to mold us into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Consider 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. God's Word should have an effect on His children, and He uses it in all four of the ways mentioned above: for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, to grow us in maturity.
In searching out the timely message, remember also, there is one interpretation and many applications. There is no such thing as "What this passage means to me"; there is only "What this passage means" and "How this passage applies to me".