I have loved Jesus my whole life. I have. I don’t remember not loving Him. My earliest memories are of church, singing in our “extended session” after Sunday School, going to children’s church, listening to Christian music at home, talking about Jesus and being involved in the things of the Lord.
But I still have a hard time reading my Bible. I even love to read, but picking up that big old book and reading it is just overwhelming! I have been through ups and down of this, when I was a Children’s Pastor, I read the Bible a lot in study of our lessons. I’ve done the whole read the Proverbs Chapter of the Day thing. I have had Study/Devotional books that have helped me out. Last year I memorized a verse from Proverbs 31 every day until I had the chapter memorized (took longer than I thought!). But there are times when I just can’t seem to find the time, energy or want-to to read the Bible every day!
Well, this week, our pastor started a new series that
convicted encouraged me to READ MY BIBLE. Wow. How basic is that? But I would venture to say that MOST Christians struggle with doing this on a consistent basis. (Am I wrong?)
So, I haven’t done a sermon recap in awhile. I’m going to start again with this series entitled:
Do you text? I mean text message? Honestly, I don’t do it every day because it’s like 15 cents each. But I do like it! You don’t have to talk to anyone. You can get what needs to be said said quickly. It’s easy and well, it’s fun to send little messages back and forth. Kinda like the old can and string thing, only cooler.
God has sent us a gigantic text message. The Bible. His text is just as timely, personal and relevant to your life as all those “don’t forget the eggs”, “wanna go the movies?” and “lol. i luv u.” texts you send every day!
Psalm 119 is a chapter that is full of praise for God’s Word. David wrote this chapter while he was king. He talks about how much he loves God’s law. Now, you have to remember that David didn’t have 66 books in his Bible. In fact, he probably only had the first few books of what we call the Old Testament. But in verse 97, he says,
“Oh, how I love your law!! I meditate on it all day long!” (I might have added the exclamation points.)
What do you think about all day long? I know one thing I think about all day—what to do with Lydia. My every move is centered on her every move. What can I do to make sure she’s taken care of, to lead her correctly, comfort, discipline and love her more? I think about, “What are we having for dinner?” I constantly wonder, “WHEN IS MY COFFEE BREAK?”
But I think David is a good example of a guy who thinks about GOD’s WORD every day. And look what happens when you do what David says,
Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. (vs 98)
I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. (vs 99)
I have more understanding than the elders, for I obey your precepts. (vs 100)
Who doesn’t want to be wise beyond your years? Reading God’s Word, meditating on it and obeying it was what made David great!
Is this sounding so basic? It’s like a kids’ Sunday School class isn’t it? Here’s the thing. Most people don’t meditate on God’s Word. Most people don’t think about God’s laws everywhere they go. They don’t obey everything God says. They just don’t. And that’s why our lives and our world get so out of whack!
It’s so easy for me to fall into the trap of, well-i-go-to-church-every-week, i’ve-been-to-church-all-my-life-i-know-all-the-stories, i-read-lydia-a-bible-story-every-day so why do I really need to read the Bible EVERYDAY? But David tells us that when we read God’s Word, it is God Himself teaching us! (vs. 102)
I want God to teach me so many things. How to be a good mom, a supportive wife, a minister, a follower, a friend! I started thinking during church about how I’ve lamented over the past few months about our “future”. What should we do? What’s going to happen? I’ve pleaded, “God DO something!” Well, maybe God wanted to TALK to me instead. Maybe He’s had something in his TEXT to show me. Praying is great. But I have always believed that the primary way God speaks to us is through His Word! How did I forget?
The pastor ended with a story of when he turned 16. His dad gave him a Bible and told him to memorize the speech David gave Goliath before he killed him. That’s kinda cool for a 16 year old boy. So, he did it. Here’s the passage:
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
Great, right? He asked his dad, why did you want me to memorize this passage? His dad told him, that his entire life he will come across temptations and problems that will be giants. And instead of wondering what to do, speak this out of your mouth! Now, reread the passage imagining the giant in your life. Here, like this:
Amanda said to the sickness, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the demonic army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
Powerful, right? God’s Word is more than a book. It’s more than a story. It’s more than a thing you have to do if you’re a Christian. It’s God’s TEXT to you. It’s God’s message to your heart, to your story, to your life. One of my most quoted verses as a kid was Psalm 119:105,
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
God’s Word is personal. It’s for me. I’m just so excited this week, to dust off that lamp and let it glow a little down my path. I want to hear God teach me! I want to see my enemies and temptations struck down!
So, this week I’m joining the rest of the church in reading these 5 passages.
And to keep me accountable, I’m going to post them on my blog everyday.
Obviously, the sermon was much better and probably a little more profound than what you just read. I’d love to hear from you about this subject! Am I the only one like this? Do you even care about reading your Bible? Is this a non-issue?