"God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him in the midst of loss, not prosperity." --John Piper

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reasons 5-8

I want to finish up my post on the 8 reasons to read your Bible, as shared by our pastor.

My original post is here.

5.  So I can get the most out of life. (Josh 1:8)
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Sounds like a verse that Joel Osteen would quote. It is not that I do not believe God's promises, it is our interpretation of them I struggle with. Instead of Joel, how would John the Baptist interpret this verse? Remember him? The one about whom Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Mt 11:11) This man was the ultimate prophet, yet he was imprisoned and his life sold for a lap dance. I think it is a matter of perspective. I think that John did get the most out of life. I just think that most people would not interpret this statement in that manner. I have heard my pastor preach, and I don't think he would either.

6.  So I can know what is true. (Acts 17:11)
Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

There is no greater tool for truth than God's word. If only we didn't let our preconceptions get in the way so often.

7.  So I can be close to God and learn from Him.(Heb 10:22)
let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

I love this verse, but not sure how this snippet of a much larger section is appropriate here. Read the entire paragraph! He is talking about a life style here, not just 10-20 minutes of reading and a journal entry on the "zinger" verse. He is talking about the confidence we can now have because of what Christ has done for us, and how that confidence should change us and the way we treat others. Perhaps more appropriate would be Deut. 5:6 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." which conveys the very essence of our faith. Yet I remember a man who knew this verse and quoted it to Jesus and was then told that he was close to the kingdom of God. I find that one of the saddest verses in the Bible, because while we were told that he was close, we never know if he made it. I want to be more than close.

8.  So I will have hope. (Rom 15:4)
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Read the entire paragraph here. It is not that reading the Scriptures shouldn't give us hope, it is just that the hope should not end on us, but rather it has the purpose of changing us so that we might glorify God by how we live and treat others.

So I will end with this...Read your Bible, whether it be on a plan or not. A lover of God should want to know all that he or she can about the object of their love. In fact, if all you do is attend church, tithe, and even do read your Bible, but do it in a sense that you are fulfilling your obligation to God, then I think you need to question your love for Him and maybe even question your salvation. (You won't hear that coming out of our pulpit on a Sunday.) Selah.


Kansas Bob said...

I am catching up and just read your posts on this topic. Agree with your take on this topic. I think that preachers usually get it wrong when they teach these kinds of sermons. Heard it said once that the reason to read the bible is not to know the bible but to know God. I so agree with that when I consider how I once knew so much about word 'grace' but lived liked I had never heard the word.

Spherical said...

Thanks for the confirmation. It feels a bit lonely at times, when you say something and everyone looks at you like you are from outer space.