Believe Series – Practice #2 Chapter 13
5 Question Bible Quiz
1. Where is the first tennis match mentioned in the Bible? It was when Joseph served in Pharaoh’s court.
2. Which Bible character had no parents? Joshua, son of Nun.
3. What kind of man was Boaz before he got married? Ruth-less
4. What is one of the first things that Adam and Eve did after getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden? They really raised Cain.
5. What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why they no longer lived in Eden? Our mother ate us out of house and home.
How many of you got all 5 of them right?
So Far... We have been in a series called BELIEVE. This is a spiritual growth experience that takes you on a journey to think, act, and become more like Jesus.
We taught you that there were 10 KEY BELIEFS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH.
- God – Pastor Brian
- Personal God
- The Bible
- Identity in Christ – Pastor Dan
- Compassion – Pastor Brian
A few weeks ago – we started Part 2 – which are 10 KEYS PRACTICES we are to have as part of our life.
Pastor Brian gave us the first one which is PRAYER.
Today, we will look at the second key practice called BIBLE STUDY.
May I encourage you to come out on Wednesday night as we go deeper with Pastor Dan.
Lift your Bible or handheld devices and make this declaration with me:
This is my Bible.
I am what it says I am.
I can do what it says I can do.
Today I will be taught the Word of God.
I boldly confess my mind is alert, my heart is receptive.
I will never be the same.
I am about to receive the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of the Word of God.
I will never be the same.
Never, never, never.
I will never be the same. In Jesus name.
Confession Of Faith: I study the Bible to know God and His Truth and to find DIRECTION for my daily life.
Key Verse: Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) 12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Acts 2:42 (ESV) 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
The early Christians were 100% sold out to this.
Notice that “they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching.”
This means two things the apostles were faithful in their responsibility to preach and teach and, the believers were faithful to “continue in” to learn and keep growing in what was taught.
They were convinced that the depth of their devotion to the Word would determine their impact in the world.
I wonder how many of us came to church today with the expectation that God was going to speak to us?
Perhaps coming to church has become merely a habit, and so, little thought is given to why we are here. We need to come into this place with the expectation that God will speak to us.
Every Sunday we need to come with an eagerness of mind, with an openness of heart to hear what God will say. If these qualities are cultivated by us, they will place us in a position where we can hear the voice of God.
According to a Barna Research Group survey, less than 50% of Americans open the Bible in a given week. 82% think that “God helps those who help themselves” is directly from the Bible; 63% cannot name the four Gospels; 58% do not know that Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount; 52% do not know the book of Jonah is in the Bible.
That reminds me of a story I heard about a religious woman who had to do a lot of flying for her work. Air travel made her extremely nervous, so she always took her Bible along with her to read since it helped her relax on long flights. One time, she found herself sitting next to a man who chuckled and then smirked when she pulled out her Bible.
After awhile, he turned to her and asked, “You don’t really believe all that stuff in there, do you?”
The lady replied, “Of course I do. It is the Bible.”
“Well, what about the guy who was swallowed by the whale?” he asked.
She replied, “Oh, Jonah. Yes, I believe that. It is in the Bible.”
Still smirking, the man asked, “Well, how do you suppose he survived all that time inside the whale?
The lady replied, “Well, I don’t really know. I guess when I get to heaven, I’ll ask him.”
“What if he isn’t in heaven?” the man asked sarcastically.
To which the lady answered, “Then you can ask him.”
This lady received the Bible as the Word of God every part of it. She was devoted to it, just like the believers in the early church, and just like the believers in Berea.
We need to study God’s Word with the intent of letting it guide our daily lives, just as Jesus did:
How many want to grow deeper in the Lord in 2015? How many of you would like to be a more fruitful person?
Let me ask you a question… What did Solomon pray for in the Bible? He didn’t pray for more money or prestige. He prayed for wisdom.
How do you and I get wisdom for our lives?
- Through personal experience
Ex. Of running into the wall or making a few mistakes. What is the lesson? It is… Nose soft. Wall Hard.
The problem… you and I don’t have enough noses and hard walls to get wisdom to do what God wants you do.
So… we need wisdom beyond our experience
- Through other people’s experience (let them run into the wall)
They say… hard wall/ nose soft – “don’t run into the wall”
I am wiser by learning off their experience
How many of us, even after hearing of another’s persons experience choose to run into that wall?
Now… You will learn from personal experience – but at what price?
- finances, etc.
The key… We must discipline ourselves.
Timothy…. Discipline yourself for the sake of godliness.
1 Timothy 4:7 (NASB) 7 …discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.
Two pains in life
- the pain of discipline
- the pain of regret
The pain of discipline costs you pennies. The pain of regret costs you millions.
The pain discipline weighs ounces. The pain of regret weighs tons.
So… we want to gain wisdom not only from our experiences but from others. It will save you years and years.
We need to allow others who have gone on before to mentor us.
I have been mentored by many people that I haven’t even met through books and sermons online or CD’s.
One of my disciplines is to read a lot and listen to a lot of sermons from other pastors.
There are some things that I don’t have to go through because I learn from others who have gone through it before me.
How much would you pay to get a book with all the best lessons throughout the ages?
I would pay thousands!
Well… you have one of those (hold up the Bible) and it only costs around $50.00
If you read through this – you will gain the wisdom of the ages. You won’t have to go through some of things that Samson or Jacob went through. Esau. Eli. David. Rahab.
Wayne Cadiero, a friend of mine, was in China teaching 22 underground pastors. They traveled 13 hours by train to be with him. They sat 8 hours a day on the floor in a hot room to learn about God.
He asked them how many people they represented. They said… 22 million.
When he asked them to turn in their Bible to a certain passage – he noticed that one lady (70 years old) didn’t turn to the passage but instead gave her Bible to a younger woman.
He noticed that she didn’t need it because she had it memorized.
He asked her about it later. She said that she learned to memorize God word while she was free because she would eventually be put in prison again. She had spent 12 years in prison.
She said that when she is in prison – “they take my Bible away – but when it is in my heart – they can’t take it away.”
Wayne said it was a very humbling experience.
Psalm 119:97-100 (ESV) 97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. 99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.
Meditation – (Keyword Study Bible) – Heb. Siychah (see-khaw) “reflections, concern of one’s thoughts, musing.”
David “meditated” on God all the time. It consumed his thoughts. He states that this is the proper way to deal with God’s Word.
Reading God’s word is the only way to become wiser.
It is my desire to get all of New Life Chapel to read God’s Word together every day and that we would all be on the same page together.
New Life Chapel Face Book page posts the daily reading every day. Join us as we read through the Bible in one year in a Chronological order.
When is your best time to read God’s Word? Some of you will say it’s the morning and others will say it’s the evening. It needs to be best when you are at your best.
Why is it so important? - So we can hear from God every single day.
As I sit before God – I get my marching orders for the day.I believe that one of the highest forms of prayer – is hearing from God.
As you read – you should be taking notes on what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and how you are going to live differently because of what you just read.
When we come to God – it is not just us talking to God but it is articulating our need and listening.
Most of the time – people eat once a week in our church. They come on Sundays and eat for the week.
If you ate just once a week and snacked the rest of the week – what type of physical body do you think you would have?
It would be pretty bad. But spiritually – that is what a lot of people are doing. They have a good meal on Sunday and they snack the rest of the week.
I want to teach you how to feed themselves. Otherwise – you only snack and it won’t work.
The American Journal of Medicine… - in this 21st century – “health in America will be determined not by what the people can get their doctors to do for them but by what the doctors can get the people to do for themselves.”
As your shepherd… I must teach you how to feed yourselves.
If the Holy Spirit was to come to you and say… “I would like to personally mentor you an hour a day – how many would like to sign up?”
Well… isn’t that what God is offering you today.
THE BENEFITS OF READING GOD’S WORD
1 - It Gives You The Power To Overcome Sin.
Psalm 119:11 (ESV) 11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
It is interesting: Psalm 119 was a passage that was taught to all Hebrew children.
- Every 8 verses start with a different Hebrew alphabet (Alpha, Beth, Gimel, Daleth…”
- Every verse has some reference to the word of God in some manner.
This noun most describes in the Bible God’s Word/ teaching/ covenant/ commandment and voice.
Have you ever felt like the apostle Paul in Romans 7 who cried out “why do I do the things I know not to do, and the things I know I should do, I don’t.” I know I have.
And in those times, it is easy to resort to prayer for an answer. Yet the Psalmist proclaims that the way to overcome sin is to get the Word into our hearts.
“that I might not sin against you…” – Hebrew – “Chata” (Khaw-taw) The word sin is an archery term. It means “to miss the mark.” (Strongs 2398)
Reading God’s Word helps to stay on target.
2- It Gives You Direction And Clarity For Your Future.
Psalm 119:105 (ESV) 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Lamp – an illumination. I am told that in ancient times a little lamp was tied to their feet while walking in the dark – illuminating their ways.
3- It Is Your Weapon Against Temptation.
Matthew 4:3-4 (ESV) 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Jesus used the Word as His weapon to fend off the devil’s temptations.
He had the Word memorized and unleashed the right verse that would counter the specific lie the enemy was trying to sell Him.
This is how we should overcome the temptations we regularly face. Again, it comes to depositing the Word into our hearts and memorizing the Word in our minds.
4- It Will Bring You Freedom From Hurts, Habits, And Hang-Ups.
John 8:31-32 (NASB) 31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
The key word in this verse is “continue or abide.”
Jesus said if we continue in His Word. That means regularly feeding on it, not just reading it once. If we continue in His Word we will transform our thinking to His thinking and this will bring the truth that will set us free from whatever bondage we are facing.
5- It will lead you to prosperity and success.
Joshua 1:8 (ESV) 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.
God promised Joshua success and prosperity if he would continue in His Word, meditating and memorizing and speaking it regularly.
6- It will lead you to salvation and show you how to live God’s way.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. The Bible will show you the way to eternal salvation and to living a righteous life, which simply means a life that is right standing with God. You will find your destiny here and will become eligible for all of the above benefits.
Four things you bring to your devotions every day
1. Bring your Bible
Not the daily bread. Not Oswald Chambers – Upmost For His Highest. Those are great – but don’t snack – they’re not the real thing.
Song… The B.I B.L.E. – yes that’s the book for me
It’s time we get back to the raw word of God. The Holy Spirit will mentor us through the word.
Isaiah 40:8 (ESV) 8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
Psa 119:165 Great peace have those who love Your law, And nothing causes them to stumble.
2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
I have my Bible, my tablet and coloring pencils to mark up my Bible. It’s important to mark up your Bibles.
When you write in your Bible it is only ink on paper. We must get the ink from the Bible into our hearts
As I read – the Holy Spirit will highlight certain things and say… this is for you.
I write down what the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart. I journal my thoughts by finding a few verses that speak to me and journal my thoughts about those verses.
I usually wear out a Bible every 2 years.
Here’s a good acronym:
S – cripture
O – bservation – what does the passage say
A – pplication – what am I going to do about it
P – rayer
3- Your Bible Reading Plan
We pass out a book mark out every three months with the Bible reading plan on it. This way… we will all be reading the same thing every day.
We are reading the Chronological Reading Plan right now. You can find this on Blueletterbible.org or Youversion.com
A reading program allows all of us to have some rhyme and reason to our reading.
If your don’t have a Bible reading program – you won’t visit some of the books in the Bible like Amos and Habakkuk, etc.
4- Daily Planner
It seems that while I’m praying that God reminds me of dates and times and people I need to call.
Psalm 19:7-14 (NLT) 7 The instructions of the LORD are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight for living. 9 Reverence for the LORD is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the LORD are true; each one is fair. 10 They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. 11 They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them. 12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. 14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Look at the words used to define God’s Word: Instructions/ Decrees/ Commandments, Laws/
Notice the results:
- They revive the soul
- They make wise the simple
- They bring joy to the heart
- They give us insight for living
- They are more desirable than gold
- They are sweeter than honey
- They are a warning to us as Christians
- They bring a reward to those who obey them
Let’s read Psalm 19:14 again. It should be our prayer today…
Psalm 19:14 (ESV) 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.