Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"I prayed, BUT, I DIDN'T READ MY BIBLE"

I have something that is heavily on my heart this morning. I was meeting with a man the other day, and we were discussing our relationship with God. This man was struggling with something in his life, and I asked him about his relationship with God. He said that he was struggling somewhat. I then asked him if he had spent time in God’s Word this week and he said, “I prayed, but, I DIDN’T READ THE BIBLE.” This has become a recurring problem with this person and others as well. I want to tell you that FIVE people told me this exact thing this past week. Think about it for a moment, I prayed, BUT, I DIDN’T READ THE BIBLE.” Does that sum up your day, week, month? Do you find yourself praying, but failing to open up God’s Word and allowing it to speak help, hope, and health into your life? If so, you aren’t alone.
Down through the years it has been the plan of the enemy to remove people from God’s Word. It started in the very beginning and continues today.

In the Garden of Eden, Satan twisted God's very words in order to deceive God's creation. The same is true with us today. If we do not stay connected to God through His Word, the enemy will twist God's word in order to deceive and confuse us.

Meditate on God's Word to see what God says about this:
John 8:32
31To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 14:6
6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 15:1-8
1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesF73 so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

The Word of God is so much more than a compilation of scriptures for inspiration for living a Godly life. It IS the power by which we live life. It IS living and breathing! Consider Hebrew 4:12-
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.
The Greek word used in this verse for living is zao, which means living and breathing!

When we read God's word and meditate on His actual Word to us, that word is powerful to cut out of us our sinful nature. The Word of God keeps us clean. Christ died on the cross for our sins. It is through His precious blood that we are saved and reconciled to God the Father. It is through the power of the Word that we are sanctified on a daily basis.
Read Ephesians 5:25-27
...just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

So, my request, as your Pastor and friend, is for each of you to make a commitment to God and to yourselves to read and treasure God's Word!

If you are struggling in this area and it seems you are constantly going to God with your petitions, but are not soaking in the richness of His Word on a daily basis, then take a few minutes to read Psalm 119. Listen to the psalmists heart as he reflects again and again on the hope and life that God's word and statutes bring.

My prayer is that each of you recognize the life giving power of the Word of God and take in God's freshness every single day through His Word.

May this season bring you peace and joy!
Pastor Rusty

6 comments:

Kay D said...

Pastor,
Thank you for this reminder. It is so easy to think I am too busy to read the Word. I will make a decision to read the Bible more beginning today.

Erica Jo said...

Wow! It is amazing that The Lord laid that on your heart because I am struggling with this one more now than ever. Now thatI have moved to El paso, it seems that I am praying and asking God's help in my life right now but not "finding the time" to read his word and fully take in what he has for me in this period of my life.When my life gets busy and hectic(as it does quite often), Satan always comes in and plays with my mind.It is like heis telling me "Do not worry about reading your bible or setting that time aside for God,You are too busy." True The Lord will always be there but, just like a friend, if I donot sit down and listen to what he is telling me, then how can he truly help me? Yes! Thanks for the reminder!

tanya said...

I have not missed a day of reading in a very long time and having that inbedded in my brain everyday truly helps me stay grounded. If I wasn't reminded daily of His wonderfulness thru His word, I don't know where I'd be today. There are so many things in there, no matter how many times I read any given chapter, I find something new everytime. His word is so amazing!!! If we can't make time for Him, what is stealing our time. TV is a biggie! When the Holy Spirit nudges us to get up off that couch and read about Him rather than watching that show that we don't need to be watching anyway, why don't we do it.....laziness, flesh fighting spirit.....who knows. I had some regular shows that I use to watch but the Holy Spirit dealt with me and I no longer watch them. I don't want my children to see me watching something that isn't right, I want them to want to know Christ and they learn that by watching us grown ups. All of us can stand to do better in this area. I've prayed many times, for our church family, to grow spiritually because we are the beacon for Christ. If the world doesn't see Christ in us, they may never long for Him.

Anonymous said...

The game "Hide and Seek" comes to mind. Too often, we hide in our shame and frustration, and only seek God in our desperation. Maybe we should reverse the title to say "Seek and Hide." Seek the Lord and His precepts by reading His Word, and hide it in your heart so that fruit may abound.

Anonymous said...

Pastor,
One of my goals in life is to never leave for work in the mornings without reading God's Word and praying. It certainly makes my day go better when I give God time in the mornings to speak to me through His Word and to spend time praying and giving Him thanks for His many blessings to me.

Diane

Mindy said...

This really spoke to me because I too struggle with reading my bible. It seems as though I start over and over again and just never get very far before something (Satan) steals my focus. I pray constantly for God to protect my family from harm but I realize that I don't do my part by reading His word and speaking His word over them.Thank you so much for being yielding to the Lord.