Today's program is a sermon, part 2, delivered by Bill Lawless at Grace Covenant Church of Midland, Texas. The focus of this message is ver 17b.
We live in a time when bible study has been reduced to the reading of a book written by someone other than God. Nowadays in times of crisis we run to the self help books, Oprah or Dr. Phil. We live in a time when people who call themselves Christian find themselves defeated at every turn. Why? Because we are not using the most powerful weapon there is, the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. We don’t use it because we do not know it.
Back to the beginning, where we started. We don’t use the sword because we don’t know our sword. Beloved, there are no excuses for not knowing how to use your bible. None! 5 Things:
1. Read your bible – This should be obvious and certainly the least that you should be doing. Do you read your bible? God speaks to us through His Word, we should regard every occasion of reading or studying that Word as an encounter with God Himself. This needs to land on us and impact us. We have the words of God right here. The creator of all that exist gave us a book so that we can know who He is. So we can know who we are and so we can know His Son Jesus Christ is. Knowing God’s word starts here.
2. Study your bible – Reading your bible is not enough. To know it requires study. Its important that we know what God’s word means. Don’t ask “What does it mean to me”. That’s point 4. Taking into consideration the 5 Ws. Who, What, Whan, Where and Why. Seek to understand what the bible means. Beloved we are so fortunate to have a pastor that wants us to understand what the bible means and takes us book by book and chapter by chapter and verse by verse.
3. Meditate on God’s word – This is not setting on the floor with your legs crossed contmplating you navel. Far from it.
J. I. Packer writes in his book Knowing God: “Meditation is a lost art today, and Christian people suffer grievously from their ignorance of the practice. Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God. Its purpose is to clear one’s mental and spiritual vision of God, and to let His truth make its full and proper impact on one’s mind and heart. It is a matter of talking to oneself about God and oneself; it is, indeed, often a matter of arguing with oneself, reasoning oneself out of moods of doubt and unbelief into a clear apprehension of God’s power and grace. Its effect is ever to humble us, as we contemplate God’s greatness and glory, and our own littleness and sinfulness, and to encourage and reassure us—‘comfort’ us in the old, strong Bible sense of the word—as we contemplate the unsearchable riches of divine mercy displayed in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Psalms 1:2-4, Psalms 4:3-5, Psalms 63:5-7, Psalms 19:24
4. Apply God’s word – Now you can ask the question “What does it mean to me” Think about it, it makes sence. You have to know what it means before you can apply God’s word properly. If we don’t apply God’s word to our lives then we may as well be reading People Magizine instead.James 1:22-25 - 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
5. Give God’s word to someone else – This may be anything from sharing your faith to providing comfort to someone in need.
Its only when we read God’s word, study God;s word, meditate on God’s word, apply God’s word and give God’s word that we will be able to use “The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God effectively and experience victory over tempation and comfort in times of trials.
Sinclair Ferguson wrote, “It is only as Christ’s words remain in us and we remain in Him that we will be delivered from the rootless Christianity so characteristic of our times. As His word influences us, we begin to bear fruit and prove to be His disciples. (John 15:5-8) Only as God’s Word makes its impact on the way we think, live, and feel will we develop hearts that are characterized by obedience to God and filled with love for Him.”