Sunday, August 24, 2008

Reading the Word to Spend Time with the Lord

The Great Commission

Part 4 – Spending Time with the Lord II

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS

6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

August 24th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

August 31st – Grace Steadman

September 7th – Lori Ulman

September 14th – Lynnette Higgins

September 21st – Walker Spriggs

WHERE WE ARE AT

The Great Commission – Restoring the Lord’s Ministry

Recognizing where we are with the Lord

Serving God HIS way

Spending Time with the Lord in Prayer

INTRODUCTION

Over the next few weeks we are going to talk about our relationship with the Lord.

And how we want to do things God’s way, not our own.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

And it’s important that we remember…

2 Timothy 2:5

Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules.

We need to understand that if we want the rewards of being followers of Christ that the Bible speaks of, then we have to play by the Bibles rules.

So many times people try to lay claim to the benefits, rewards, and blessings of God, without considering their whether or not they are living by God’s standards, or as 2 Timothy states, playing by the rules.

As Paul said, you can not enter a race, do it your way, and expect to receive the victor’s crown.



READING THE WORD OF GOD TO SPEND TIME WITH THE LORD

So today I pose the question,

“What’s so important about the word of God?”

“I believe in Jesus, that’s all that matters, right?”

“The disciples did pretty good for themselves and they didn’t have a Bible.”

A. If you don’t read it for yourself anyone can convince you what it says.

For example I could say Isaiah 42:26 says, “All who are good in heart shall receive the blessings of the Lord.”

If we would take the time to look up this verse you would see it’s not there. There are only 25 verses in Isaiah 42

How many times have you heard someone say something that isn’t true?

Probably more times than you realize if you’re not reading the Word.

“God helps those who help themselves.” - Not from the Bible, it was Benjamin Franklin

But if I was to say to you,

John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have ever lasting life.”

Most of you would know that I am speaking the truth.

Why? Because you have probably read this scripture sometime in your life and you recognize it.

This is just one reason we are to read the scriptures.

I. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT READING THE WORD

Romans 10:17

Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God

Psalm 33:6

“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.”

Wow, there is POWER in the word of God!

Psalm 89:34

“I will not violate my covenant
or alter what my lips have uttered.”

We can have faith that what God says, He will do! We can also know that He will not change what He has said.

That’s integrity!

God is a God of His word.

The word of God is powerful, and full of integrity.

God’s word is the eternal truth.

John 8:31-32

“To 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."

Who is the truth?

Truth > Jesus > God’s Word made Flesh > God’s Word / Bible

Jesus says; "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Jesus is the Word made flesh;

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

God’s words, Jesus’ words are recorded through the Holy Spirit in this book, the Holy Bible.

It is not just a history book, although there is history in here.

It is not just a story book about the prophets and Jesus, although there are stories in here.

It’s not just a book about prophecies and what the future holds, although it’s all in here.

This book, is the living, power filled words which have come from the mouth of God through the Holy Spirit, pen to papyrus, spirit to word, the mind and heart of God’s plan to redeem man and repair what was lost because of the fall of man.

This book is a record of the beginning of our time, straight through to the end of our time.

God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of all that is, all that was and all that will ever be.

This book is your key to a relationship with the Lord, from where we gain knowledge and understanding so that we can weather the storms in our lives and grow in the Lord.

This book holds the mysteries of life and death, the understanding of the ages that were and are to come.

This book is your passport to the here after, faith comes by hearing the word of God, read it, study it, take it in, the words of the Lord need to fill your heart, overflow from your mouth, and your works through the Holy Spirit will make your faith ALIVE!

Faith without works is dead. James 2:17

If you have faith, and ‘DO’ nothing, your faith is dead.

Be ALIVE in the Lord.

We need to gain wisdom through the word.

How can we obey God and serve God if we do not know what it is He expects or wants from us?

He doesn’t expect us to learn through a complicated system of punishment and reward to seek His will.

Although if that’s all He has with you because you do not read the Word of God, then He’ll take what He can get.

But the Word of God gives us the Will of God.

There’s really no guess work involved if you read His word.

2 Timothy 2:15

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

You cannot handle the word of truth if you do not know the word of truth.

You cannot present yourself to God as one He approves of if you cannot correctly handle the word of truth.

When I was in Seminary, there was a young man there who thought he knew the Bible from cover to cover, and thought he knew the interpretation and correct application for every scripture.

He repeatedly misapplied scripture, again and again. There were many theological discussions between himself and the instructor because he could not correctly handle the word of truth.

He ended up making himself look like a fool.

We must read God’s word and allow the Holy Spirit to give us understanding.

How vain to think and profess perfect understanding of God’s word. Who can fully know the mind of God?

We can never fully know or understand all, but we can have understanding and wisdom.

Proverbs 4:4-5

4 he taught me and said,
"Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands and you will live.

5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or swerve from them.”

There is only one way to get wisdom and understanding.

Through reading the word of God.

Why do so many people have such a hard time in their lives?

Because they don’t read or keep God’s word, they have no knowledge or understanding.

Isaiah 5:13

“Therefore my people will go into exile
for lack of understanding;
their men of rank will die of hunger
and their masses will be parched with thirst.”

Exiled because of lack of understanding.

Understanding of what? God’s Word.

They will die of hunger.

Remember, man does not live by bread alone…But by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4

Their masses will be parched with thirst. Thirst for what, what are they missing because of their lack of understanding?

The Holy Spirit.

If you do not read the word of God, you will lack in understanding.

You will not be fed by the word of God which has come straight from God’s mouth.

Why are the masses parched and thirsty for the Holy Spirit? Because the men of rank, their leaders, are dying because they do not have the word of God, therefore the masses do not have understanding and leadership that will bring them the Holy Spirit of God.

Does Jesus think knowing the scriptures is important to the understanding and knowledge of God?

Matthew 22:29

“Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”

It is the scriptures, the word of God we are to live by and nothing else. Not popular opinion, not majority votes on right or wrong, not traditions we have developed over the years.

Mark 7:13-15

“Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that."

14Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. 15Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.' "

You nullify the word of God by putting traditions first.

It’s what come out of you that makes you unclean

Because from the fullness or overflow of your heart is what a man speaks.

If you speak foul disgusting abominations, then that is what you are full of in your heart. The word of God says so.

But if you fill your heart with the word of God by reading it, you will grow in knowledge and understanding and your faith will grow.

Jesus says about the word;

Luke 11:28

“He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

John 14:21

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

Do you love Jesus? Read His commands and obey them.

If you love Jesus, this is what you will do. Then the Father in heaven will love you. And Jesus will love you, and best of all, Jesus says in the scripture here if you read His commands and obey them, Jesus will show Himself to you.

Who wants to have Jesus reveal Himself in your life?

ALTAR CALL

If you need a new fire for God’s word in your life,

If you want to experience Jesus in your life,

If you need help removing this or any other roadblock that is preventing you from growing in faith or experiencing God in your life, let the elders pray for you.

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