When you open your Bible, what are you hoping will happen?
The Bible is like no other book. It is the sword of the Holy Spirit, the scalpel God uses to perform divine surgery in our lives. It is perfect. It is living and active. As Curtis said on Sunday, God uses His word to correct our thinking. And it is a renewed mind that leads to a transformed life.
So what are you hoping will happen when you read your Bible?
Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the pastor at Westminster Cathedral in London in the mid 1900’s was concerned about what people in his day were expecting when they read God’s word.
“We are all so morbidly concerned about ourselves and our own problems that we even to go to the Bible as a book which is going to help us with our problems,” Lloyd-Jones wrote. “We want some help, we want this and that, and we go to the Bible as if it were some sort of dispensary to deal with the so called ‘mumps and measles of our souls’.”
“Our very approach to the Bible is so subjective instead of being objective. How often, I wonder, do we go to the Bible saying to ourselves, ‘I am going to read the Bible because I want to see what God has done; I am going read my Bible in order that I can look at God acting and intervening in history’?”
“But, the Bible is not just a book that answers my little questions and tells me various things that I may want to know; the Bible is the record of the activity of God, the manifestations of God, God’s mighty acts and deeds.”
It’s true that God’s word often speaks to issues we face. It provides comfort when our souls are troubled. It gives us wisdom and direction when our way is cloudy. It exposes the reality of our sin and points us to the only solution for our dilemma.
But the Bible is only secondarily about us. It is primarily about God. It’s where we learn about Him and His purposes and His ways. God has chosen to reveal Himself to us through His word.
Our goal when we open the Bible should be to grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus. To align our thinking, our emotions and our actions with God’s revealed will. To become doers of the word, and not hearers only.
Here’s what Martyn Lloyd-Jones said about our Bible reading back in 1959.
“I believe that the main trouble of most evangelical people today is that they read their Bibles too devotionally, which means, I say, subjectively. And this mighty panorama of the acts of the living God is something that we seem to be unaware of and the result is that we need to be reminded of what God has done.”
God’s word is a treasure we too often neglect. And when we do read it, our focus is too often on searching for answers that will address the issues we’re facing.
As you read your Bible today, and everyday, ask this question first: “What did this passage tell me about who God is, and about how I can glorify Him?”
Here’s what’s coming up at RCC:
Next Friday night, April 6, we’re planning a night of worship for the women of RCC. Friends are invited and welcome to attend. Dinner is included. It all begins at 6:30 at church. After dinner, there will be a time of singing, praying and testimonies. It’s a night to encourage, fellowship, to connect and to enjoy Jesus and each other. Email Jen at email@example.com if you plan on coming.
Only 21 seats remaining for those of you who want to join me and see my movie Like Arrows at the Breckenridge Theater on Thursday night May 3. See the trailer and order tickets on line now by clicking here.
Sunday May 13 is Mother’s Day. We’ll also be having baby dedications that morning. If you have a child who has never been dedicated publicly, and you’d like to be included in this time of dedication, you can contact Cathy Crowell at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list for that morning.
Our next prospective membership meeting is scheduled for Saturday, May 19. If you’d like to find out more about what’s involved in membership at Redeemer, let Matt Gurney know. email@example.com There is some light reading required before the Saturday meeting, so make sure you connect with Matt ahead of time.
And finally, on Sunday June 10, we’ll have a baptism service at our traditional location – Tom and Nancy Arnold’s home. If you have never been baptized since you surrendered your life to Jesus, we would love to talk to you about following the Lord and being obedient with this public declaration of your faith. Again, contact Matt Gurney and let him know that you’re interested in being baptized so we can set up a time to meet with you to discuss baptism. firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a connection between Jesus’ resurrection and how each one of us should understand and deal with our at times debilitating battle with shame. We’ll investigate the connection this Sunday as we celebrate the good news together.
See you in church.
Soli Deo Gloria!