T.I.M.E. In God's Word
Let's talk about ways that we can spend time in God’s Word. My hope and prayer for all of us this morning, is that we could have the heart of Job, and we can say,
“I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food” (Job 23:12b, ESV).
Why I should spend more time in God's Word:
#1 - God's Word leads me to ________________ .
"From childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writing, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." 2 Timothy 3:15 ESV
Timothy was blessed with a mother and grandmother who continually filled His mind with God’s Word. As he grew, he came to place his trust in Christ, and eventually worked with Paul to spread the Gospel.
#2 - God's Word aids me in _____________________ .
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your Word. With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! I have stored up Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You." Psalm 119:9-11 ESV
The psalmist knew that following the teaching found in the Scriptures were the best way to live a life pleasing to God.
HOW do I do it?
Four ways to invest T.I.M.E. in God's Word:
T. __________________ God's Word.
If we are to be people of God’s Word, we must be people who are in God’s Word. From early in the history of God’s people, He wanted them to be reading the Scriptures.
"Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside of your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates." Deuteronomy 6:6-9 MSG
Read the Bible. Discuss Translations. Listen to the Bible. Preaching:
"Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy and blessed are those who hear." Revelation 1:3 ESV
This is a church where the Bible will be declared. Whether it’s the adults or the kids downstairs in KidsMin or the teens in the Missionary class, we know the Word of God is central to our time at Church Requel. How can you improve your intake of Scripture?
I. ____________________ God's Word.
We must go deeper. Bereans:
"They received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." Acts 17:11b ESV
They checked it out for themselves. Considering the wealth of resources we have at our fingertips, can we not do the same? You may be thinking, “But, Brian, I don’t know how to study the Bible!” All I can say is, start small. Take a passage and paraphrase it. Use a Bible dictionary or atlas to provide context for a given passage. A book I would recommend is How To Read the Bible For All Its Worth by Gordon Fee.
Consider purchasing a study Bible. The benefit of a study Bible is that, in addition to the text of the Scriptures, you are provided with a commentary explaining a given passage. Some also provide maps and timelines to provide a greater understanding. Our goal in studying the Scriptures is to gain a greater understanding of what God has said, not just to fill our minds with facts.
M. ___________________ on God's Word.
What comes to mind when you think of meditation? A yogi seated in a cross-legged position, with his eyes shut, repeating a syllable over and over? That’s not what I’m talking about here. Biblical meditation is about contemplation. It’s not about emptying your mind. It’s about filling it with the Word of God, and then taking time to consider what it’s really saying to you.
"His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night." Psalm 1:2 ESV
A life pleasing to God is a life that contemplates the implications of God’s Word. Martin Luther example: “Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that ‘the just shall live by faith.’ Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise.”
E. __________________ God's Word.
No matter how much we read the Bible, we must also heed the Bible. Jesus completed the Sermon on the Mount by telling His hearers,
"Everyone who hears words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock." Matthew 7:24-25 ESV
Application of God’s truth is how we grow as believers. Donald Whitney said that “our difficulty lies in knowing how to apply the clearly understood parts of God’s Word to everyday living.”
Everything we’ve discussed so far are ways we prepare to apply the Bible to our daily lives. Once we’ve seen what the Scriptures say, sought to understand them, and contemplated them, it will result in something changing. It may be how we perceive God. Perhaps we have a new sense of awe at His holiness from reading Isaiah 6, or a renewed sense of gratitude for His grace from meditating on Ephesians 2.
It could be we need to change a behavior. We may see that we need to renew our struggle against a habitual sin by studying 1 Peter 4, or we need to start exercising the gifts God has given us from pondering 1 Corinthians 12. No matter if it’s in what we say, what we think, or what we do, our TIME in God’s Word should result in something changing.
Conclusion: My youth pastor got me started. I hope also to plant a desire in your heart to TAKE IN the Word of God, INVESTIGATE the Word of God, MEDITATE the Word of God, and EXERCISE the Word of God.
Look over your outline and see where you could make TIME for God’s Word this week. Make it a priority. No one ever says, “I need to find the time to cook dinner.” No one says, “I need to find the time to take a shower.” No one says, “I need to find the time to sleep.” We prioritize what we need.
May I suggest that TIME in the Scriptures is a need we all have, and we all need make time to TAKE IN, INVESTIGATE, MEDITATE, and EXERCISE the Scriptures.