The Bible is our Guide.
Our theme this month is the Supernatural Stream of God’s Guidance and calling.
We are a privileged people – we have free access to the Bible, the Word of God, God’s has given us the Guide Book for Life.
People in the world today often ask questions about the Bible:
Perhaps the most common questions are:
Is the Bible reliable?
Is the Bible relevant today?
Is the Bible really the Word of God?
I believe as I trust you do too, that the Bible is reliable, it is true, it is relevant to us today, it is and important part of our lives, it guides us, it advises us, it reveals God’s will and purpose to us.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
The Bible is a gift from God, God speaks to us and other believers around the world today through the pages of the Bible.
We need to do more with our Bible than leave it to gather dust on a shelf somewhere at home. We need to read it, study it, believe it.
When we read the Bible, we need to listen to God’s word, allow it to penetrate our hearts and minds, allow it to change and transform us.
There is so much we can learn from the Word of God, but it’s more than just learning head knowledge.
As disciples of Christ, the principles and precepts of God revealed in the Bible need to be learned, applied and obeyed in our daily lives.
Obedience to the word and commands of God.
Great in principle, harder in practice.
Our worldview or opinions may be contrary to what God has said – but God is the one who is perfect.
We are imperfect and just because we don’t agree with God on something it does not make us right and God wrong.
If we truly want to be guided by God then even though it may at times be hard, we must be obedient to His word and calling on our lives.
You know that our lives here are brief, when physical death comes and we leave this world behind, we will awake in eternity.
There is more to experience beyond this life – either an eternity with our Lord and Saviour in Heaven or eternally separated from God in Hell.
God in His love allows us the choice of where we will spend eternity.
If we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour we are assured of a place in Heaven.
If we reject God and His free gift of salvation,
then by our own free will we are choosing an eternity without God in Hell.
It’s either one or the other there is no other option.
A simple Yes or No – Accept or Reject choice that seals our final destination.
Simply put God has given us His Word to guide us to our eternal home.
James 1:22-25 says: Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
In the Bible God teaches us, guides us and admonishes us, He requires us to listen, learn,
live by faith and in love serve Him and each other.
When we ignore God’s Word, we are not being obedient to His guidance and direction for us.
In Luke 6:46-49, Jesus said these words, “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”
If we ignore the Word of God, we are just building castles of sand that are washed away by the streams of this worlds opinions and viewpoints.
The Word of God is the solid foundation for our lives, it can help us stand firm in faith.
Let me ask you a question: Do you know the Bible well enough to find the guidance you need in life?
You see, a vague idea of what the Bible might say, is not the same as knowing the word of God for yourself.
I know what some of you are thinking,
I don’t need to read it for myself I can just rely on what Dean and the other ministers tell me on a Sunday, or on what Anne teaches in the Bible study.
Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, but how do you know what we are saying is from the Bible?
Romans chapter 18:27 says “listen to your ministers, obey them, for everything has been revealed to them, they are wise and know everything there is to know about everything and everyone”
So there you go.
I’ve told you it says it in the Bible... Does it?
How many chapters in the book of Romans? 16.
So that means that Chapter 18:27 does not really exist, it is not in the Bible.
If you have never read the Bible for yourself how do you know what it says?
This verse is in the Bible Proverbs 18:15 “Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.”
How much time should a person spend reading the Bible? The simple answer is as much as possible.
A number of children were asked what they knew about the Bible, here are some of their answers:
In the first book of the bible God got tired of creating the world, so he took Sunday off.
Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree.
Noah’s wife was called Joan, she was known as
Joan of Ark.
Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day and a ball of fire by night.
Moses died before he ever reached the land of Canada
The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.
Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
The people who followed Jesus were called the 12 decibels.
The epistles were the wives of the apostles.
Funny, but sadly true.
Most children today don’t know the Bible.
In fact many parents do not encourage their children to read anything at all.
Buy them an XBOX or Playstation, give them a smartphone full of games, but never encourage them to read or learn or develop.
Friends The Bible is God’s book given as a a gift to us. It teaches us how to live.
It guides us on our way.
It reveals God’s will and purpose for us.
We need to read it for ourselves.
People may say I don’t read the Bible because I’m too busy.
Or I don’t read the Bible because I don’t like to read.
Or I don’t read the Bible because it’s boring or hard to understand.
The only people who say the Bible is boring are people who haven’t read it enough to understand it.
There are even some who would say they are Christians yet still refuse to read the Bible.
Their reason for that is they know that if they read the Bible they may have to change the way they live their life.
They know that there are things in their life that God says in the Bible are wrong.
They value their choices, opinions, lifestyle above the truth God has revealed in the Bible and they don’t want to change.
The Word of God is an important guide for our lives.
Long ago, in a land far away, King David recognised how important the Word of God was in His own life.
In Psalm 119:105 he stated, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”
David uses two images to indicate the value of God’s Word, a LAMP for my feet, and a LIGHT for my path.
The Word of God guides us to walk the right path,
it is given to help us not to stumble, or shuffle along in the darkness of sin, it is given to illuminate the way we should travel.
Too many people choose to stumble around in the darkness rather than let the Light of God’s Word lead their way.
All of us can neglect reading God’s word as often as we should. All of us can allow other things to take a higher priority.
What are the priorities in your life?
When you get up in the morning, do you choose to open God’s Word before you rush off into the day?
Do you find time during the day to remember what you read?
Do you think about what you read and how it applies to your life?
When problems, circumstance, situations happen in your life, do you seek counsel and guidance from the Word of God?
Do you set aside time to actually study God’s Word or just grab the odd verse here and there?
Do you get more upset about missing your favourite TV programme than missing time with God?
As I reminded you last week, we have been called, commanded, to share the truth of God with others, to be Salt, to be light, so that others can know the truth of God’s plan of salvation and be saved.
Remember this verse from last weeks sermon?
The words of Jesus in Acts 26:17-18 from The Message: “I’m sending you off to open the eyes of the outsiders so they can see the difference between dark and light, and choose light, see the difference between Satan and God, and choose God. I’m sending you off to present my offer of sins forgiven, and a place in the family, inviting them into the company of those who begin real living by believing in me.”
We can’t be a Light to this world if we spend the majority of our time stumbling around in the dark.
The Bible is the Word of God, it is truth, it is the lamp to our feet, the light to our path.
The Word of God is our spiritual food, our spiritual drink, sustenance for our spiritual lives.
Don’t treat God’s Word like food only for a special occasion, feast on it every day.
God has not created us to wander directionless through this life.
He has given us The Bible to direct us in and through this life to eternity.
It is God’s Perfect Guide book for each and every one of us.
The Bible tells us where we came from and why we were created.
It gives our life purpose and meaning.
It teaches us how to live a life of victory over sin.
It teaches us the reality of Heaven and Hell.
It tells us of a God who loves us and has a plan for us.
It teaches us Satan is already a defeated foe.
It prepares us for eternity.
The Bible is reliable. The Bible is truth.
God’s Word is a lamp for your feet and a light for your path.
The Bible is the Inspired by God.
What we have in the Bible is not the words of man, they are the Word of God.
2 Peter 1:20-21 reminds us Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.
and in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 the apostle Paul says “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”
Jesus proclaimed in Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear.”
Centuries come and go, generations come and go, but the Word of God is relevant to every generation. Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
The Bible is God’s Inspired Word
The Bible is Reliable
The Bible is Relevant.
The more we read the Word of God, the more Light we receive, the better our path is illuminated.
When we first become Christians, when we are first born again, in a sense we are like newborn children, in a spiritual sense we need to learn so that we can grow into spiritually mature adults.
The way we grow, the way we mature, is by reading, studying and applying God’s Word to our lives.
I suppose my questions for you as I draw to a close are these:
Are you willing to let God’s Word guide your life?
Will you allow His word to be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path
Are you willing to learn?
and will you apply what you discover to the way you live your daily life, even when God’s will or opinion is different to yours.
Are you willing to grow up?
To become Spiritually Mature you need a daily diet of the Word of God, to bring sustain you and enable you to grow into the person God has called you to be.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.
Your Bible is not meant to be read only once a week, or once a month, or once a year, it is meant for constant use, let it be your constant guide.