Summary: God offers us a guarantee. His love, protection and guidance is seen in the Scriptures. It is a guarantee that will absolutely change lives.
A Life-changing Guarantee
Open: What good is the Bible? Do we really need it? How useful is it for us today...some 4000 years later.
Illus. Nowadays when you buy an appliance, anything electronic...they offer you a guarantee. So if you scratch it, drop it, immerse it...it’s covered and will be replaced. God offers us a guarantee. He guarantees to protect us, keep us and guide us through life. He guarantees to never leave us nor forsake us. And it’s all been paid for.
Bridge: But, to understand this guarantee we need to spend time with God. How else can we know that what He speaks is true? That He gives direction for our lives? How can we know what He expects from us? His guarantee of love, protection and guidance is seen in the Scriptures.
1. Did you know the Bible itself records its main purpose?
Read: Turn with me to II Tim. 3:16
Starts out with the Scriptures are "profitable" for you. Meaning they are:
The Bible offers help in developing a moral character. Help with a new outlook on life...changes attitudes.
Prop: The Bible Guarantees a Changed Life!
God says you will find the Scriptures to be profitable for teaching/ reproof/ correction/ & training
teaching --that’s showing what is right/ showing the truth/ our standard to go by
reproof-- that’s showing what’s not right -- convicting us of sin
correction --that’s how to get right/ pointing us the right way
training --that’s how to stay right/ living God’s way
Now that we know what the Bible is profitable for let’s apply that to our self. The Bible:
teaches you the standard on actions, words and thoughts
shows you who, where, and what to stay away from
guides you how to get right in your actions, words and attitude
helps you to stay right, lining up with God’s thoughts
And God is saying this is "profitable" for you. That it’s beneficial, effective, rewarding, valuable...
Sounds like it’s a worthwhile book to follow, doesn’t it?
2. Now that we understand the Bible’s purpose and its importance to us, let’s take a look at the benefits of reading God’s Word.
Illus. How important are benefits? That was the deciding factor of a job John accepted a few years ago. They included a large house, utilities, health insurance, lawn care and garbage removal. They made a difference...they were a big plus to his salary.
Looking at the Word of God, we might ask, what are the benefits of my knowing and understanding God’s Word? The Bible uses many different symbols that describe the Word of God and helps us to understand its benefits.
Jer. 23:29 -- fire and hammer -- to purify you
fire--in natural world used to burn out impurities in precious metals. God’s Word acts as a fire to burn up our impure thoughts, words and deeds.
hammer -- it can break rocks into pieces. Word of God can take sin-hardened hearts, break them and make them pliable (soft/workable) in the Hands of God.
It will give you a new nature and guide you away from your sinful nature.
Ps. 119:105 lamp/light – to life’s path so you can know your way
Gives guidance/ so you will know direction to go & see when your way looks dark
No guessing! No more stumbling around through life! No dead ends! How many of us have felt up against a wall? Felt pinned in? Looking to God...we needn’t feel like that.
He’s guiding --He’s in front! He knows the way.
Jer. 15:16 -- food -- Keeps you spiritually healthy!
eat them & be filled with joy. It will quench (satisfy) your spiritual hunger.
When people say, "God seems so far away." Not feeding regularly upon word of God. "I don’t know what to do, where to turn, I feel pinned in." Not feeding regularly upon word of God.
All these symbols will act out in our lives when we are regularly feeding upon His Word.
Prop: The Bible Guarantees a Changed Life!
We learned the purpose and understand the benefits of God’s Word-- we might ask, "Now what?"
James 1:22-25 Not enough to hear/read/study. God says we must respond/ apply what we have learned/heard.
Our life won’t reap the benefits of God’s Word if we don’t respond to it. If we don’t do what we hear.
When the Holy Spirit speaks of areas in our lives we should avoid or change--we need to respond. And we need to understand He’s guiding us into a better way of being.
How many of us spend time arguing with Him...debating with Him...play tug of war with Him...procrastinate?
So what will your plan be? How will you use what you’ve learned? What action will you take today?