Summary: A Look at spiritual disciplines to help us develop habits which draw us closer to Christ. Part 2 of Bible reading.

Spiritual Disciplines: Bible Reading - 2

April 25, 2021

When I was in school I used to look at every book I had and figure out what the average length of the chapters were. I actually still do that today. I look at the size, the chapters and go from there. Anyone ever do that with a book?

In my first year of seminary I had to take a year of theology and we needed a 2 volume set called Foundations of Dogmatics, written by Otto Weber. I looked at the book and the book looked at me and the book barked at me! No joke. I jumped back when I saw the title. Then I opened the book and it got worse . . . Literally it did.

The title of the first section was THE ONTOLOGICAL ORDER OF THINGS

The second section was called PREDOGMATIC PROLEGOMENA?

It was a question. Yup! I had questions. What does all of that mean!?!?! To be really honest, I didn’t know the meaning of DOGMATICS - ONTOLOGICAL - PROLEGOMENA. I was done for.

Those 2 volumes were the hardest reading I’ve ever done in my life.

Sometimes the Bible can seem that way as well. We look at this huge book and become a little intimidated, maybe a little scared. In a bible study I was in, I said something about the book of Job, and you know what I called it . . . JOB! UGH! But I survived . . . and so can you, and hopefully you’ll thrive.

Well, we’re in a series on spiritual disciplines. Again, my hope is that as we move through these disciplines or habits, we will be changed, renewed, transformed by God - - so much so, that we become new creatures, new people - - as we draw closer to God and become more and more like God. That is my deepest and greatest desire for us. And that includes me.

Last week we started looking at what it means to read the Bible and today we’re going to conclude talking about Bible reading and get really practical in a few minutes. I want to add a little that I didn’t last week, then we’ll get real practical. And again . . . if you have any questions, no question is bad, they’re all good, so ask me, email me, call me, text me. Write down your question as I’m talking so you don’t forget.

We were talking about how the Bible benefits us and I wanted to add that the Word of God Guides and Leads us. Many times when we have difficult decisions or we we’re going through difficult times, the Bible gives us the right answer or brings comfort. Think of the great Psalm 23 --

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters,

3 He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. - Psalm 23

Stop and consider who God is from this Psalm alone!! The Lord is our Shepherd, and Jesus expands on that in John 10 calling Himself the Good Shepherd.

I’m just getting started, I want to fill you, I want your heart and spirit to burst with the great news of Jesus, our Christ.

You see, there’s so much good news for us. And God reminds us even in the midst of the struggles, when we’re really tempted, we can rely on His Word. Think about after Jesus was baptized, He went into the desert. Listen to what happened - -

3 And the tempter came and said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

4 But He answered, “It is WRITTEN, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Deuteronomy 8:3)

5 Then the devil took Him to the holy city and set Him on the pinnacle of the temple

6 and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is WRITTEN,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” (Psalm 91:11-12)

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