Summary: A two week series looking at spiritual habits we can do on our own with God.
-for the next two weeks we’re going to take a look at things you can do when you are alone with God. Hopefully you realize that although coming to church and serving together are wonderful things that everyone should be doing, there are also things you should be doing that are just you and God.
-It’s like dating, and I know you all know people like this. There are some couples that are only together in public, they don’t talk or anything by themselves. Then there’s also couples that are only by themselves, they never do anything with anyone else. To have a healthy relationship you need both.
-well with God, we seem to love doing things together, but we aren’t that big on doing things with just us and God. So for the next two weeks we’re going to look at the two major things you can do just between you and God, and you probably know them because they have been taught in Sunday School and VBS and everywhere else. Read your Bible and Pray.
-but how do you do that. What does it look like? Are there things that you can do to help you pray and read your Bible? That’s what we’ll be talking about here.
-for today we’re going to look at Bible Reading.
-here’s the key. You have to understand what the Bible is and how to use it or else it won’t make sense.
-like my favorite with this, you ask people to read the Bible and usually they do the same thing. Start at the “beginning”. Read Genesis 1:1 and go on. Okay, so Genesis is a little interesting. Exodus with the plagues cool. But then you get two and a half books into how to kill a goat to cleanse yourself of skin disease brought on by sin and you’re done. That’s it.
-the Bible isn’t a book. It’s a collection of books. It’s a small portable library. When you go to the library, you don’t go to number 001 in the Dewy Decimal System and just start reading. Especially if you’re trying to look up something specific. It’s the same with the Bible.
-so here are something to think about that may help you get a little more out of reading the Bible.
-before you start, when you first pick up the Bible, how about praying and talking to God about what you’re about to read? How about asking Him to help you understand it or see something that you may have missed before? I know, what a crazy idea, ask the Author for help.
-what’s even crazier, that’s actually in the Bible! Here’s a prayer of David’s in the Psalms:
**Ps. 119:17-18 -> 17Do good to me, Your servant, so I can live, so I can obey Your Word. 18Open my eyes to see the miracles in Your Teachings. (NCV)
-”open my eyes”, help me understand, help me see what it is You want me to see today.
-after all, even when Jesus taught, people didn’t always get it. In Matthew 13 the disciples are asking about the parable of the seeds, one we’ve talked about here, and Jesus says He talks in parables on purpose, because then those who were ready to understand, God would open their minds.
-so if that’s what Jesus’ teachings are like, that we will only really understand when God opens our minds, maybe we should be praying and asking God to open our minds! Makes sense.
-okay, so ask God to help you understand. But then there’s something else to realize, something else to understand.
2. DIFFERENT TYPES OF SCRIPTURE
-here’s another problem people have with reading the Bible. Remember, it’s different books, not just one book. And there are different types of books. So in the Bible, there are different types of books and different ways to read things. Here are a few examples:
-alright English majors, allegory is not something word for word. It’s a metaphor, something poetic, a way to paint a word picture. So it is conveying an idea that is not concrete. Here’s an example:
**Ps. 17:8 -> 8Protect me as You would Your very eyes; hide me in the shadow of Your wings. (GNT)
-okay, do you see it? God does not have eyes. God does not have wings. He does not fly around dropping feathers on people.
-the point is David is asking God to protect him, and David is using an allegory of a mother bird protecting her children under her wing. David is not saying that God is a mother bird, but is asking God to protect us like that.
-so realize, not all Scripture is meant to be read like it’s explaining concrete things, sometimes it is explaining ideas like God’s protection.