Summary: The bible is meant to be a daily guide for life and connection to God, not a book to be pulled out once or twice a week.
1. Scripture, Appropriate
I heard a story about a friend of the bride who was not able to attend the wedding, so he sent a card of greeting which was read at the reception after the ceremony. It should have included the reference 1 John 4:18 -- "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear". However the "1" was accidentally omitted. So a Bible was fetched and the best man read out the verse on the card -- John 4:18, "The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband".
Scripture is meaningful, but only when it is appropriate. Satan used scripture while trying to tempt Jesus, but Jesus was able to recognize that the verses he used were quoted out of context.
a. When used properly, though, the Word of God "is useful for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
b. It is our “GPS” (God’s Positioning System) – shows us where we are and how to get to our destinations
2. The Bible is an unusual book with a supernatural element
John 6.63 (NLT)
63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
a. “When we read the bible, the bible reads us.”
b. Hebrews 4.12
12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
3. The focus of the Bible is not the Bible but Jesus as the Living Word – John 1.14
4. Our challenge is to be excited about the bible; Tragedy to be bored with the Word of God
5. Bringing (applying) it to life Deuteronomy 17.18-20 (NLT)
18 “When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the LORD his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. 20 This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. And it will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel.
I. We Must Own the Scriptures (18)
A. Personal Copy (Kings had Priest approval)
B. Receive it as God’s Authority – 1 Thessalonians 2.13
13 Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.
1. To receive the word is to “take with the hand as one welcoming a stranger” – as in hospitality, bringing one into your home and treat with respect
2. When we accept the Bible as the Word of God it works in us. If it is not working in us, maybe we aren’t accepting it as God’s.
3. Suggestion – Buy a Hard Copy of the bible – studies are being done that seem to indicate we retain more from hard copies of books than from electronic copies; there is something about holding it in our hands and feeling our progress.