Summary: Message about how to intake the Word of God.

Feeding on the Word of God - Getting the Most Out of Your Bible

Matthew 4:4

May 16, 2004


The Word of God is essential in the life of anyone who claims to be a follower of Christ, because the Bible first of all tells us how to become a Christian, and then how to follow Jesus in our everyday living.

The Bible was important in the life of Jesus. It sustained Him and helped Him in times of temptation.

It is during one of those times that we find our passage today. You will remember from two weeks ago that Jesus, after the amazing event of His baptism by John the Baptist, He was then led to the desert, where He was tempted by the Devil. And the Bible tells us that when Jesus was hungry, the devil came up and said to Jesus,

"If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."

But Jesus doesn¡¦t take the bait. And we find His response in verse 4 of Matthew 4. Please read this aloud with me, okay?

Jesus answered, "It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ " (NIV)

Today we¡¦re going to take a look at different ways to feed on the Word of God. And my hope is that you will leave here with a new hunger for the Word of God, the things of God, and more importantly, God Himself.

But let me set the stage:

Different types of food:

- Chinese - Mexican - Italian - Subs

- Fast food - Steak - Seafood

And you know what? The Bible is like the ¡§Steak and Buffet¡¨ from God! There¡¦s all sorts of stuff in there ¡V doctrine, stories, wisdom, encouragement, all sorts of stuff.

Different ways to eat:

- Fingers - Silverware - Chopsticks

- Dashboard dining

Different ways to get the food:

- Eat-in - Carry-out - Delivery

-Picnic - Plate or bowl - Bag or box

Many times, the type of food you eat determines the way you eat it. You don¡¦t generally eat Mexican food with chopsticks.

And another thing: sometimes we eat different types of food to achieve a desired result. Real quick ¡V what are the two most popular diets out there right now ¡V so popular that restaurants are adapting their menus for them? Atkins and South Beach. People want to lose weight, gain energy, or whatever.

But I want to get very simplistic for just a moment, because I think it¡¦ll help us the rest of the way here. What do babies generally consume? Milk. How about adults? Solid food.

Well, Scripture uses milk and solid food to describe our level of maturity in Christ. Allow me to read Hebrews 5:12-14 ¡V

In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Let¡¦s look at five ways we can move from just milk to solid food, okay? Let¡¦s get started.

5 Ways to feed on the Word of God:

1. Hear it in church.

Romans 10:17

Yet faith comes from listening to this message of good news ¡V the Good News about Christ. (NLT)

This is the easiest option, and the weakest. But the fact of the matter is that this is the way the vast majority of Christians get any of the Word of God.

Why? Because there is little or no commitment involved, other than coming to church.

But it¡¦s necessary, so I don¡¦t want to say that we shouldn¡¦t hear the Word. Obviously, we should. This verse from Romans makes it pretty clear!

Allow me to give you three options for hearing the Word:

- Sunday service.

- Sunday School.

- Small groups.

2. Read it on your own.

Matthew 19:4a

¡§Haven¡¦t you read the Scriptures?¡¨ Jesus replied. (NLT)

I¡¦m going to camp here a bit, because this is the foundation for the rest of how we feed on the Word of God.

We have all we need to live lives that please God. If you own a Bible, ignorance is no longer and excuse.

And by the way, if you don¡¦t own a Bible, I want to give make you aware that the Bibles in the seats are yours for the taking. We make these available to anyone who needs one, free of charge. We believe that everyone should have a copy of the Bible in easily-understood English.

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