Summary: This message gives some basic advice for those ready to begin reading the Bible regularly.
[Possible skit: two people bragging about how much they’ve studied the Bible; get in an epic Bible trivia contest; as they give each other increasingly obscure questions and answers, they ignore or brush off people (the homeless person – “Do you know where I could get something to eat?”; the depressed person – “Do you have a minute to talk?”; etc.); close it out: totally obscure answer, then the other person says, “Wow, you really are the best Christian!”]
- I want to focus this morning’s message on those who need to start digging into the Bible.
- Some of you are here this morning who have been getting into the Word for years and years. What are you supposed to do this morning? Well, you’re supposed to say, “Amen!” This is too important a subject to not be specific about how to make it happen.
- The reality is that if statistics are right the majority of those in the sanctuary this morning are not in the discipline of digging into the Bible on a regular basis.
WHY OPEN UP THE BOOK IN THE FIRST PLACE? Digging into the Bible regularly is an indispensable tool for becoming like Christ.
- You’ve heard me say this countless times: the goal of the Christian life is for you to become like Jesus.
- Simple, straightforward, yet a goal that’s challenging and life-long.
- If your goal is not to become like Jesus, then I have to question why you became a Christian in the first place. If you don’t think He’s amazing and worthy of modeling your life after, why did you come to Him?
- I hope you came to Jesus because you consider Him the most amazing person who ever lived. You not only are eternally grateful for the salvation that He purchased for you on Calvary, but also for the chance to live under the tutelage of the Master Teacher.
- Now, becoming more like Jesus doesn’t happen automatically.
- 1 Peter 2:2 says that we need to crave pure spiritual milk so we can grow in our faith.
- Some people presume that just showing up for church once a week is all that’s needed. Nope. If we’re going to grow in Christlikeness, we’re going to need to be in the Word regularly.
- This is not an impossible disciple (it’s a few minutes a day), but it is a discipline. It’s not going to happen by accident.
- We talked earlier in this sermon series about the fact that Jesus is not who you think He is. Our common perception of Him and our cultural stereotypes of Jesus are mostly misguided.
- How do you get to know the real Jesus? The most straightforward path is through the Bible.
- That’s where you can get the straight, unvarnished word about Him.
FIVE KEYS TO GETTING A STRONG START IN THE BIBLE:
1. MY GOAL IS CHANGED BEHAVIOR, NOT TRIVIA KNOWLEDGE.
- Many people think that reading the Bible is for the purpose of accumulating trivia knowledge. Do you know the names of the twelve disciples? Can you recite all the books of the Bible in order? Can you tell me who went on the missionary journeys with Paul? That’s not the point! We’re not reading the Bible to be able to regurgitate facts back on command.
- Yet often that’s who impresses us. “Wow, he knows a lot about the Bible!” It’s potentially a good thing that he knows a lot about the Bible, but not if his head is where all that is stored.
- We’ve got to let it move from our head to our heart.
- The goal is changed behavior.
- We read the Scripture to become different people.
- 1 Peter 1:22 says that we should have “purified yourselves by obeying the truth.” Obeying the truth, of course, requires that you know what the truth is.
- So I read asking, “In light of this, how should I be living my life?” “What do I need to change?” “Where am I heading down the wrong road?”
- Am I willing to change my behavior?
- 1 Peter 2:2 tells us that we are to grow up in our salvation.
- Spiritual growth is not automatic. We have to seek it.
- What’s the “pure spiritual milk” that he mentions? It’s the Bible, which provides a spiritual meal for us.
- Now, this is important for us to do for our own sake in wanting to be like Jesus, but 2 Peter 2:2 reminds us of another reason it’s important.