Summary: For youth, a sermon on unconventional ways to read the Bible, but more importantly, how to apply it to our lives.
-okay, so you hear me say all the time to read your Bibles.
-this is not saying not to read your Bibles, per se. Instead, it’s a different way of looking at it.
-the problem is most people read their Bible improperly, not saying that there is one specific right way to do it, but we place the amount we read over what we read or what we do with it.
-so as we get close to Christmas and you end up hearing or reading the same story over and over again for the next month, here are some things to think about.
1. NO GOALS
-one of the biggest problems we have is people read with a purpose.
-if you ever talk to a mountain climber, one of the things people do wrong when the climb is they climb with a schedule. They say they’ll get to the top by this time, but in doing so, they don’t account for weather, erosion, all sorts of problems, and when they do hit those problems, they try to keep the schedule over their safety.
-reading the Bible is not a race. Too many times we try to promote reading the Bible in a year like it’s a pre-requisite to get into heaven.
-reading “x” amount of minutes or “x” chapters a day do not get you into heaven. It’s possible for someone to read the Bible cover to cover and still not get into heaven. I know of Muslims who have read the Bible cover to cover, but that doesn’t mean they believe what’s in it.
-it’s good to read all of the Bible and you will need to schedule a lot of time to do it, but is it more important to read the whole thing as quickly as possible, or to get something out of it?
-John Ortberg, a pastor whose book I’m reading, said he used to do this and speed through the Bible, but then he realized that he quite often would read something good, and it would hit him, and he would think about it, but then go, “No, I have to keep reading, I have a schedule” when instead he should have stopped and thought about and prayed about what he read.
-do you think God wants you to read it just to read it, or wants you to slow down and get something out of it?
-another problem with cover to cover, you’ll spend 6 months without reading anything about Jesus...
2. WHAT ARE YOU READING?
-brings up the next part, there are many different types of readings in the Bible.
-when you read the letters in the New Testament, they’re to learn from.
**Eph. 4:2 -> 2Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. (NLT)
-that’s in the letters / epistles. It’s a teaching verse. You’re asked to do that. You should be humble, be gentle, be patient. No brainer.
**I Sam. 22:16-19 -> 16“You will surely die, Ahimelech, along with your entire family!” the king shouted. 17And he ordered his bodyguards, “Kill these priests of the LORD, for they are allies and conspirators with David! They knew he was running away from me, but they didn’t tell me!” But Saul’s men refused to kill the LORD’s priests. 18Then the king said to Doeg, “You do it.” So Doeg the Edomite turned on them and killed them that day, eighty-five priests in all, still wearing their priestly garments. 19Then he went to Nob, the town of the priests, and killed the priests’ families—men and women, children and babies—and all the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats. (NLT)
-now, is God telling you to go out and kill priests? NO! It’s a piece of history in the Bible that we can learn from, learning from others mistakes, not doing them.
-involves more thinking, remember why what your reading was written by God. David’s story of him having an affair with another man’s wife is not in there to tell you to do it, but if you read more, his son dies because of it and his kingdom is never the same. God wants you to learn from these mistakes.
-so remember to think about what you’re reading.
-but when you read the history parts, remember it’s real! Try picturing it. Try closing your eyes for a second and wondering what did it look like when the disciples were fishing with Jesus, when David killed Goliath, when a leper came to Jesus and asked for healing, then the look on his face when he could see his wife and children again for the first time in years.
-now, here’s some ideas of ways to read the Bible other than speed reading.
3. LECTIO DIVINA