Summary: D. L. Moody placed the following words in the front of his Bible: “Sin will keep you from this Book and this Book will keep you from sin.”
We continue our series, Seven Practices of a Healthy Christian. Last week, we focused on the heart and this week we focus on the mind – live the Bible. Through the process, we’re keying in one two key words: constancy and consistency.
A recent survey shows that less than only one in five church-attending people read their Bibles daily. Bible engagement is directly related to spiritual growth. Meditating and studying on the word of God are the heartbeat of the Christian life. You can’t sustain a practice of Christianity without the word of God. God’s Word is the lub-dub of the coronary Christian life. In order to be consistent and constant in the practice of the Christian life, you must be consistent and constant in the Scriptures.
Today’s Big Idea: The Word of God will do the Work of God.
My aim this morning is for you to love this book. I want you to treat this book differently than a grocery list, your school textbooks, or the IRS guidelines for preparing your taxes. Instead, I want you to live off this book.
“Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creation. 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. 26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:18 – 27).
People throughout history have been guided three different options when it comes to choosing what will be authoritative in matters of their faith.
Many people choose to establish the bedrock of their belief on tradition. One group within Christianity says that the right approach to discerning spiritual realties is to listen to the leader of the church. When this leader speaks on matters of religion, he can’t go wrong. But various leaders often contradict themselves. Others believe in the tradition of their parents. Whatever their father or mother believed, they believe with little reflection.
2. Human Experience
Some say God have us a rational mind and this is our basis of authority. This group says that humans are the ultimate arbitrator for determining one’s belief. We should look only to one another’s opinions to find the anchor of our beliefs. I have not met anyone who is smart enough for me to place my trust in for all of eternity.
3. The Bible
The commitment of a healthy life and a healthy church is to place our full trust and authority in matters of faith in the Scriptures. The Reformers, a group of Christians who broke against placing their trust in tradition nearly five hundred years ago, called this position sola scriptura. The words mean we will only trust the Scriptures. Though both the book of Mormon and the Quran claim divine inspiration, we believe only the Scriptures are inspired by God. Jesus Himself said about His Words: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
Jesus said this upcoming week’s memory verse: “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” (Matthew 4:4).
Jesus commands us to Eat this Book.
1. Conversion Starts Your Spiritual Taste for God’s Word
Everything flows in James 1:18-27 from verse eighteen. “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creation” (James 1:18). The words “he brought us forth” is literally to “give birth.” Here God gives birth or causes human to be saved. But notice the way in which verse eighteen says God causes humans to be saved – it’s through His word that he creates saved humans. God adds saved human beings in His eternal family through His Word: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17).