Summary: What do you take with you when you have finished reading the Word of God. Is it just another great novel to you that you read and then place back on the shelf. Of does it serve another purpose in your life?
How to Get the Most out of Your Bible Reading
During Super bowl 37, FedEx ran a commercial that spoofed the movie the Castaway, in which Tom Hanks played a FedEx worker whose company plane went down, stranding him on a desert island for years. Looking like that bedraggled Hanks in the movie, the FedEx employee in the commercial goes up to the door of a suburban home, package in hand.
When the lady comes to the door, he explains that he survived five years on a deserted island, and during that while time he kept this package in order to deliver it to her. She gives a simple smile and says, “Thank you.” But he is curious about what is in the package that he has been protecting for years. He says, “If I may ask, what was in that package after all?” She opens it and shows him the contents saying, “Oh, nothing really, just a satellite telephone, a global positioning device, a compass, a water purifier, and some seeds.”
Like the contents in that package, the resources for growth and strength are available fro every Christian who till take advantage of them.
A Bible in the hand is worth two on the book shelf. God’s word is like salt in the back of your car during the winter. It’s a lot more useful when you take it out and apply it. We get more out of the Bible when we let more of it get into us.
If all you get from the Bible each week is my preaching, you’ll be stranded. Some don’t know the Virgin Mary from the King James Version…and if I asked who knocked down the walls of Jericho, some might start to give me alibis of how it couldn’t have been them.
We should never let good books take the place of the Bible. Drink from the well, not from the streams that flow from the well.
I. It’s Profitable to:
a. Change you
i. The story is told of a south sea islander who proudly displayed his Bible to a GI during WWII. He had received it as a present from a missionary some time before. The soldier said, “O, we’ve outgrown that sort of thing.” The native smiled back and said, “Well, it’s a good thing we haven’t, because if it weren’t for this book, you would be our dinner tonight.”
ii. D.L. Moody said, “The scriptures were not given for our information but our transformation.”
b. Convict you
c. Correct you…how to get it right
d. Coach you…how to keep it right
i. The late Supreme Court Justice Oliver Holmes was on a train when the conductor came through collecting tickets. Holmes couldn’t find his tickets and became rather distraught. The conductor tried to console him by saying, “Mr. Holmes, don’t worry. When you find your ticket, just mail it in. We trust you.” Mr. Holmes responded in frustration. “My dear man, that’s not my problem. I need my ticket to tell me where I’m going.”
ii. If we don’t get in the book, we wouldn’t know where we are going, or at least no much about it.
II. Three Key Word to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Bible
a. Observation – What do I see? [Put on your S.P.E.C.S.]
i. The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope he sees the worlds beyond; but if he looks at his telescope, he does not see anything but that.
ii. S – Sin to Confess
1. The further one goes from the source the more polluted the water
2. The Bible will keep you and me from sin, or sin will keep you from this book!
iii. P – Promise to claim
1. You can’t break God’s promises by leaning on them!
iv. E – Example to follow
1. Heb. 11 – those voices of God’s Hall of Fame in the grandstands…what are they saying?
v. C – Command to obey
1. A journalist asked the remarkable Christian, G.K. Chesterton, what one book he would want to have along if he were stranded on a desert island. Chesterton paused only an instant before replying, “Why, A Practical Guide to Shipbuilding of course.”
2. The Bible is our basic and practical instruction book for leaving the world one day.
vi. S – Stumbling blocks to avoid
b. Interpretation – What does it mean?
i. Five Keys to Interpretation
1. Content – Raw material
2. Context – What is before and after the passage or verse
3. Comparison – Compare Scripture with Scripture
4. Culture – Consider the customs and practices of that time
5. Consultation – secondary resources, i.e. Bible commentaries and Bible atlas, etc.
c. Application – How does it work?