Summary: As disciples of our Rabbi, we have a never-ending source of material to learn and live.
1. [Warm Fuzzies Teardrop is Ron and Bonnie Probst's 8' Boa Constrictor. He swallowed a heating pad, cord, heating unit and all. The vet who removed it during the 2.5 hour surgery said that the snake apparently mistook it for food. "It was warm and fuzzy and had some hard objects inside it that must have felt like bones, " said Dr. Gansberg. A lesson for us is that not every "warm fuzzy" is filling or good for you.
a. Too often we are satisfied with a Spiritual diet of warm Fuzzies (Laura's fluff)
b. We downplay the need to study the Bible.
c. Yet, studying the Bible is essential to our Eternal Life -- now and after death.
3. Ezra 7:10
For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel. (NIV)
For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to do it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel. (RSV)
a. Set in the period of Jewish Restoration (Assyrian, Babylonion, 70 years, Cyrus sends Jews home -- Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple; Ezra to rebuild morals; Scripture knowledge; priesthood; Nehemiah to rebuild walls)
"Until Ezra returned the Jews had built a House for God, but not a Heart for Him."
4. To be LIFE LONG DISCIPLES we must:
I. PREPARE OUR HEARTS TO RECEIVE GOD'S WORD
A. WE PLACE IMPORTANCE ON PREPARATION.
1. College ("Best decade of one's life")
2. 'Be prepared'
3. Ben Franklin -- "I prepare myself for the worst..."
B. THE BIBLE EXPRESSES THE IMPORTANCE OF PREPARATION.
1. John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ.
2. God prepared us for Christ's coming (Gal. 4:4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law,)
3. To Be prepared for the Second Coming
[J-4 Second Coming of Christ -- The boss caught Calvin sitting at his desk, gazing out the window. "Why aren't you working?" asked the boss. Without much thought, Calvin replied, "Because I did not see you coming."
C. AN EMPHASIS ON THE HEART
1. Parable of the Sower -- Matthew 13:1 --9; 18 -- 23
2. Unprepared --VS- Prepared Soil -- It is the presence of the SPIRIT that prepares our hearts.
3. Love God with whole heart
II. PURSUE THE MEANING OF GOD'S WORD
A. WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE. Sometimes it is complex, sometimes it is simple.
[-- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of "Sherlock Holmes," was waiting at a taxi outside the railway station in Paris. As the cab pulled up, the driver asked, "Where can I take you Mr. Doyle?"
Doyle was astonished that he was so easily recognized. He asked if the driver knew him by sight. He did not, in fact, he had never seen him before. He asked how he could have known him.
The driver replied, "Today's paper had an article about you being on vacation in Marseilles. This is the taxi stand people from Marseilles use. Your skin color tells me you are on vacation. The ink spot on your right index finger suggests that you are an author. Your clothing is English. Adding all of this up, I decided that you are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle."
Doyle replied, "This is amazing, you are a real life Sherlock Holmes."
There is one more thing the cabby added, "Your name is on your suitcase."
1. Ethiopian -- Acts 8:30 -- 31
30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. "Do you understand what you are reading?" Philip asked.
31 "How can I," he said, "unless someone explains it to me?" So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
2. Jews -- Nehemiah 8:8
8 They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.
B. Our view of the Bible will affect our study of it.
1. Storybook History book Guidebook -- (Disney World guide)
2. Unattainable levels (give up on it)
3. It either is what it says or it is a lie ( 2 Timothy 3:16 -- 17)
[Application of Scripture -- When Alexander the Great made his march to conquer the world, he approached Jerusalem. Of course, the residents were fearful. Josephus records that the HP, Jaddua and a group of priests in white went out to meet with Alexander. Jaddua wore a headdress bearing the name of God on it.
Unexpectedly, Alexander stopped his army and approached the HP. He was not intrigued with the office of HP but with the name displayed on the headdress. Alexander told Jaddua that he had dreamed this very scene.