Summary: This was a message given at the start of a new year to encourage reading the Bible.
Title: How to Read Your Bible in 2020 Script: Dt. 30:15-20
Type: Expos./Theme for New Year Where: GNBC 1-12-20
Intro: Our theme for this year is: “20/20 Vision” with an emphasis on encouraging each and every one of us to incorporate three spiritual disciplines that will help us to grow in Christ. Those disciplines are: Read Your Bible Daily, Meet Weekly in some type of Small Group, and Tithe Regularly. Well, today, I am addressing the first discipline or emphasis, “Read Daily”. With over 5 billion copies sold, and at nearly that number given away, the Bible remains earth’s most-read book. But the world in which we read and engage with the Bible is rapidly changing. The steady rise of skepticism is creating a cultural atmosphere that is becoming unfriendly to claims of faith; the adoption of self-ful?llment as our culture’s ultimate measure of good is re-orienting moral authority; and the explosive growth of digital tools such as Bible apps, daily reading plans, study resources and online communities offer unprecedented access to the Scriptures. Barna Research, the Gold Standard in this area, has measured the influence of the Bible on American life. They measure this in a category of five levels of engagement individuals have with the Bible. Those categories are: Bible Centered (5% Read frequently, transforms relationships with God and man and shapes their choices) Bible Engaged (19% Read frequently, transforms relationships with God and man.) Bible Friendly (19% Engage with the Bible frequently, it is a source of wisdom and insight.) Bible Neutral (9% Interact with the Bible sporadically. Bible has little influence on your life but that influence may be growing.) and Bible Disengaged (48% Very little interaction with the Bible. With little or no impact on one’s life.) Now, here is the GOOD NEWS: Year-over-year, overall Bible engagement appears to have increased slightly, with some Disengaged shifting to Neutral or Friendly. The chart below shows some significant shifts among each major segment. Notably, there are 8-point increases since 2018 among the Bible Friendly and Neutral groups. There is also a 9-point decrease among the Disengaged! Well, the elders of GNBC want to see us ENGAGED with the Bible during this year. Want you to daily read, might be a verse or two or chapter or two. Don’t care, that’s between you and the Lord. We believe that establishing the habit of daily Bible reading WILL transform you and my lives! Passage I want to look at today comes out of Dt. 30:15-20, where Moses challenges the people of Israel to ENGAGE with the WOG.
Prop; Exam. Dt. 30 we’ll notice 3 Ways to Better Understand How to Read the Bible in 2020.
BG: 1. Dt. 30 is Moses’ farewell speech to Israel. About to enter Promised Land. He is about to die.
2. Very interesting passage. Moses discusses the intimacy we can have with God thru Word.
3. Not just a NT concept, Moses, Prophets, Psalmists. Theme through the Bible.
Prop: Let’s notice 3 Ways Dt. 30 encourages us on How to Read our Bibles in 2020 AD.
I. Read Your Bible As if Your Life Depends on It (Because it does!) vv. 15-18
A. Moses challenged Israel to intentionally engage with the WOG.
1. Moses Challenged his people to commit themselves to the Word of God.
a. This section of Deuteronomy includes what some scholars refer to as Moses’ farewell speech or sermon to the nation of Israel. The aged leader, knowing that his hour of departure is drawing nigh, presents the people with a clear choice: Submit their lives to the WOG and experience the blessings that submission brings or depart the WOG thru arrogance or ignorance and experience the curses that will come.
b. In American Jurisprudence we have a saying: “Ignorance of the Law is no excuse.” is a legal principle holding that a person who is unaware of a law may not escape liability for violating that law merely because one was unaware of its content. European-law countries with a tradition of Roman law may also use an expression from Aristotle translated into Latin: nemo censetur ignorare legem (nobody is thought to be ignorant of the law) or ignorantia iuris nocet (not knowing the law is harmful).
2. Moses, speaking as a prophet, predicts Israel’s future restoration and encourages them to trust God.
a. In Dt. 30:1-6 (Read), Moses begins by stating that in the future, the people will disobey the Lord and His Word and will suffer the consequences of their disobedience, however, in time, the Lord will restore and return the people from all of these nations back to the Promised Land! Now think about that for a moment! It has only been 40 years since Moses led the people OUT of slavery. They are about to GO INTO the Promised Land, however, even now, the Lord is saying that they will disobey His Word, Covenant and Promises, yet He will deliver them again! Throughout the Old Testament we see that though the people of God would break the old covenant, God would one day establish a covenant that could not be broken.