Summary: A look at the gain to be had from Bible study, the payoff for the time invested, and the benefits found in the study of God’s word which can be found nowhere else.
Resolve to Live in the Word
Reading: James 1:21-25
We are already three weeks into the New Year, it may seem a little late to talk about resolutions but I want to offer up a resolution for all of us to pursue throughout the rest of the New Year and truly for the rest of our lives. I want us to resolve to live in the Word of God.
I’ve heard it said about the Bible that the Book will keep you out of sin or sin will keep you out of the Book. And it’s true; a dusty Bible will result in a dirty life. Because either the Word of God is conforming you to the image of His Son or the world is forming you in its likeness.
Ill: Growing up in Tucson I can remember times when there would be gospel meetings up in Phoenix and in particular there was one such meeting which captured the attention of many in the congregation, I can’t even remember who the speaker was at that time but in this instance one of the brothers there in Tucson was very animated and excited about his plans to make the trip up north to be taught by this visiting preacher. But what struck me was that this particular brother was one who you could guarantee was going to have nothing to say during our own Sunday bible study classes. And he was one of those whose Bible had its own spot in the space beneath the rear window of his car where he tossed it after services so he’d be sure to find it come next Sunday morning. He was willing to invest the time to drive up to Phoenix to spend an hour or so listening to a preacher and drive back but wouldn’t take the time to pull his Bible out of the car during the week. He was Biblically illiterate six days out of the week. And don’t mistake me; it can be valuable as believers to put ourselves under the teaching of God’s word but it should serve as a stimulus, not a substitute for getting in the Word ourselves.
There are several important, I’d even say essential, reasons we should resolve to live in the Word. Let’s look at the gain to be had from Bible study, the payoff for the time invested, and the benefits which can be found in the study of God’s word which can be found nowhere else. We’ll examine several scriptures to build our case for why we should study the Bible and why it is not an option but essential that we resolve to live in the word.
I.Essential to Spiritual Growth
1 Peter 2:2 “like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation
A.There are three words we can use to unpack the truth in this verse.
1.Attitude: Consider the attitude of a newborn baby to milk.
a.That is to be our attitude to the word.
b.Just as a baby needs the physical nourishment of milk we need the spiritual nourishment of the word.
2.Appetite: Peter also comments on the appetite we are to have for the word.
a.Peter says that we are to “long” for the milk of the word.
b.It doesn’t take parents of a newborn long to figure out that when a baby wants milk, milk is the only thing that will satisfy that baby!
c.We need to crave the word the way a baby craves its milk.
d.Psalm 19:10 says that the word of God is sweeter than honey but you’d have a hard time believing that from the reaction some believers have to the word.
1.Nasty medicine: Some treat the word like they know it is beneficial but it tastes bitter.
2.Puffed Rice Cake: To these the word is nourishing but dry and tasteless.
3.Bananas and Cream: To these they cannot get enough of the taste of the word. And they cultivated their taste for the word by feasting on the word, by going back for second and third helpings, time and time again.
e.This is the taste we must cultivate, what Peter describes in this verse as an insatiable appetite for the word. What’s your taste for the word?
3.Aim: There is a point to this and that brings us to the third word and the question; what is the aim of studying the Bible?
a.The verse tells us the answer is that we might grow
b.Not just know but grow. We can certainly know without growing
c.The Bible was not written to simply satisfy our curiosity but to conform us to the image of Christ. Not to make us smarter sinners but to make us like the Savior. Not to fill our heads up with memory verses but to transform our lives.