Summary: An encouragement to those who are reading through the Bible in 2006 -- the "Year of the Bible".
January 8, 2006
THERE’S POWER IN THOSE PAGES!
- As we read through the entire Bible in year 2006 - I want this message to be a “shot in the arm” to encourage you
- As you read, there will be things that are hard to understand; things that will seem a mystery
- But as you read it with an open heart and open mind and with faith -- I know it will be a powerful experience for us all!
- QUOTE by Abraham Lincoln: “I am profitably engaged in reading the Bible. Take all of this book upon reason that you can, and the balance upon faith. You will live and die a better man.”
- But where does the power of God’s Word come from?
- The opening declaration of the Apostle Paul that “All Scripture is God-breathed,” reveals the ultimate power of God’s Word -- it is truly His Word to us.
- But how can we discover this power in our personal lives? How can we see its power at work?
- IT’S ALL IN HOW WE USE IT!! WE FIND POWER IN THE PAGES WHEN WE...
1) Allow it to COMMAND our thinking.
“All Scripture is...useful for teaching...”
- Where are you going to get the truth? What are you allowing to influence your mind?
- Where you go to find truth will determine what “version” of the truth you get and often-times does not hold your welfare in highest regard!
- ILLUSTRATION: “Story of Pinocchio”
- Bible doesn’t hold a mere “version” of the truth -- it holds the source of truth and we are the first to benefit when we allow it to COMMAND our thinking.
- If you are concerned about the truth of the Bible can match today’s challenges -- do not worry! In the Bible you will find sound facts and advice about all the “hot topics” of the day! ie. finances, relationships, sex, work ethics, parenting, etc.
- Whatever your need -- the Bible gives you the truth
2) Allow it to CONFRONT our actions.
“All scripture is...useful for...rebuking...”
- To rebuke means to confront wrongdoing.
- The world hates being told they’re wrong!
- ILLUSTRATION: “Right from the time we are children right up through to our adult years, we don’t like being told that we were wrong. But often times that voice of condemnation comes from a heart that loves us too much to see us get hurt. Such is the case when God‘s Word rebukes us!”
- If we want a Bible that speaks of real life then we must expect it to rebuke us from time to time for that is real life!!
- Therefore, as we read and come upon places that speak out against our sin -- know that it comes from the heart of our Father in Heaven who loves us too much to see us hurt
- Pay attention to the “red flags” that God reveals through His Word!
3) Allow it to CHANGE our direction.
- “All Scripture is...useful for...correcting...”
- It is not enough to know what the Word of God says, to acknowledge its rebukes -- we must follow it’s directions!
- James 1:22 - “Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says.”
- ILLUSTRATION: “Getting lost” - Knowing we are lost; getting directions is NOT enough -- we must FOLLOW the directions
- God has given us His Word to show us how to live, how to stay alive (both spiritually and physically!!) and how to get to Heaven.
- So, as you read through His Word this year, be prepared to change direction -- maybe more than once!
4) Allow it to CONDITION our life and witness.
“All Scripture is...useful for...training in righteousness...”
- Think of God’s Word as your personal trainer -- pushing you, working those muscles of faith and obedience and making them stronger.
- When you train physically it changes your life but others will also see the change.
- In the same way, the power of God’s Word is truly found as we allow it to continually move us toward obedience and stretching the limits of our faith.
- The more you trust and obey His Word, the stronger you become in character and the more people are going to see God’s Word written all over your life!