Summary: This message look at daily Scripture reading as a mans to connect with God and hear His voice
Evangelist Robert L. Sumner in his book The Wonders of the Word of God tells about a man in Kansas City who was severely injured in an explosion. The victim’s face was badly disfigured, and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands. He had just become a new Christian, and one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible. Then he heard about a woman in England who read Braille with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the Bible in Braille. Much to his dismay, he discovered that the nerve endings in his lips had been destroyed by the explosion. One day, as he brought one of the Braille pages to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. Like a flash he thought, I can read the Bible using my tongue. At the time Robert Sumner wrote his book, the man had “read” through the entire Bible four times. How hungry are you to read the Word of God, to soak its message into your life?
Thus far in this series, we’ve looked at the Means of Grace of Prayer, Worship, small group Bible study and fasting as a Means of Grace. Today, we’re going to look at daily reading of Scriptures as a Means of Grace because it brings us into the Presence of Jesus Christ and the will of God for our lives. Methodist believe the Holy Scriptures "contain all things necessary to salvation" and both in this life and the life to come. This Book is indispensable to the journey of faith. John Wesley’s attitude toward Scripture is described in his own words: “I want to know one thing, the way to heaven—how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has…descended to teach the way: for this very end he came from heaven. He (has) hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the Book of God!...Here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be a person of one book!” Not a person of the Bible and “Eat, Love and Pray.” Not a person of the Bible and “the Purpose Driven Life.” But a person of one and only one book, this book, for it is Truth and contains everything we need to live.
So what is this book? An unknown writer said, Put quote on screen “This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation…Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity.” This is why Scripture is an absolute requisite on the journey of faith.
So to approach the Bible as a Means of Grace we must read it with expectation and hope. Through the Holy Spirit, its words will guide, energize and transform us. It is to listen actively for the voice of God and His will for our lives. John Wesley called all Methodists to search the scriptures daily. Unfortunately, followers of Jesus today are becoming Biblically illiterate. Recent studies by The Barna Group and the Gallup Organization conclude that any reasonable understanding of biblical facts and truths is seriously lacking among Christians today. Picture of Barna along with quote on the screen George Barna writes, “American Christians are biblically illiterate. Although most of them contend that the Bible contains truth and is worth knowing, and most of them argue that they know all of the relevant truths and principles, our research shows otherwise. And the trend line is frightening: the younger a person is, the less they understand about the Christian faith.” If your only intake of God’s Word is during the sermon every week, you’re on a starvation diet. That’s like you only eating once a week and expecting to get through the rest of week fine. You have to read it daily. But you will get out of this book only what you put into it. A visiting preacher entered church with his young son, and dropped a coin into the offering box in the back. Not many came that Sunday, and those who did didn’t seem too excited about what was said. After the service, the preacher and son walked to the back, and he emptied the box. Out fell one coin. The young boy said, “Dad, if you’d have put more in, you’d have gotten more out!” What you put in to the reading of Scripture will dictate what you get out.