Today, you can put away your Bibles. We won’t need them in worship today. Instead, we are going to just spend time worshiping. We are going to talk about how much we have been blessed. We are going to come up with ways that we can be a better church and better people. Sounds like a plan?
It shouldn’t. It shouldn’t because if we are going to be obedient people and an obedient church…and if we are going to truly worship…the Word of God has to be an integral part. So, what is the Bible really good for? We have had an emphasis since Memorial Day on reading the Bible every day. But, what is it really good for? Why do you have the Bible? Why do you read it? What are you looking for? The answers to these questions say a lot about us.
For many, the Bible is a history book…and it does have a lot of history in it. I have been reading in 1 Samuel recently and there is some powerful history of God’s people. For some, it is a road map. It is a way for us to make the right decisions…a guidebook for life. For some, it is a love letter…God’s letter to us. But, in all of these things, the focus of the Bible is me. It is my love letter…my guidebook for my life…my road map…the focus is ME. Now, it is true that the Bible does provide us with a way to live our lives…and it does show us the love of God, I want you to think of the Bible in a completely radical way…
Let’s think about the Bible as God’s revelation. He is revealing something to us that we don’t know and we won’t know unless He reveals it. It isn’t something we get on our own. It isn’t dependent on us. It is dependent on God. In this revelation, God is revealing who He is to us. How we approach Scripture says a lot about our priorities. David Platt in Radical writes…”If you want to know what you really treasure, take a hard look at the way you read the Bible. If you read the Bible with the intent of getting good advice, making choices, or finding your way in the world, then chances are you’re worshiping at the altar of self. If you read the Bible as it was meant to be read – so that you can know, understand, and obey God – you’re beginning to see the true focus of Scripture: God.”
Let’s read in this Word about the Word…2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Hebrews 4:12-13.
The Word is there to train and correct and teach in the ways of God. It isn’t about us…the Word is about God. It is about who He is and how He is calling us to an obedient heart and life. The Word of God cuts to the heart…it reveals our true motives…it opens us up to the truth. If the Word isn’t correcting us and revealing where we are missing the mark and showing us how He wants to go, then we may be missing it when we are reading the Word.
How important really is the Word? Is it really so important or is it something you could live without? Is it something you could worship without? Is the Word of God really enough for us? Is it enough for us to come to worship OR do we come for some other reasons (or not come for other reasons)?
Are we really here to learn more about Him? Are we really here to read His Word and to know Him better and obey Him? What if we take away the comforts of the church…the cushions…the decorations…the A/C…would you still come? What if we didn’t have the building and had to meet under an oak tree? What if your life was on the line if you came together to hear and study the Word? Does it really mean that much to you? Does hearing and learning more about God really mean that much to you? Do we have a thirst for the Word and a thirst to worship? In other words, is the Word of God enough for us to come together?
If we want to follow Jesus, that answer has to be YES. But, that isn’t often our focus because we are thinking about us. We aren’t really thinking about God and worshiping Him…much of the time, we are thinking about what we want. We are thinking about how there could be different music or hymns, how the preacher could really stop any time, thinking about how the service is going to run long because of communion, thinking about what is going to happen after church. We don’t give God our 100% when we are here and we likely wouldn’t come without the modern conveniences. We could easily go somewhere else that has them. And if we don’t, we can just stay home. Those are scary thoughts because it reveals how much we really want to follow Jesus rather than self.
Our decision, though, isn’t that we are going to start loving the Word of God today. Our decision is rather that we are committing ourselves to following Jesus Christ. Our decision is that we will love the Lord our God with all of our heart and soul and strength. Our decision is that God is enough and we will worship Him no matter what. When we make that decision, the Word of God comes alive for us because the Holy Spirit ignites that. We look at 1 Samuel and we see the heart of Hannah…we see the heart of David…we see the fall of Saul…and the fall of Eli’s sons…and we take a long hard look at how we are being obedient and if our heart is loyal to God.
Do you want to know more about God…do you want to know how to be obedient…do you want to know how to follow? Spend time in the Word and spend time in worship with the Word. God reveals Himself through the Word, through His Spirit, and throughout our lives…but we miss it if we miss the Word. Yes, the Word of God is just that important!