Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reveal Part 2- Pursuing the Image

We continued this week looking at the "Reveal" theme. I originally thought we would not look at the Bible as a way that God reveals Himself to us because we have done that before, but I believe it was necessary for us to do so. For one thing, the Bible is the primary way that God chooses to reveal Himself to us and to speak to us so why not look at it? Also it continues to bother me the lack of Bibles that are brought to church each week. So I believe it was a good opportunity to look at some reasons why we might not read our Bibles like we should and ways to get rid of those excuses.

My wife and I had the opportunity this week to have a couple nights home where she was able to cook dinner. Belinda likes to cook and I like to eat so we go well together. But not only did she cook, but she cooked my favorite- Eggplant Parmesan. I can't even describe how good this stuff is so just imagine some of the best food ever and get jealous that I got to eat it this week. But it makes me think how I can't imagine life without her. Now I want you to think of something that you can't imagine living life without or you can't remember what life was like before having this. Some examples might be a car, computer, internet, video game system, cell phone, text messaging, etc. One thing that has consumed a lot of our lives is text messaging. I used to hate it back in the day, now it's a part of my everyday life. But when we hear the sound of our phone getting a text message, we stop whatever we do because we just have to read it. It doesn't matter what we're doing, when we hear that sound, we stop whatever we're doing and see what it says. Now imagine if you were with a friend, your phone receives a text message but you don't read it. Your friend then asks you if you're going to read the text message and you say "No, I don't like to read so I'm just going to ignore it." What? That's probably one of the stupidest things ever, but isn't that one of the main excuses people give for not reading the Bible? Some view the Bible solely as a book of good stories and they don't want to read it. But what if we viewed the Bible as something that we just have to stop whatever we're doing and read it like we do our text messages. Maybe if we viewed the Bible this important and as something that God is communicating to us through then we would see the importance.

Another excuse some might have for not reading the Bible is that it's irrelevant because it was written years ago for people who didn't have cell phones and internet and the responsibilities that come with each. Psalm 119:97 tells us that the writer loved reading God's Word. The writer (possibly David) was probably reading the Pentateuch (the 1st five books of the Bible) which would have been written hundreds of years before him. It certainly was relevant for him and is relevant for us as well.

As we continue to read Psalm 119:98-100 we read in verse 98 that the time spent reading God's Word made him wiser. This along with in verse 97 that says he read it "all the day" shows that he spent time reading it. Probably one of the biggest excuses for not reading the Bible is "I don't have time". Think about what you spend your time doing. We probably all could do a little better in the time management area. But a few years ago I spent a lot of time playing "The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess" on the Wii. It was the 1st Zelda game I had ever played, and after sticking it in the other day to see what the time played on it was, I was kind of astonished. I logged 63 hours and 33 minutes on that game. That is more than 2 and a half days! I could have spent some of that time reading the Bible, and even sleeping! We have to make time, and even schedule time to read the Bible or we probably won't. At best we'll end up just taking a few minutes at the very end of our day and rush through it giving God our leftovers and not our best.

Another excuse that people have for not reading the Bible is that they just don't understand it. You must continue to read it, and consult other helps when studying the Bible. Here are a few things that can help you in understanding the Bible and developing a better desire to read it daily.
-Find a good Bible that you will read
-Get a good study Bible
-Know that the Bible is completely true, but read it for yourself to discover how awesome it is
-Study the context of a verse- most interpretation come from just reading one verse. You need to read not only a verse, but the surround
paragraphs, chapter, and even book.
-Pray before reading and ask God to speak to you

I don't want it to sound like I have it all together in this area because I certainly don't. I very must struggle in this because I personally hate to read. That's why I spent more time in college playing video games than studying because most times I would sit down to read I would fall asleep. But since I've made the effort to get serious about reading the Bible, it has been life changing and when I might miss time reading it, it's very noticeable in my life.

God wants to reveal Himself to you through His Word. When you really get serious about reading it, the Bible will become one of those things in life that you will look at and say "How did I ever live without that?"

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