Good morning church family!
I certainly wish we were able to meet at church today, but I do believe it is best that we take at least one week off to make sure there is no spread of COVID within the church. Again, if you were exposed to COVID and develop any symptoms, please let us know so that we can make a quick and wise decision about church services on Sunday, January 31st.
I have decided to write a Sunday morning devotion that you can do by yourself or with your family. I want to save the sermon I prepared for this week for when we meet at church again. It's an important sermon in this series in Galatians, and I believe it will better serve more of our church to preach it live.
WORSHIP THROUGH SONG
WORSHIP THROUGH GIVING
My encourage to you is to work through the following passages in your Bible. Don't use a phone or a tablet. Get out your Bible and read through it by yourself or with your family!
2 Timothy 3:16-17
These passages focus on the Word of God, and the passage in John focuses on Jesus being the eternal Word of God who came to the earth to save you from sin!
There is a very real sense in which I believe Christians must renew their commitment to the authority of God's word - the Bible. Everything in our culture screams at us to trust other sources and worldly philosophies that clash with the Bible. This is to be expected in a post-Christian society that would rather "go along to get along." It's easier for a fish to swim downstream than it is against the current. Likewise, it will be far more difficult for Christians to remain faithful in the years and decades to come. This should not come as a surprise.
However, if you are to remain faithful, what is it that you are to remain faithful to? The answer to that is obviously the teachings of the Bible. If you are going to take your faith seriously, you must take the Bible seriously, and that means that you must have a rock-solid faith in what it teaches and proclaims.
The passage in Hebrews says that the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. It discerns your motives, intentions, and thoughts.
Matthew 4:4 states that you cannot live on bread alone, rather you will need every word that comes from the mouth of God. Of course, Jesus knew that people must have food to physically survive. That was not his point. He knew that spiritual survival was far more important than physical survival. There's an interesting point to make here. The hungrier you get, the more food you need to sustain life. Likewise, the more the world starves you of truth, the more you will need the word of God to survive. If anything is true right now, it is the fact that truth is elusive. Many people have lost their grip on reality. I believe it is because they are starved for truth and are searching for it in all sorts of places except the one place they can ALWAYS find it - in the Bible. Unfortunately, this can be true for many Christians, too. You need the Word of God to survive spiritually just like your body needs food to survive physically. If you've lost your desire to feed on the Word of God, then I encourage you this morning to pray that God will renew in you a hunger for the Word of God.
The passage in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 also serves as a reminder that the Word of God is perfect. In fact, the text there says that it was "breathed out by God." This means that God used human authors to write down exactly what he wanted them to have. This is why it says that is useful for correction and reproof. The Bible is not just a good book with some good moral suggestions. It is the Word of God, and you must yield to it in every aspect of life and faith.
Finally, the passage in John reveals to us that God didn't just give us words. He gave us his Son, Jesus Christ, the eternal Word. How amazing is it that God stepped into history to save you from your sin?
If you've lost your passion for the Word of God, then this morning is a perfect time to renew It and to commit yourself again to trusting the Bible as a reliable source of spiritual nourishment and truth!
You can do that by using the following prayer as a model for yourself or your family:
Dear God, thank you for speaking to me through the Bible. In a world gone crazy, please help me and my family to trust your Word. Please renew in me a desire to read, study, and apply the Word of God to every aspect of my life. It is my desire to follow you, and I know that faithfulness to you requires that I follow your Word. Please convict of sin and apathy, and renew in me a desire to follow you all the days of my life. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
As they say, "if you fail to plan, plan to fail." What's my point? You need to develop a plan to read the Bible on a regular basis. Devotionals are great, and I encourage you to use them. New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp and I highly recommend it to you. However, devotionals must be secondary to Bible study and reading. Below are a few plans you can use to study the Bible on a regular basis.
Read Scripture - This is my personal favorite for daily Bible reading and study. It's an app you can download, but I encourage using your actual Bible to read the Scripture.
Ligonier Ministries Bible Reading Plans - Here is a helpful roundup of Bible reading plans for 2021.
In any case, whatever you do to read the Word of God, make sure you do it regularly! I have always been told that you will develop an appetite for what you are fed. If you fill your life full of worldly ideas, then expect to find yourself craving for more of the world. However, if you continually feed on the Word of God, you will find yourself desiring to know God more and more!
All this talk about food and hunger has me quite hungry already! So, like any good Baptist after church, it's time to eat!
Have a blessed and restful Sunday afternoon!