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Posts tagged ‘Word of God’

History’s Best Seller.


We also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the Word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
1 Thessalonians 2:13

Recommended Reading
1 Thessalonians 2:13-20 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=%201%20Thessalonians%202:13-20&version=NKJV )

According to Wikipedia’s list of best-selling books, Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is history’s top novel, followed by The Lord of the Rings, The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince), and  The Hobbit — each selling more than 100 million copies.1 But none of those compare with the circulation or impact of the Bible, which is by far the most widely distributed book on earth and in history.

Listen to Today’s Radio Message ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

If you’re facing a crisis, how much strength do you find in A Tale of Two Cities? If you need spiritual encouragement, do you turn to The Lord of the Rings? These may be enjoyable reads, but they can’t bring salvation to our hearts, life to our souls, strength to our spirits, or heaven to our pathways. While we treasure the heritage of good literature, only one book is given by inspiration of God.

Welcome, read, and obey the Bible each day not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, which also effectively works in those who believe.

1en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List (accessed September 4, 2013).

Read-Thru-the-Bible
1 Corinthians 14-16

By David Jeremiah.

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Falling on Deaf Ears? Why So Many Churches Hear So Little of the Bible.


Albert Mohler

“It is well and good for the preacher to base his sermon on the Bible, but he better get to something relevant pretty quickly, or we start mentally to check out.” That stunningly clear sentence reflects one of the most amazing, tragic, and lamentable characteristics of contemporary Christianity: an impatience with the Word of God.

The sentence above comes from Mark Galli, senior managing editor of Christianity Today, in an essay entitled, “Yawning at the Word.” In just a few hundred words, he captures the tragedy of a church increasingly impatient with and resistant to the reading and preaching of the Bible. We may wince when we read him relate his recent experiences, but we also recognize the ring of truth.

Galli was told to cut down on the biblical references in his sermon. “You’ll lose people,” the staff member warned. In a Bible study session on creation, the teacher was requested to come back the next Sunday prepared to take questions at the expense of reading the relevant scriptural texts on the doctrine. Cutting down on the number of Bible verses “would save time and, it was strongly implied, would better hold people’s interest.”

As Galli reflected, “Anyone who’s been in the preaching and teaching business knows these are not isolated examples but represent the larger reality.”

Indeed, in many churches there is very little reading of the Bible in worship, and sermons are marked by attention to the congregation’s concerns, not by an adequate attention to the biblical text. The exposition of the Bible has given way to the concerns, real or perceived, of the listeners. The authority of the Bible is swallowed up in the imposed authority of congregational concerns.

As Mark Galli notes:

It has been said to the point of boredom that we live in a narcissistic age, where we are wont to fixate on our needs, our wants, our wishes, and our hopes — at the expense of others and certainly at the expense of God. We do not like it when a teacher uses up the whole class time presenting her material, even if it is material from the Word of God. We want to be able to ask our questions about our concerns, otherwise we feel talked down to, or we feel the class is not relevant to our lives.

And Galli continues:

It is well and good for the preacher to base his sermon on the Bible, but he better get to something relevant pretty quickly, or we start mentally to check out. Don’t spend a lot of time in the Bible, we tell our preachers, but be sure to get to personal illustrations, examples from daily life, and most importantly, an application that we can use.

The fixation on our own sense of need and interest looms as the most significant factor in this marginalization and silencing of the Word. Individually, each human being in the room is an amalgam of wants, needs, intuitions, interests, and distractions. Corporately, the congregation is a mass of expectations, desperate hopes, consuming fears, and impatient urges. All of this adds up, unless countered by the authentic reading and preaching of the Word of God, to a form of group therapy, entertainment, and wasted time — if not worse.

Galli has this situation clearly in his sights when he asserts that many congregations expect the preacher to start from some text in the Bible, but then quickly move on “to things that really interest us.” Like … ourselves?

One of the earliest examples of what we would call the preaching of the Bible may well be found in Nehemiah 8:1-8 (ESV):

And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. And Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden platform that they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand, and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law, while the people remained in their places. They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

Ezra and his companions stood on a platform before the congregation. They read the scriptural text clearly, and then explained the meaning of the Scripture to the people. The congregation received the Word humbly, while standing. The pattern is profoundly easy to understand: the Bible was read and explained and received.

As Hughes Oliphant Old comments, “This account of the reading of the Law indicates that already at the time of the writing of this text there was a considerable amount of ceremonial framing of the public reading of Scripture. This ceremonial framing is a witness to the authority of the Bible.” The reading and exposition took place in a context of worship as the people listened to the Word of God. The point of the sermon was simple: “to make clear the reading of the Scriptures.”

In many churches, there is almost no public reading of the Word of God. Worship is filled with music, but congregations seem uninterested in listening to the reading of the Bible. We are called to sing in worship, but the congregation cannot live only on the portions of Scripture that are woven into songs and hymns. Christians need the ministry of the Word as the Bible is read before the congregation such that God’s people — young and old, rich and poor, married and unmarried, sick and well — hear it together. The sermon is to consist of the exposition of the Word of God, powerfully and faithfully read, explained and applied. It is not enough that the sermon take a biblical text as its starting point.

How can so many of today’s churches demonstrate what can only be described as an impatience with the Word of God? The biblical formula is clear: the neglect of the Word can only lead to disaster, disobedience and death. God rescues his church from error, preserves his church in truth, and propels his church in witness only by his Word — not by congregational self-study.

In the end, an impatience with the Word of God can be explained only by an impatience with God. We all, both individually and congregationally, neglect God’s Word to our own ruin.

As Jesus himself declared, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

I am always glad to hear from readers. Write me at mail@albertmohler.com. Follow regular updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlbertMohler.

Publication date: October 14, 2013 (original post: February 19, 2010)

{ Day 238 }.


Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. —Isaiah 60:4-5

A great company of billions of believers will gather together on the sea of glass for the long-awaited wedding day. It’s significant that human history ends with the marriage supper of the Lamb, one of the very few corporate responses of the church to Jesus described in the Word of God. On that last day we will have fully understood Jesus’s leadership over history. His perfect leadership will have produced a bride that says with a glad tongue, “Rejoice and be glad, for the marriage of the Lamb has come!” We will rejoice with absolute gladness. We will erupt with joy. Under the leadership of Jesus, the human heart always erupts with joy. This is His desire for us even on this side of eternity.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, Your Word teaches me that the wedding day of Your Son and His bride will be a glorious celebration beyond my human comprehension. My heart is filled with longing and anticipation, and I’m overwhelmed with love for my Bridegroom, Your precious Son.

When Jesus has His way, He makes hearts glad.

By MIKE BICKLE.

Five Ways To Understand The Bible.


Adrian Rogers

Would you take God‘s holy word and turn to Psalm One hundred and nineteen. And in just a moment we’re going to read verse one hundred and twenty-five. A dear precious lady, a member of this church came to me recently. She said, Pastor, I’m having difficulty living in victory. Well, as a good physician of the soul, I tried to make a diagnosis. And I said, Are you having a quiet time with the Lord? She said, well I I try. I said, are you into God’s word daily? She said, well Pastor, to be very honest, I don’t get much out of the Bible. I read the Bible and I try to understand it, but it’s not very real to me.

What should I do Pastor? Well, I want to tell her and you today what to do. I want to give you five ways to better understand your Bible. Look at the prayer. It’s a prayer that every servant of God ought to pray, Psalm one nineteen, one thirty-five, Make thy face to shine upon thy servant and teach me, teach me, thy statutes. And verse one twenty-five, I am thy servant; Give me understanding that I may know thy testimonies. Five ways to get understanding, to understand the Word of God and why should you understand the Word of God? Well, my dear friend, first of all, you need to understand the Word of God because the Word of God is truth. It is simply truth.

And without the Word of God you’re going to be stumbling in darkness. Pilate asked Jesus, What is truth? Ole cynical Pilate, he’d heard so much. But Jesus gave that answer when Jesus said in John seventeen, verse seventeen, My Word is truth. And indeed the Word of God is truth. Look at Psalm one nineteen and verse thirty, psalm one nineteen and verse thirty. And by the way, we’re going to be ,all over this psalm this morning and so just lick your fingers. I have chosen the way of truth.

Now, it’s so important, friend, that you have something that you can say, This is absolutely true. Impeccably true, inherently true, infallible true. consistently true. Thy Word is truth. That’s what the Lord Jesus said. Did you know that facts may double, knowledge may double, but truth never. I was interested to note that we are producing in the United States now, and you’ll be interested to learn this, we are producing so many books uh we’re writing three thousand pages of stuff, publishing three thousand pages of stuff every second in the United States. I mean every second.

Three thousand more pages are published. A thousand books are published a day in the United States. And by the way I’ve just written a new book I’d like for you to get and read. Uh, somebody asked a man and said, Why-haven’t you written a book yet? And he said, well, I’d rather ask, have people ask me, Why I haven’t than why I have. But I have and I’d like for you to get that book and read it. But you thing about it, think of it, a thousand books a day. People are learning all kinds of things. The knowledge, the accumulation of knowledge is phenomenal. If you were to take and put …

Believing Faith.


Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Mark 11:22-23

The greatest thing that will ever happen to your faith is when the Word of God takes that eighteen-inch drop from mental assent in your head to believing faith in your heart.

When God engraves His Word in your heart, there isn’t enough doubt, discouragement, or disaster to ever remove it. The devil doesn’t have an eraser big enough to remove God’s Word from your spirit once He has placed it there.

In what will you place your trust today? Money, work, strength, education, status, or power? Only faith in God can move mountains and resist the devil. Only faith in God can do the impossible. Only faith in God can produce powerful prayers. In what or Whom do you trust today?

Jesus, I cannot leave this altar of prayer
without first confessing that I place
all my trust in You. Amen.

By ROD PARSLEY.

The Value of Prophecy.


But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
1 Corinthians 14:3

Recommended Reading
Deuteronomy 18:21-22 ( http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%2018:21-22&version=NKJV )

Product user guides — especially the “WARNING!” parts — are provided so consumers remain safe, the products work as designed, and the purchaser enjoys the product. Those benefits are almost the same as the biblical benefits of prophecy: “edification and exhortation and comfort.”

Listen to Today’s Radio Message  ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio.aspx?tid=email_listenedevo )

We can think of edification as teaching and information — God telling us what we need to know about the future and revealing to us His omniscience, the fact that He sees past, present, and future as one. Exhortation can be thought of as a warning in the present in light of dangers in the future. Anyone who reads prophecies about end-time events ought to be motivated to “get right with God” before it is too late. And comfort comes in the form of future hope and certainty when life is troubling in the present. When Daniel received prophecies about the Son of Man and His eternal kingdom (Daniel 7:13-14), they were words of comfort to those who were captive in Babylon.

Every Christian is a student of prophecy. Previously fulfilled prophecies give us certainty that the Word of God is true and the future is certain.

No Bible subject holds more practical implications than the matter of prophecy.
Vance Havner

Read-Thru-the-Bible
Psalms 81-88

By David Jeremiah.

{ Day 168 }.


Put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts … lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. —Ephesians 4:22; Hebrews 3:13

Have you ever thought about why we sin? Sin produces immediate pleasure. It gives a physical, spiritual, and emotional rush. We do not sin out of obligation. We sin because we believe that it will provide a pleasure that is superior to the pleasure of obedience to God. The power of temptation rests on a deceptive promise that sin will bring more satisfaction than living for God. The Word of God calls this promise the deceitfulness of sin or the deceitful lusts. We will only win the battle of temptation as we enjoy God. The Holy Spirit is setting forth the beauty of God in Jesus Christ so that we might become enticed by a holy affection whose power rivals the power of our sin.

{ PRAYER STARTER }

Father, remove from me the desire for instant gratification. Keep far from me the temptation for giving in to the pleasures of the moment. My only pleasure is in doing the will of my Father God.

The secret to conquering sin is satisfaction in God.

By MIKE BICKLE.

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