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7 Scriptures that encourage us to read the Bible everyday.

Bible cover

{Note: This post appeared three years ago and has been one of the most viewed posts on this page simply from search engine results. I repost it for those who have been reading after it came out. I hope it helps you mature in Christian service.}

If I were to ask you to describe the activities of a good Christian, you would no doubt mention actions such as praying and reading the Bible often. Of course, often for some people is every day, others several times a week, others read a chapter or two a day.

Today, and ever since the Gutenberg press was invented, we have truly been living in an age of feasting, if only we would come to the meal. The Bible is there and it is available for us to read, to meditate upon and to nourish us. There are many proverbial reasons that can be given to encourage us to read daily but what does the Bible say?

I will list 7 scriptures but want to hear from you what your favorite passages are.

  1. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 Scriptures serves many purposes in our lives: Reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness but at the end of it, the man of God is thoroughly equipped for every good work by the Scriptures. Don’t be ill-equipped, Read!
  2. Deuteronomy 17:18-20 The King of Israel was instructed not just to write himself a copy of the law but to read from it every day. Leaders (ministers, elders, etc.) especially need the promise of this passage. Reading God’s word will keep us oriented, on the right path, and most of all, Humble!
  3. Amos 8:11 God warned of  a famine of His word among His people. He would take away the prophets and His words because they wouldn’t listen to Him. Today, we have great access to God’s word. If you don’t read it, you create your own famine. Who is worse off? The person who can read and doesn’t or the person who can’t read at all?
  4. Psalms 1  More than just reading God’s word, meditating on it is important. If you don’t wrestle with the application of it in your life, you may just think “Mmmm, nice thought” and go on with your life unchanged. Meditate and prosper!
  5. Acts 17:11 The process of learning is also a process of searching the Scriptures. We have so many people who will tell us what God wants of us but until we begin the process of examining their (teaching/motto/philosophy) with God’s word, we won’t be able to know if it is Godly or only sounds Godly.
  6. Psalms 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to God’s word.  When we pray “lead us not into temptation” many times God is saying ” I am trying to tell you but you won’t listen”. Reading God’s word instructs in both the ways of righteousness and the ways of error.
  7. Psalm 19:10-11 They are more valuable than gold and silver. When we truly bring the world of God into our lives and allow it to be written on our hearts, we find true wealth and contentment beyond the rat race of this world and its egotistical purposes.

So much more could be said on each of these passages. They are worthy of a blog post all their own and may yet get them.

Question: What Bible verse(s) help you draw the conclusion that Christians ought to read God’s word often…or even every day?

Psalm 1

The First Psalm is one of my favorites because of where it is is placed in the book and because of what it teaches.

Because it is the first Psalm, it adds additional weight to what it teaches. What would God want us to know first out of all the Psalms of praise and teaching, what is important?

Apparently, the first thing God wants us to know is how important His Word is! This Psalm emphasizes the value to the “Blessed” man of knowing the Word of God.

This evenings lesson can be heard by clicking this link.

What are the benefits to listening to five sermons a week?

Five sermonsWhile reading John Maxwell’s book  The15 invaluable laws of Growth, I was intrigued by his statement that while he was young preacher for his denomination, he would listen to five sermons a week.  Five sermons a week? FIVE?!?  It seemed like an incredible amount. I suppose it might have been Seven a week if you include the two that he presented on Sunday. (At least I hope all preachers listen to their own sermon too!)

Thing is, that was like 30 years ago and for those of you who are not yet 30, there was no iPod to listen to. He would have had to listen on cassette tape! That is a lot of tapes and bulky too. Today, of course, we have access to hundreds and even thousands of downloadable  audio files.

There are many reasons why a person might add sermons  to their phones and mp3 devices, but if you haven’t been doing it, it may simply be because no one ever suggested it.  So let me suggest that you do.  Here are some of the benefits of downloading and listening to 5 sermons a week.

1. You get to hear different perspectives. We all know our own preacher’s style and we can sometimes even come to know his illustrations, questions, and jokes so well, we expect them.  This isn’t to say that the preacher is stale or boring but when you listen to another expound on God’s word, even the same passage, it can be like listening to it for the first time!

2.  It is a good resource for stirring up your own thoughts. As you listen to a sermon, if you are truly trying to gain wisdom and insight into God’s will,  you will find yourself thinking “That’s a good point” or “That is something that can help me in this area of life” or “i never knew that, WOW! That makes this parable more meaningful”. And when those thoughts stick with you or help you improve your life in some way, the benefit is very long lasting.

3. For preacher’s it can be an invaluable tool of learning from others. No preacher would ever think he knows it all, but how many think they have to DO it ALL on their own? That is a fallacy. Listening to fellow Christians teach is a way for teachers to sharpen their skills and increase their knowledge. They may even pick up a style, delivery technique, or a new illustration (see point 1).

4. It helps keep the world out of your head. That is always a good thing.  Let’s face it, if you don’t spend 30 to 40 minutes listening to a sermon as you drive along, exercise, or relax, what will you listen too? Something from the world? Will you watch a TV show that is mindless and has no value (at best) or one that is full of worldly morals and standards (at worst)?  Reading God’s word, listening to God’s word preached, hearing the reading of the Scriptures as you go through your day will help keep you more focused on what is important, truly important.

When Paul said in Phil 4 to think on the things that are true, honorable, just, pure, of good report, etc, I think that God’s word would be one of those things. David said that he hid God’s word in his heart so that he would not sin against God. Jesus said “Pay attention to what you hear” and one way to do that is to pay attention to what you allow yourself to listen to.

5. You can grow in an area that you have a need to grow in.  All the podcasts I know of use titles, so search for a topic or passage you want to or need to know about.  So look for lessons in areas that you already know you need to learn about. Do you want to learn more about Sin and how to Overcome it? Maybe my lesson here will help.  Do you want to develop more humility?  Click here to listen to Jason, as he fills in for the regular preacher of a local congregation, share his study with you. Want to develop a more evangelistic mindset? I challenge you to not be challenged by this lesson.

Now you can find these anywhere, many congregations will publish them, the only thing you need to do is go look for them and subscribe to the podcast.  It is more convenient than ever to find God’s word published in print, audio, or even audio/visual.

One word of caution, however, NEVER take a sermon preached by a man and elevate it to the level of God’s word. Men are fallible, God is not. Take note of Acts 17:11 where the Bereans (see verse 10), listened to what Paul said and yet they still searched the Scriptures to verify his claims and HE was an apostle of God. Preachers today are not so it is more imperative to search the scriptures for yourself.  Listen but verify and you will find yourself growing in the knowledge and admonition of the Lord.

Question: What are other benefits you might receive from listening to more sermons?

Putting the Scriptures into action

One of my favorite verses comes from Acts chapter 17:

These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. (Act 17:11)

It is my favorite because the spirit that the Bereans had is the same that we should have today.

First, they received the word with all readiness.

They did not simply say “we have the Scriptures already and there is nothing new to learn.” In fact, those Scriptures which they had (our Old Testament) were pointing to a coming Messiah. When Paul showed up preaching that the Messiah had come, he appealed to those Scriptures to make his point. You can see in verses 1-5 that Paul first reasoned from the Scriptures in Thesolonica and some were persuaded of the Greeks, but not so many of the Jews.

Second, the Bereans searched the Scriptures to see:

To see what? To see if what Paul was saying was true. Did the Messiah come from Bethlehem? Would he be rejected? Was Jesus the prophet Moses had promised?

When I go to a place to preach or study for the first time, it is my custom to read verse 11 and explain to the audience (or individual) that we have a responsibility to search the Scriptures to see if the things presented are, indeed, from God. What we are doing, in this case, is saying that we accept the Scriptures as God’s Holy word and as our standard to measure our teachings.

That which is not from God is rejected, that which is from God is retained. Book, chapter, and verse is what we look for.

This means that when we hear someone who wants to impart to us something from God, we can afford to be courteous and do as the Bereans did: Listen. Yet, we also search the Scriptures, as they did. And a final step in that process is to discuss the message with the messenger.

Aquilla and Pricilla did just that with Apollos. They heard him, took him aside, and shared a part of the message that he was missing. He didn’t have all of the Gospel. (Acts 18:24-28) What I write, I hope (I believe) is in line with the Scriptures but it is for my audience member to search the Scriptures and see. They then are encouraged to offer information which they think would be relevant, even if, it is the opposite of what I said, or supplies more than what I said. The goal is not which of us is right but, knowing that God is always right, to make our message in agreement with his.

Which brings up another thought and the motive for today’s blog:

I am sure you have seen on Facebook, or other social media outlets, chain posts that go something like this:

I wanted to see who reads my posts (only about 7 of you) so you need to write one word on my wall and repost this on yours so I can do the same.

Or, If you don’t re post this then you are going to have to start paying for Facebook.

Or, Like this post if you are still my friend, I will delete the rest. Blah, blah, blah!

Why can’t we offer something to others that is truly inspiring?  Why not inspire a person with something that will encourage them to live better or do better? Posts about how your life is going, what the kids did or are doing are great;  we keep up with our friends, family, and current events. That can be encouraging. But posts like the ones above do not inspire a person to greatness.

While I  hope all my posts which I pass on to Facebook and twitter are thought provoking and encouraging, it isn’t like I am the only one who shares good things. So, I am going to take my own advice and try to share a blog post or two from someone else that I think hits the mark. The point of my blogs, and those that I will share, is to present the Scriptures and let my audience search and see if they are from God. If they are: put it into action. If they are not, ignore it.

Your challenge is to do the same. You don’t have to post mine, you can post someone else’s, but share another blog, either on Facebook or your own blog post. Why? Because you will introduce people to another’s perspective, writing style, and way to explain things. It is not the one who waters or who plants but the one who gives the increase (God) that we should be trying to glorify and point people toward.

How much better an inspiring post than a chain post?  Of how much more value? How much more a better use of the readers time?

Question: Who do you read that writes good inspiring blog posts? Share the link below. (Yes, you can share your own blog link!)

Photo credit: sbarkley

 

 

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