Thursday, October 3, 2013

What Is The Bible?

                Do you read your Bible? Do you take time out of your busy lives and read God’s word on a daily basis? Do you have a set devotion time each day? All of us who are Christians own a Bible, and some who are not Christians own a Bible, is you asked the majority of the people in our nation they would tell you they own one. But what do they say the Bible is? Is it a book inspired by God? Is it a book written by men? Is the Bible the Word of God to you? The Lord took me on a journey this morning through His word, and in it I came face to face with these question- What do I say the Bible is?

                “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
                Paul writes to Timothy in Chapter 3 about the end times and the love that men will have for themselves. He tells Timothy that there is a time coming when the Word of God will mean nothing and that men will be “lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Tim. 3:2-4) As far as I can see, these times have come. When I look out in our world today, I see the words of Paul to Timothy all around me. The world has made the Word of God to be nothing but a story we tell our children on Sunday’s. The Word of God has become of little to no importance in the lives of many, and some of the many are those who call themselves the church.
        
        Paul tells Timothy that all scripture (The Bible) is given by inspiration of God. It is God-breathed. God used men to write His words to His children. From the beginning of time God has been speaking through men to His children. The Bible is God’s written word, and it is meant to teach us, reprove us, correct us and instruct us. His Word was not given to mankind so that we could leave it on our coffee tables or open it on a Sunday during Church. His Word was given to us so that we could learn about Him and grow to become His children. We have become a church that has taken His Word for granted.
                Paul says that first of all God’s word is meant for our good, to be profitable to us. Not to the person sitting next to you, but to you, personally. He goes on to say that is to be profitable to us for doctrine. He is telling us that God’s Word is mean to teach us the precepts and statutes of God. It is meant to teach us what God desires from us. Next, it is meant to reprove us, convicting us of our sins and bringing us to the place of a broken and a contrite heart.
                “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart- these, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
                “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord. “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” Jeremiah 23:29
             God desires us to be broken over our sins. When we read His word, are we broken? Do we come to a place where we allow the Word of God to convict us of our sins and bring us to a place of humble repentance? Or do we read His word, look for the feel good words and then go about our day as if all is well with our souls? Do we read His Word at all, or do we just read someone else’s opinion on it? God’s Word is not only meant to encourage us and to make us feel good about ourselves; it is to be the hammer He uses to break us, to humble us, to bring us to that place where we are convicted of our sins and become broken before Him in humble submission. We must allow His Word to break our pride, and our sinful hearts of its pleasures.
Paul tells Timothy that the Word of God is also used for our correction. It is used to improve our lives and our characters. It is meant to bring us to a place where we depend fully and completely upon Him. God’s Word is meant to give us instructions in righteousness, which means that His Word corrects our mistakes and curbs our passions. “Therefore, the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:24)
                The Word of God is not just something we read to make us feel good about ourselves, it is the Holy Word of God spoken to each person to bring us to the place where we let go of all we are, all we know and we cling to Him and Him alone. His Word is a hammer that wants to chisel away all our pride, all our self love, all our sinfulness and create in us a broken and contrite heart that is acceptable in His sight. He wants us to be broken and contrite when we read His Word. Do we allow God’s Word to do what it was meant to do? Do we allow His Word to penetrate our hearts, our lives, and our thoughts and bring us to a place where we are broken and contrite? Do we allow God’s Word to bring us to the place of repentance so that we can grow and become the child He desires us to be? Do we allow the Word of God to bring us to complete dependence upon Him and Him alone?
                I see a world that is broken and in need of sound doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. The only way that our world is going to accept His Word is if we, as Christian men and women accept it also. A broken and contrite heart before God takes His Word literally and allows His Word to penetrate the very fibers of our beings. Do we take the Word of God for granted? Have we become a church with itching ears? Paul tells Timothy that there will come a time when the church “will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers and they will turn their ears away from truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)If we are honest with one another, this time has come.
           
        We sit in church on a Sunday and if the message doesn’t make us feel good about who we are then we leave that church and hop around until we find one that does. We must not take the Word of God for granted. It was given to us by God, the One True God, the Holy One, the Ruler and Creator of Heaven and Earth, the One who gives you life and breath- He wrote it, He spoke it and all He asks is that we live it, that we allow His Word to teach us, to convict us, to improve us and to correct us, and as a result, grow us up into the men and women He desires us to be. It is simple, Church, all we have to do is let His Word be true to us personally, and His Word will do the work that needs to be done in us, one at a time.

           The Bible was not meant to be a good story read to one another, it was not meant to be a decoration on your coffee table. It was given to us to as life and as the way in which we should live. But if all we want is to feel good about ourselves, then maybe we should stop pretending and just put the Bible away. Unless we are broken and contrite before God when we read His Word, than in the end, all our reading is in vain. May the Word of God penetrate the very fibers of your beings today. May His Word penetrate your heart and bring you to the place of broken and contrite surrender before Him. May His Word become more than just a book, may His Word become your very breath. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen and Amen.