Three ways to read the Bible
Pastor Jacob shows us three ways to read the Bible, especially when our minds don't want to cooperate. From 10/18/2020
Today is Sunday October 18th
A few announcements before the kids are dismissed.
Fall clean up day is scheduled for Saturday November 14th at 8am this is the saturday before the opening day of gun season
On Halloween we’ll be grilling and handing out Hotdogs, so if you’ll be out getting candy from your neighbors, stop down and grab a hotdog too.
CareNET is Newark is having a Desert Fundraiser this Friday evening to help them out with paying off their mortgage, as well as everything that they do, for families and children and unborn babies------and if you want to know more then you can see Sarah Marchitell
If you cant make the Fundraiser, but you still want to help, there's an option for that too.
We will be doing the Operation Christmas Child this year, and were going to ask all of you to do your own individual shoeboxes, and I have flyers and tags and all the rules, so if you are interested in doing that, come see me after Service today
They will be Due by: November 8th
Were still looking for volunteers for 1 Sunday a month to help with the Sunday School class.
With that, the kids are dismissed.
Last week’s message was a little heavy, a little serious and grand, so today, were going to take it down a notch----
Before we begin, while I was preparing this message, I realized that this morning were going to have a Sermon thats about a hour or so…...or we can split it up with next week-----so what do you guys think?
Were going to talk a little bit about the CONTENT of the Old Testament
A little bit of whats going on there and why
But the primary topic of today’s message is going to be :
“How to read the Old Testament” OR “How to read the Bible”
Its a huge, thousands of years old collection of books, that most people feel intimidated by, or that its too overwhelming, or too old or that it doesnt matter anymore or all of the above.
So today, were going to talk about how none of that should matter, and NEXT WEEK Ill leave you all with some nice tips about how to read the Old Testament.
With that being said, our verse today will be from the New Testament:
1st Timothy 3:16-17
“16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
( → → Opening Prayer ← ← )
So….how can we read the Old Testament. (How to read the Bible)
In a minute were going to talk about three different ways to read the whole Bible, but before we can get to that, we need to understand one important factor when it comes to reading the Bible:
We are not what the Bible is all about
It’s not about me, it’s not about you
Are there things written there that apply to us? ------- Yes
But there are things written there that dont apply to us to.
It is a grave mistake of our current culture, that says that we need to read the Bible with a lens of “how can this be applied to my life” ------ well, some of it cant, im sorry.
There are parts of it that can….yes. Big parts….life changing, world shaking sections of Scripture can be applied to us humans in the 21st Century.
But some of it cant.
With that being said, when we come to Scripture, and we open that cover or we open that app, the only thing that should be going through our mind, is: “What does the author want us to see and hear?”
Not - What I want to see and hear
Not - How can I fit this verse into beliefs that I already have
Not - Having a belief or a set of beliefs that exist as a foundation, and then seeing where the Bible stacks up against them
But - What does the Author want us to see and hear?
Is the Author talking about angelic visitations to people?
Does that mean I’LL get an angelic visitation?
Or does it mean that the author is recording an objective event that happened in history, for the furthering of God’s plan for humanity?
Because ultimately, that is what and who Scripture is about.
We are not the main characters of the Bible, God is.
All of Scripture is about the character and nature of God, and His dealings with humanity.
It may sound like im splitting hairs, but pay attention to the differences.
Its not about humanity being saved-----it’s about God exercising who He is, in the way that He wants to exercise it.
We are not the main characters of the Bible, God is.
So when we go to Scripture, the foundational thought and feeling that should be flowing through your brain and through your heart should be:
What does this tell me about God?
With that as our foundation for reading the Bible, with “What can this tell me about God” as our foundation, we can move forward into the three different ways of reading the Bible.
Once we establish these, we’ll lay that example right on top of the Old Testament and move forward.
So, three ways of reading the Bible.
Mining for Gold
Grab your Bible
Grab a concordance
Grab a commentary from a Scholar you trust or that your Pastor recommends-----Grab 2 Commentaries, or Three, or 4
Grab a highlighter
Grab a pen
Grab some index cards
And dig into the book.
Read the exact same chapter, every single day, for a month.
Research the key words that appear over and over and over again
See where else in Scripture those key words appear, and then read those chapters over and over again
Right down key verses on index cards, and tape them to your bathroom mirror and memorize them while your brushing your teeth and brushing your hair
Highlight the verses that leave you with questions
Write the questions that you have on an index cards, and ask God about them during your prayer time
Pray to have your eyes and your heart opened to what is written, at every single page and every single chapter break.
Soak your time in reading with ceaseless prayer
This way is called mining for Gold, because if you want those big honkin pieces of goodness, then you dig for them.
Dedicate a specific time of your day, wher your phone is off, and your door is locked, to do nothing but read the same section of scripture until its burned into your eyes.
Dig deep, dig long, and dig hard, and you will 100% strike Gold.
The time you spend in Scripture will never be fruitless (x2)
Panning for Gold ----- #1 was Mining for Gold
Just like the first one, you'll be spending time reading what is there-------- but this time, instead of doing hard and deep digging, you'll enjoy your time while paying attention.
You'll be reading it because you know there is Gold there, but you're content with not exerting the mental strain to dig.
Your happy with the river of life, walking through its pages, seeing its truth, maybe highlighting or underlining the gold that you do see, but not stopping where you are and immediately digging into the river bed to look for more of the gold that you have found while panning.
This is the day to day, going to where the food for your spirit is.
It is the morning bible verses
It is the evening bible verses
It is also the ---- I need to hear from God, but my brain and my heart are too exhausted to to try and memorize or reread the same thing a dozen times over.
But remember if your panning for Gold-----and you find it-----it means there is even more Gold to be found.
#3 is The Accidental Gold
#1 Mining for Gold
#2 Panning for Gold
#3 is - My life and my heart are in a rough place right now, I need help---- I know theres Gold there somewhere, but I am not actively looking for it----because:
Im too exhausted----
Im too busy----
Im too tired----
Im too hurt----
Im too broken----
Im too lost----
#3 is the “My kids and my family and my job and my hobbies are stretching in me in a million different directions right now, I know I need God, but I cant seem to pan for Gold, let alone spend time digging for it.”
It is the:
I just lost someone I love---- kind of reading
The i just got fired----
I just fell to a sin I swore I wouldnt----
It is the----- im too depressed, im in a bad place ------- im in a busy place, I cant think straight about my own life and my own responsibilities right now------how can I be expected to think straight about the God of the whole universe-------kind of reading.
What this looks like, no matter how long you spend reading-----if its 2 hours or 2 minutes------
Its the read through
The get it in my heart and get in in my brain because I hope it will help me
Its the skipping big words because the more you mispronounce them in your own brain the dumber you feel and the more unworthy to even be reading the Bible to begin with you will feel.
Its the random, open the pages, point to a verse, and start reading till your brain takes you somewhere else.
It’s the “I might as well open my Bible and read while im sitting here with nothing else going on.”
Now, while this third type of reading is understandable --------- do not stay there.
If you are hungry, but the events in your life have caused you to lose your appetite,------for a meal, or a day, or a week, or a month-------- you dont consistently ignore the food that is placed before.
You take a nibble
You take a bite
You do what you can until you can eat more
You only take on the easy stuff, that doenst require your heart and your brain to spend hours digesting and absorbing.
You take in the light, the fluffy, the easy ------- but do not stay there.
If where you are in your life, for whatever the reason may be------ has resulted in your loss of appetite for Scripture, do not abandon it because you cant dig deep.
Do not ignore time in the Bible because you dont think you can understand every single little minutia of every single doctrine
Put the word of God in your body, regardless of what elses going on in your life, if its tragedy or busyness------ and it will bear fruit.
Time spent reading scripture is never fruitless.
Before we put this example on top of the Old Testament, we need to understand that the more time we spend in Scripture, the more we can know God.
Its not a guarantee---
Its not a fool proof plan of becoming a Bible Scholar---
But if we want to know more and more about God-----if we want to grow and change and be confirmed to the image of His Son-----the words and instructions by which we can learn how to live and be-----are contained within the pages of Holy Scripture.
Does God understand that where you are in your life right now, is not a place where you have the time and energy to mine for the Gold that He placed there? ----- Yes.
Does He get angry at you for only reading 1 chapter and then watching Netflix instead of reading 2 chapters?
That depends ------ on if you're reading your Bible out of some perceived duty-----or because you love God and want to get to know Him more?
Because that is what it comes down to:
Are you reading your Bible because you think it makes you holy?
Because you think God will ignore your willful sinning if you just read a chapter a day? A book a day?
Are you reading your Bible because someone else told you to read it?
Or are you reading your Bible because you love God and want to get to know Him more?