by Pastor Tim Burt
Before I share it with you, let me lead you with a ridiculous thought. Can you imagine taking a cross country trip in your car (not electric) without some kind of navigational plan such as a map or google maps, and without gasoline? I can’t. Those would be two critical things that would help your adventure be more successful!
Today, Bible illiteracy—not understanding scripture and not knowing scripture by heart, is a crisis for Christians. Christians are suffering from Bible illiteracy and intimacy with God more than anytime I’ve ever seen. Because of technology, most Bible believing churches flash the scriptures preached on a screen. This has resulted in many Christians not bringing their Bible to church because they don’t feel the need to bring them. They hear scriptures but don’t remember them and don’t study them out later on. Christians today are often walking around thinking they know their Bible, but when challenged or needing to talk about scripture with Bible opposers or in sharing their faith, they find themselves inept in doing so. When Christians become incapable of having an intelligent discussion with others that oppose their faith, they feel persecuted and often begin to doubt themselves and what they believe! This happens more at the college level than any other age group, and at a time when young Christians need to develop strong core values and character!
Not learning, understanding, and memorizing scripture poses another problem! When God speaks to you, He speaks through the scriptures. He brings scriptures to your heart and then speaks to you through them. When you don’t know scripture and haven’t hidden it in your heart, you’ve lost a great deal of the power of God’s restraining force against the many temptations that face you daily! Pastors better figure this out soon and create some solutions because, although they preach to their congregation to read their Bible daily, data shows that most don’t. When Christians don’t know their Bible, they don’t reverence God’s word and live by it and too often backslide. This has resulted in many Christians living as worldly as non-believers. It is a crisis!
So today, let me encourage you to do three things!
First, take on some form of what I’m about to share with you in your personal life. Get manna! In Matthew 4:4 (NIV), Jesus said, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Manna is simply a word used to describe God’s word speaking to you daily! In the same as you need to eat food daily, Jesus says we need to eat God’s word daily! Read from you Bible or a Bible devotional teaching God’s word and read just until something speaks to your heart. As you do, ask God to speak to you through the scriptures and then pay attention! His word will speak to you!
Secondly, When a verse does speak to you, write it down and put it in your pocket! (I text it to myself on my phone!) That’s your manna for the day. Pull it out a few times and meditate on it. Ask God to continue to speak to you through it. If you can, memorize it, do so and you will be developing a practice that will impact your entire life. You will begin to feel the intimacy of God as He speaks to you through His Word.
And lastly, if there is any way possible, find another Christian to share it with. That could be your spouse or Christian co-worker or a Christian friend or a small group friend. Share the concept with them and try it. Say, Here’s was my takeaway verse from the Bible today and here is what it was speaking to me. You will find that when you share it, the revelation and insight of it will grow within you! Of all the mentoring tools I’ve shared over the years, nothing has been more powerful and meaningful to spiritual growth than this!
Please understand how important the Word of God is to every part of your life — your character, your mindset, your spiritual development, your prayer life, direction for your life, your spiritual strength, and so much more! Don’t be biblically illiterate. Grow in wisdom, strength, and purpose through God’s word and you’ll look back and see that it’s one of the most important practices ever, and where blessings flow from! You need and the world needs you to know it! You are called to be the salt of the earth!
Psalm 119:130 & 133 (NLT2) “The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. I pant with expectation, longing for your commands…Guide my steps by your word, so I will not be overcome by evil.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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