There are more Bibles in print today than ever before, but a Bible on the shelf is worthless. Millions of believers are plagued with spiritual anorexia, starving to death from spiritual malnutrition. — Rev. Rick Warren
24 Days Down; 16 Days to Go!
Today’s chapter focuses on God’s Word as the Truth and shares what that means and what we need to do as believers get get better “use” out of God’s promises and plans for our lives.
“Those who do not read are no better off than those who cannot.” Chinese Proverb
I started this post with a quote because I think it gets to the heart of the message of this post. God gives us so much information and so many methods of collecting it but if we don’t read the manual e.g., The Bible we are missing the source. Going to church is great and its important BUT The Bible is our instruction manual for life and its how we can learn how to drive ourselves…sure you can drive your car without reading the manual but your ride will be better and you can do more if you have read the instruction manual.
Actually, I remember one time when I was in my car and I was trying to figure out how to do something with my radio and I decided to actually read the manual…let me tell you when I read the sections I needed I felt so silly…I learned SOOOO much more and got to understand some shortcuts that I could take to do the simplest tasks and it took me like two and a half years to take five minutes to read this section of my car manual. I don’t even want to think about how much time I could have saved if I would have read these passages from the beginning.
Do as I say not as I do, lol, when it comes to my car. Read the manual for the functions you use every day. As an extension, as it was with my car it is with the Bible. Do you need to dust off your Bible?
For me, I have been reading a chapter a day to just get through the Bible and get some level of understanding. To get more tips based on what I have done check out this post. But there are still times, especially when I get super busy where I will not do my daily reading like I should. The ironic thing is that on these days where I’m “too busy” to read I somehow find time to watch some TV or do some retweeting…(I’m shaking my head at myself on this one). And really it was this irony that caused me to create social media days leaving the other days to be free from that world. I like this strategy because it helps keep social media from becoming more important than other things like reading my Bible daily.
Who is Your Authority? Who’s Runnin Thangs?
The other thing that Rev. Warren discusses in this post is following the directions of The Bible. Basically, once you start reading the manual its not enough to say, “oh okay I see how that works and that’s nice,” but its also important that you make changes in how you operate the machine, in this post the machines have been my car and my person.
Many of our troubles occur because we base our choices on unreliable authorities: culture (“everyone is doing it”), tradition (“we’ve always done it”), reason (“it seemed logical”), or emotion (“it just felt right”). All four of these are flawed by the Fall. What we need is a perfect standard that will never lead us in the wrong direction. Only God’s Word meets that need.
I am a firm believer in the idea that slow and steady wins the race. To move towards God being THE authority in your life start with one thing.
Get that one thing under God’s authority and then move the the next thing. That is what I’ve done and now I can look back and see ALL the things that are now under His authority, rule and culture. The first thing I worked actively to get under His authority, rule and culture was my language. I used to curse A LOT but most people that know me now would look at me crazy if I shared that. When I noticed that my speech was out of control, I took baby steps and I started by coming up with replacement words for curse words so instead of the “s-word” I would say shoot and instead of the “f-word” I would say fudge. People looked at me oddly at first and I admit that those first few fudges 😉 were more the other word than fudge but over time fudge was fudge and then fudge just went away…if it only worked that way with real fudge, lol. Once this was under controlled I went to the next thing and well I still work this way…yes there is still stuff, one of the reasons why I’m reading this book, and sometimes I even have to revisit stuff that I got under control.
The key is is that I choose to make God and His Word THE authority over my life and I took it seriously not just with my words but with my actions too.
To close, today’s Question to Consider is, “What has God already told me in his Word that I haven’t started doing yet?”
For me, I talk a good game…I read my little chapter a day on most days but I STILL haven’t gotten to have time each week to do deeper Bible study. I’ll start for a day, maybe two, and then back to the status quo 😦 However, just yesterday I was at a session at my church and I think I finally have the way that I can get myself into this deeper Bible study…by learning about the Women of the Bible.
I study Women and Politics, I went to a Women’s college and every time someone mentions the important contributions or frankly any contribution to the Bible or the history shared there made by women it puts a smile on my face and even warms my spirit at times. So why not use my women’s interests to jumpstart my Bible study? Its something that I want to know more about and would help me to learn more about The Bible. I’ve done this with just about everything else I do so why not this. I’ve already have idea for how 2012 will be women of the Bible year for me and that I can share what I learn on my blog. 🙂 Help me stay accountable to this…
Until next time, si Dios quiere…
P.S. – The Bible and The Word are terms that are used interchangeably but describe the same thing. The idea of the Word, to my knowledge, comes from The Bible in John 1 where God shares that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. (I realized at the end that not everyone reading this my understand this. Thank you for reading!)