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FIRST STEPS (5)
New Food - The Bible
A flock of sea gulls had become accustomed to feeding on the scraps left by the local fishermen. For many years they "cleaned up" after the fishermen.
Eventually that particular fishing spot had become fished out. The entire village of people relocated further down the coast where the fish were biting. The sea gulls, however, did not follow the fishermen, and because they had become dependent upon the scraps left by the fishermen they had never learned to find their own food. The entire flock of gulls died.
God has raised up Bible teachers and preachers to feed His people each week on His Word. But He never intended them to live only on what others teach them. He has given each of His children an instinct to nourish themselves daily with the food of His Word. If we do not respond to this instinct, like the sea gulls, we will eventually become extinct!
When the children of Israel journeyed through the wilderness, God fed them each day on bread from heaven. The manna, as it was called, came down from heaven early each morning with the dew and lay all around the camp. When the dew lifted the manna lay on the ground like frost. The Israelites had to collect it each morning for their daily needs. This bread sustained them throughout their entire journey in the wilderness.
Similarly, God has given us His Word, the Bible, as food for our souls. It gives sustenance to our spiritual lives. But we need to learn to feed ourselves daily on the Word of God.
In this study we are going to look at some of the things the Word of God will do for us, and also how we can feed ourselves on it.
Read 2 Timothy 3:15-17. According to verse 15 what is the main purpose of the Bible?
Who is the author of the Bible? (v. 16a)
How much of the Bible is inspired? (v. 16a)
What four things is the Bible profitable for? (v. 16b)
How well prepared for life will the Bible make me? (v.17)
In verse 16 we just read that the Bible is profitable for four things. The meaning of those things is:
"Doctrine" or "teaching" - instruction on how we should live.
"Reproof' or "rebuke" - when we do not walk according to God's instruction the Bible convicts us of the error of our ways.
"Correction" - after having reproved us the Bible then shows us how to get back on the right path once again.
"Instruction in righteousness" - constant application of God's Word will eventually train us in such a way that our lives become structured in righteous living. The Bible helps us to become skilled in righteousness.
Turn to Psalm 119
. According to the following verses from this psalm, what is the Bible able to do for us?
The following points will help you to get the most from your Bible:
Have a regular time each day to read the Bible.
Remember, the bread from heaven came down in the wilderness every day but the children of Israel had to go out each day to collect it. If they tried to gather two days supplies in one day, that which they stored up for the next day bred worms and stank! We need fresh bread each day. Jesus taught us to pray: "Give us this day our daily bread"
Choose a time and place where you are least likely to be interrupted.
It is important that you are alone and not distracted when you are reading the Word. After all, this is God speaking to you! It is best if you can start the day by reading the Word. You may be too tired to focus in the evening. God's Word will equip you and prepare you for your day. However, you don't need to be legalistic about this.
Ask The Holy Spirit To Give You Understanding.
The Bible is unlike any other book. It was written by God, not man. Therefore, it is not understood with human wisdom. God will help you to understand the Bible. Ask Him.
Always Come To The Bible With Right Attitude.
Come in humility.
Come to be changed by the Word, not to change what you don't like in it.
Come to the Word in faith. Believe it!
Learn To Meditate.
To meditate means to ponder by talking to yourself, to consider, to think upon, to go over and over. It is far better to read a little and have God speak to you, than to read too much yet come away without any real blessing from the Word. Ask these questions when you read:
Is there a command I need to obey?
Is there a promise I can trust in?
Is there an example I can follow?
Is there a warning I need to heed?
Read James 1:22-25
How can we profit by looking into a mirror?
What danger does verses 23-24 speak of?
What exhortation is given in verse 22?
What promise is given in verse 25 for those who use the mirror of God's Word correctly?
The mark of a true disciple of Jesus is to grow in their faith by intentionally reading God’s Word, and being absolutely obedient to it. Obedience is crucial, as we only deceive our-self if all we do is read it, and never act on it.
Also, whilst it can be helpful to read books, commentaries and watch online teaching etc – there is no substitute for immersing
in God’s Word. When we allow other peoples teaching to over shadow our own diet of God’s Word, we run the risk of settling for “stale bread”. God wants us to enjoy fresh “manna” or revelation from His Word everyday direct to you, and not through someone else. Of course your pastor will usually spend hours and sometimes days waiting on the Lord in order to bring a fresh “word” from God for the church as a whole.
Be blessed as you read and grow in God’s Word.
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