Monday, March 21, 2011

Bible Reading - The Primary Discipline

last week - discussed "spiritual disciplines associated with Ash Wednesday and Lent

Definition of spiritual disciplines - practices that promote spiritual growth
devotional habits that aid and advance spiritual growth.
These have been practiced by all Christians, all cultures, all times

They are called "disciplines" because they are difficult and are work! These are self-imposed. Similar to an exercise program. 1 Tim. 4:7-10 (a)

This week - the most basic, most important spiritual discipline: Bible Reading - here is where God reveals Himself, His nature, etc.

Scripture on the importance and nature of Scripture. Matt. 4:1-4 - Jesus' words.
Psalm 119:24
2 Tim. 3:16
John 17:17

POINT: If we have His word, then we should READ it!!! Back to: 1 Tim. 4:15-16


#1. Reading the Word - Rev. 1:3
1 Tim. 4:13

#2. Listening to, hearing the Word. Rom. 10:17
This is more than just listening to scripture. It is listening and hearing exposition of scripture. (preaching/teaching)
1 Thess. 2:13

3. Studying the Word. (Pay attention, examine, look at) Acts 17:11 (= depth)

#4. Meditating on the Word. Psalm 1:1-3
Psalm 119:97-99 (insight due to meditation)
Contrast: Eastern meditation (empty mind) and Christian meditation (fill it with truths from God's Word. Then think on these things.)
Phil. 4:8

#5. Memorizing the Word - Psalm 119:11
Prov. 22:17-18
If we would witness, counsel, direct others, we need a mental Bible.
Examples: Satan (when tempting Jesus in the wilderness), Peter @ Pentecost, Stephen before the Sanhedrin, Paul before Felix and King Agrippa. All used scripture memorization!

The point is not read through the Bible annually, listen to sermons everyday, study as a scholar, sit cross-legged and hum, quote 100 verses with addresses from memory.
The POINT is: we should discipline 'self concerning God's Word (within your ability, capacity, resources, etc.)

IF you would grow, develop, mature, become something of what God created, saved you to be.... you must practice Spiritual discipline!!!

AND, there is no discipline more basic, fundamental, important than Bible Reading!

Finally: YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

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