Friday, September 18, 2015
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I think my mother imprinted this on my brain when I was very young, "Don't go out with a fever." That was sort of a definition of sick at our house, as in so sick you can't go to school. The decision was actually made by the thermometer. Now, just to show you how bright I was as a child (I hate to tell you this), there was one day I really wanted to stay home from school, so I sat on a hot radiator in our apartment to raise my temperature. You probably don't even want to listen any more. If any kids are listening, do not try this at home (if you could find a radiator). It will not give you a fever, but it will shall we say keep you from sitting down all day at school!
To this day I do use a thermometer to determine how sick I really am, except now I'm trying to get to my responsibilities, not stay home from them. These days, the thermometer scans your forehead. And in just seconds it tells you what's going on inside of you. So, are you reading the thermometer, or is the thermometer reading you?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Letting Your Bible Read You."
Our word for today from the Word of God begins with James 1:22. "Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says." Knowing the Bible doesn't show whether you're spiritually healthy or not. Doing the Bible does. People who just have a Bible in their hand and not in their life are only kidding themselves. "Deceiving themselves" the Bible says about their spiritual well-being.
James 1:23-25 - "Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do it, is like a man who looks at himself in a mirror and after looking at himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But, the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom (that's God's Word) and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard but doing it, he will be blessed in what he does." What God is saying here is, you're supposed to see yourself in the Bible like you do in a mirror and then take some appropriate action based on what you just saw. It's like a thermometer. You read it, so it can read you.
A lot of people read the Bible compared to a few people who let the Bible read them. But God says that's what the reading is all about. Maybe you've been suffering from Bible boredom. You're getting all the information, knowing the verses, maybe even learned some impressive theological words for what you're reading, but the fire has gone out. Something is wrong! You're not letting the Bible read you, show you your true attitudes, your true motives, point out your weaknesses, your darkness, your treatment of others, your fears.
The Bible goes to your head these days, but is it making it to your heart? You read for information but not application. The kind that asks, "What is something in this day, Lord, that You want to change or affect based on what I'm reading right now?" And then moving from application to transformation that day.
It's that immediate real life integration into your life that brings the Bible to life in your heart again. In a phrase, I'd call it truth with a project. Every time you read God's Word, you should come away not only with a spiritual truth, but with a specific obedience project for that day.
When you put your real life in God's Word and God's Word in your real life, the Bible is that life-changing book it was meant to be. My thermometer gives me an honest reading what's really going on inside me, and not even sitting on a radiator can fool it. Now, God in His deep love for us gave us a book that reveals what only He can tell us.
You'll get healthier every day that you let the Bible read you.