Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A HANDle on God's Word. Hehe.

Our pastor went on a mini vacation this last week which means we had a guest speaker Sunday; his practical lesson on "How to Have a Good HANDle on God's Word" is worth sharing....

God has this amazing ability to reach into the depths of your heart and yank at heart strings through a lesson in His word, or a book, or through something extraordinary that you play off as a coincidence, but is really divine providence. As you all know, I'm currently reading, "Glimpses of Grace" by Gloria Furman. (Which is a must read!) And in Chapter 4 Furman discusses why it is so important to "Labor to Study Christ" and I was inspired. I am soooooooo close to finishing my read through of the Bible and with three books left I'm finding myself thinking, "I'm so close! Read, read, read!" instead of focusing on what God is saying and why He is saying it. I'm rushing and forcing myself to go back and reread, especially after reading this chapter where Furman states, "We study Christ because, as we are being transformed into his image, we should like to recognize him... when we meet him face-to-face." (p. 68) How true is that? I mean someday soon I will meet Him! If I'm going to claim that, "I'm a Christian!" or that "I believe in God!" shouldn't I make an effort to get to know Him? And He provided a means to do that: through the Bible - His word! I want to know Him when I meet Him face-to-face. That statement was like a kick in the butt when I read it Saturday afternoon.

Then I went to church and heard this sermon on having a HANDle on God's Word. It was a lesson in which everyone (children included) needed to participate. So, before you read on, grab a pencil and a piece of paper!
  1. Title your paper: "How to Have a Good HANDle on God's Word!"
  2. Trace your hand! (Hehe. HANDle. Get it? Yes, I admit that I'm a Word Nerd. Hehe. Okay. I'll stop.)
  3. In your pinky finger write: Hear and Romans 10:14-17. "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." This verse speaks directly of the importance of missions and spreading the message of hope through the story of Jesus Christ and His word, however, there is also an importance of engrossing ourselves in His word. We, as Christians (well, humans for that matter), have a tendency to fear change and growth. Change and growth has the possibility of being painful and difficult. In order to grow into the image of Christ (which is what every Christian should want) then we must hear the gospel (God Word) on a daily basis. Transformation is a process. It will take time and it will not be easy, but our life should be dedicated to hearing God's Word as we drive to work in the morning, as we enjoy a cup of coffee, during our break, as we work on the mundane activities of the day (like sweeping the floor), etc. etc.
  4. In your ring finger write: Read & Write and Deuteronomy 17:14-20, "When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, 'I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,' you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. The king must not get more and more horses for himself. And he must not send people to Egypt to get more horses, because the LORD has told you, 'You must never go back that way.' Also, the king must not have too many wives, because that will make him turn away from the Lord. And he must not make himself rich with silver and gold. "When the king begins to rule, he must write a copy of the law for himself in a book. He must make that copy from the books that the priests from the tribe of Levi keep. He must keep that book with him and read from it all his life, because he must learn to respect the LORD his God. He must learn to completely obey everything the law commands.Then the king will not think that he is better than any of his own people. He will not turn away from the law, but he will follow it exactly. Then he and his descendants will rule the kingdom of Israel a long time. " Basically a king was required to write the law in its entirety and the priest was supposed to watch him do it! The king was then required to carry it around with him at all times and read it constantly. He was supposed to know it, memorize it and abide by it. How does this apply to us? Shouldn't we also read it, know it, memorize it and abide by it? If God suggested that by writing it down was a means of doing that, we should also do what was expected by the king: read and write God's word!
  5. In your middle finger write: Study and Acts 17:10-11, "... Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so." They would hear someone teach and then go to God's word to see if it matched up with what God said. The same goes for us today. We hear all kinds of worldly advice, suggestions, religious discussions, etc. Once we hear these things go immediately to God's word and examine it diligently. Study it. Know it. That way when false teaching is heard, you know it as false because it goes against what God's word teaches.
  6. In your pointer finger write: Memorize and Psalm 119:9-11, "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." The entire Psalm 119 is all about God's Word. How do you keep from sin? "Storing" up His Word in your heart. Know it. Memorize it!
  7. In your thumb write: Meditate and Psalm 1:1-3, "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night." Every chance I get I need to open God's Word and read it! Pray about it. Think about it. It needs to be on my mind when I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night.
  8. Lastly, write: Application and James 1:19-25 in the palm of your hand, "My dear brothers and sisters, always be more willing to listen than to speak. Keep control of your anger. Anger does not help you live the way God wants. So get rid of everything evil in your lives--every kind of wrong you do. Be humble and accept God's teaching that is planted in your hearts. This teaching can save you. Do what God's teaching says; don't just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves. Hearing God's teaching and doing nothing is like looking at your face in the mirror and doing nothing about what you saw. You go away and immediately forget how bad you looked. But when you look into God's perfect law that sets people free, pay attention to it. If you do what it says, you will have God's blessing. Never just listen to his teaching and forget what you heard." Aaron (our guest speaker) used a great illustration for this one, but I'm going to amp it up a bit (hehe). Hearing God's Word (like those Sunday Christians) and turning around and doing nothing about what you just heard is like looking in the mirror, noticing you have a booger hanging from your nose and leaving it there! (Gross, huh?) So, once you've heard God's Word taught, go home, read it, write it, study it, memorize it, meditate on it, and LIVE BY IT! Don't think that hearing is enough. 
When you're done it should look something like this: (ignore my crooked pinky!)

Why must you engross yourself in God's Word? Well, I want to know Jesus, so when I meet Him (cause everyone will someday) I want to know Him! If you too are a believer, you too should want that! Remember to: Hear, Read & Write, Study (diligently), Memorize, Meditate, so you can apply it correctly. I thought the hand illustration was an excellent one because it's easy to remember, provides a visual for my measley brain, and it's a fun way to remember what to do with God's Word every day!

No comments:

Post a Comment