From the Pastors Desk
Aug9FriAugust 9, 2019 Pastor Byron Hand
Approach your Bible Expectantly
We have been examining “Before you Open Your Bible” by Matt Smethurst in our E-Bulletins. This book is sub-titled “Nine Heart Postures for approaching God’s Word.”
Let’s review the heart postures we have already examined:
- Approach your Bible Prayerfully
- Approach your Bible Humbly
- Approach your Bible Desperately
- Approach your Bible Studiously
- Approach your Bible Obediently
- Approach Your Bible Joyfully
This week we will be looking at the seventh heart posture: Approaching your Bible Expectantly. Some synonyms for expectantly are: ardently, breathlessly; enthusiastically; heartily; intently; longingly; zealously. The word defined means “to have a sense of anticipation.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word as: “Having or showing an excited feeling that something is about to happen, especially something good.”
Expectations – It is a strong word. It has a ring of certainty to it. “And yet so many of us aren’t naïve; we know better than to expect much from anyone or anything in this life. Can you blame us? We’ve been let down too many times.” And yet, the Bible, defies human expectations. The bible has a way of challenging our assumptions and shattering our classifications. There is a lesson I was taught once by one of my bible college teachers who said to our class “Young People, God’s word will never let you down.” Let your mind drill down into that for a moment. The bible’s ultimate author is God, thus it is a book of unparalleled power. King David’s testimony concerning God’s word is enlightening:
Psalm 19:7 “The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul”
This is something that cannot be improved upon! Now what the Scripture is telling us is that God’s Word is the answer to our soul problem. To paraphrase what is written: “God’s law is so totally comprehensive that it is able to convert a soul.” The word convert there is a fantastic word. Some translations use the English word revive or restore, but the more common meaning is “transform.” How phenomenal to comprehend what God is telling us about His Word. God promises that His law is so totally comprehensive that whatever the condition of the individual soul, His Word can transform it from top to bottom, from inside to outside, from past to future. Scripture changes you to the very core of who you are as a person.
On October 31, 2017, Christians worldwide celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Among other things the Reformation was a recovery of the scriptures and the gospel to a “church” that had largely lost both. One of the best statements from that era was something Martin Luther said as he reflected on the miracle of the Reformation. As he contemplated the work of God that had taken place in and through him in Europe, despite intense opposition from the Catholic Church of his time he said:
I opposed indulgences and all the papists, but never with force. I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept [cf. Mark 4:26–29], or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Philip and Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it. I did nothing; the Word did everything.
Did you notice that last word? EVERYTHING! This is why we should approach our Bible expectantly. The Gospel … God’s Good Word to us … is the power of God unto Salvation (Romans 1:16).
Paul wrote to the church in Corinth in the very first chapter of 1 Corinthians:
18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
God’s word, His Good news to us, is not “a rough draft, or a weak crutch, or an irrelevant historical relic, but God’s explosive power to save (and transform) anyone.” This was the Lord Jesus’ prayer for us, His Church, in John 17:
17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth
Jesus is asking, Father, sanctify them – consecrate them, change them, conform them to my image by Your Word, Transform them through their Bibles.
Paul stated about God’s Word in Romans 15:4:
4 For whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction, so that we may have hope through endurance and through the encouragement from the Scriptures.
So whenever you approach your Bible, in personal reading and study or when it is preached in your hearing, come expectantly. God wants to change you!
See You Sunday,