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      Approach Your Bible Desperately

      July 5, 2019 Pastor Byron Hand

      Approach your Bible Desperately

       

      Job 23:12 (NASB) “I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”

       

      Many fortune seekers passing over the “Last Chance Gulch,” where now is Helena, Montana, were unconscious of its wealth, until a miner, driven almost to desperation by his need, began vigorously to dig. In a short time more than eight million dollars’ worth of gold was brought to the surface. 

      This is the third way we need to approach our bibles … Desperately. We have already looked at approaching our bibles prayerfully and humbly, this third way of approach is more of an intense longing. “Driven by desperation … vigorously digging” in … that is the attitude we need as we approach the scriptures. This is no mere duty. It may not even start out as a delight. What it is, is desperation. 

      In Jeremiah 15:16 we read, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart.” Notice that the delight FOLLOWED the desperation. It all started with an intense longing, a hunger for food that would sustain. In Job 23:12 (NASB) we read “I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” The Hebrew word for “necessary” indicates “a prescribed portion” or ““what is prescribed, allotted, or required.” God’s word is not an accessory to life, it is a necessity. It is our spiritual food that sustains us. “If you read the Bible, you’ll never get the impression that it is meant to be a mere hobby in your life. It’s meant to be your food.” 

       

      Matthew 4:4 “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ”

       

      Have you ever ruined your appetite for an epic meal by snacking all day? You look at

      that marvelously grilled steak and you are not really that hungry. You wish you had let those Cheetos pass you by. 

      To be honest, that is how we often treat God’s word. Is it any wonder we rarely feast on God’s word, when we are all day nibbling away at the snacks the world provides us. Snacking at the world’s table leaves us little appetite for God’s word. 

      Matt Smethurst offers three diagnostic questions for our consideration. These are worth asking ourselves daily: 

       

      1. 1. Do I approach the Bible more as a snack or a feast? 
      2. 2. Is it more accurate to say I’m willing to hear from God or that I’m desperate to hear from Him? 
      3. 3. Am I merely interested in the Scriptures or am I also internalizing them?

       

      There are days I don’t feel desperate to hear God’s voice. I tell myself the Bible is a feast, but it really feels like snack food. I know I should have a desperate hunger for it, but I do love Cheetos. 

      Can you relate? If you struggle to approach God’s word desperately I have a challenge for you. Find a Christian friend and slowly work through Psalm 119. “It is like smelling salts for the soul.” Psalm 119 has 176 verses and nearly all of them make reference to the Word of God. 

       

      Here are a few of them: 

       

      119:20 - My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times

      119:30-31 - I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statutes, Lord

      119:131 - I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.  (What an image!!) 

       

      Don’t you want to feel like that? Don’t you want to ache for His words of Life? Don’t you want to empty the cupboards of the Cheetos and sit down to that succulent T-Bone. God Himself is the chef and the host, there is a seat with your name on it. Come right in. 

      Shortly before his death, after rehearsing God’s law one final time, Moses looks at the people of God and says: 

       

      These instructions are not empty words—they are your life! (Deuteronomy 32:47)

       

      The stakes could not be higher. Your soul, without your Bible, will wither and die. Approach it desperately!

       

      See you Sunday … Bring a Bible

       

      Pastor Byron