From the Pastors Desk
Before You Open Your Bible - Some Final ThoughtsAugust 30, 2019 Pastor Byron Hand
Over the last nine weeks we have been examining “Before you Open Your Bible” by Matt Smethurst. This book is sub-titled “Nine Heart Postures for approaching God’s Word.”
Let’s review these nine heart postures:
- Approach your Bible Prayerfully – I approach the bible in this manner because when I pray I am speaking to the Bible’s author. I pray that He might open my spiritual eyes (Psalm 119:18).
- Approach your Bible Humbly – Here is recognize that all I know about the Lord is because He graciously chose to disclose Himself to us in His word. That is humbling.
- Approach your Bible Desperately – I am desperate because I realize that “these are not just idle words, they are my life.” (Deuteronomy 32:47)
- Approach your Bible Studiously – I study God’s word because I want to know Him more and grow in my understanding which will fuel my worship.
- Approach your Bible Obediently – I come to my bible with an attitude that says “Whatever He says to me … I will do.” I don’t want to be a deceived hearer (James 1:22).
- Approach your Bible Joyfully – I want to be like Jeremiah who “ate” God’s word and it “was the joy and rejoicing” of his heart (15:16).
- Approach your Bible Expectantly – We are often told to manage our expectations. I want to approach my bible expectantly because God has promised to change me through it (John 17:17).
- Approach your Bible Communally – I want to rally with my brothers and sisters in Christ and read His word together, I can’t do this Christian walk alone.
- Approach your Bible Christo-Centrically – I want to read every page of my Bible looking for Jesus and His redemption. He is the point of the story-line.
Are we in danger of making an idol out of our Bible? We worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, not Father, Son, and Holy Bible. Forgive me if I DON’T think the danger in our day is taking God’s word too seriously.
We must avoid “bibliolatry” – treasuring the Bible more than the Bible’s Author. I am amazed how tightly the scripture connects God’s Words with God Himself:
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
The Psalmist is praising God’s Word.
Or in Psalm 119:48:
I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.
He is lifting his hands to God’s Word.
Mark this carefully: Approaching your Bible is nothing less than an act of Worship. You
are walking on holy ground. The Bible, writes Jen Wilken, is “our burning bush.”
Augustine wrote sixteen centuries ago, “treat the Scripture of God as the face of God. Melt in its
presence.” Or hear Spurgeon:
“To me the Bible is not God, but it is God’s voice, and I do not hear it without awe.”
Smethurst concludes this fine little book with these words:
“Your Bible is a bottomless treasure chest of beauty and wonder, strength and joy. May you approach it for the rest of your days as if that’s true, because it is.”
See You Sunday … Bring your Bibles