Yesterday we talked about one of our core values, the Word of God. During the sermon I said something I wasn't planning on and it convicted me. Sometimes my mouth moves faster than I intend it to.
One day we are going to stand before Christ and give an account for our life (Romans 14:10). He is going to ask us how we stewarded our time, treasures and talents (Luke 16:1-13). For some it is going to be a wonderful time where we see the places we loved God and others from a pure heart. Other parts are going to be painful to hear - places we lacked faithfulness or acted from great selfishness (1 Corinthians 3:9-16; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11). We will see where we did and did not line up with His kingdom and His purposes.
As believers we are to value His word. It is eternal, powerful and never fails to accomplish His purpose (Psalm 33:6: Isaiah 40:8; Isaiah 55:11). I have a profound belief that along with His presence and mankind, His word is the most valuable thing we can posses. His word creates, saves and gives us our purpose on the earth (Psalm 107:20; Micah 6:8; Matthew 22:36-40; Matthew 28:16-20; Hebrews 1:1-3).
So back to that thing I said that I wished I didn't say because it convicted me. I said that when we stand before Christ to give an account for our life, I don't think I would like the question, "John, I see you spent copious amounts of time on Twitter. Did you not see the riches of my Word? My heart?"
Now I am not trying to guilt me or anyone with that idea. The reality is we do waste a lot of time on things that don't matter. God's word matters. His kingdom matters. His people matter. I want to give my life to those things. And where I get off track, I want a course correction that I might not forsake His word (Psalm 1:1-6; Proverbs 3:1-12).
The Bible Project
Now there are times when the Word becomes stale and we need some fresh wind to blow on our hearts. The Psalmist says in Psalm 119:32, "I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!" I have found the guys over at The Bible Project are one of the ways the Lord has enlarged my heart for His Word. Many of my sermons have been shaped by what they've expounded. In fact, I found these two videos on the Kingdom and on Heaven & Earth said everything I was trying to teach last year during Here & Now (and in 12 minutes no less!).
I would highly encourage each of you to give a listen to their videos on the story of the Bible:
Faithful with the little
Now these videos are great and will add fresh color to your Bible reading. But you still gotta grind and read it. Pick it off the night stand and read it. Start in Psalms and in John. Read through it over the first quarter. The Bible Project can help with giving you a framework to read the scriptures through. The book of John can be found here and here and the Psalms are here.
If you need a bit more check out what the Upper Room is doing to read the holy writ here.
Another thing you can do is straight up listen to the Bible. After all that is how the people of God for centuries learned the scriptures. The YouVersion app to listen to the Bible this year. Listen to other versions, NLT, ESV, NASB, The Message, etc. You can download it here.
One last exhortation. I have noticed how few people at our church bring a Bible to church. I know many are on phones to read, but I want to exhort you to bring your sword to church (sword of the Spirit, not your Samurai Sword - you will get arrested). Write in it. Underline it. Feel the pages in your hands. And bring a journal. You never know what thought you might have you want to remember. And sometimes I preach good. I mean well, sometimes I preach well.
Don't be satisfied with junk.