Becoming Last – Day 4 – 12:43pm – Approaching Scripture

Realization #4 –  My approach to Scripture is “Me” driven.

Today, I realized several “me” problems with my approach to Scripture:

  • It’s on my time. I rarely give it an important place in my life. It becomes important when I want to read it, but there are certainly times when given the opportunity I would rather do a host of other things. This is not to say my life should only consist of reading the Bible, but it should be given a higher place rather than when I need it or want it.
  • I read what I want.  This perhaps, is what I realized most this morning. Normally, my reading consists of Paul’s letters, the Gospels, or easy reading OT material. Oh, and I rarely read Mark. Mark is like the red-headed step-child of the Gospels to me. It doesn’t get much attention. Other books don’t get read much unless I really want to study hard. Undoubtedly, this leads to some serious holes in my understanding of Scripture.
  • I read it how I want. Not all the time, but many times I’ll begin reading and I’ll have “I shaded glasses” on. I see through my own lens of what I’m going through at the moment. That’s partially a testimony to the Bible’s relevancy, but it’s also a testimony to my desire to just “get” something from Scripture. Rarely do I read it just to enjoy it. Rarely do I read the stories, letters, poems, and other genres of literature in the Bible and see them as anything more than a buffet line for me to pick out something good. Which leads me to my last point…
  • I treat it like a buffet. At a buffet, there are so many choices if you see something you don’t like, you just move on. I definitely gravitate toward the passages I’ll most enjoy. I grab for the texts I can relate to the most. I pile on the ones that feed my theology.

More on this later as my wife is ready for me to watch a movie with her. No sense in blogging about Becoming Last and then telling her, “Hold on, I’ve got more important things to do!” I’ll finish these thoughts another time.

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6 Comments

Filed under Realizations, Scripture

6 responses to “Becoming Last – Day 4 – 12:43pm – Approaching Scripture

  1. prestonleigh

    God bless you brother for these are good thoughts that you have regarding reading of scripture. The enemy knows our victory abides in our knowing the Word God.

    A trick of Satan is to blind the believer into neglecting the study of God’s word. Hectic schedules are given a priority over a believer being committed to showing themselves to be approved. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2Tim 2:15) In the Greek the word approved refers to one who has been tried. Our faith is tried and tested through our experiences as we submit to the word of God. What we have learned we apply in our daily walk. Contrary to being approved is for one to refuse the truth.

    Unbelievers who do not approve of the truth do not do so out of ignorance. They are free moral agents who have determined not to approve of God. Unbelievers who never heard the gospel have not willfully rejected truth. They will therefore be judged not by the written word but by their conscious. Their conscious bears them witness to what is right and wrong. Saved individuals who neglect the study of God’s word are conforming to the spirit of willful disapproval of God’s word. In their daily situations approval by their own intellect is a greater priority than approval by God’s word. God has divine wisdom to impart to the individual who needs to overcome the hectic schedule. He is our provision and He will not provide in a manner which would contradict His word. Neglecting His word due to a hectic schedule needs His wisdom to establish adequate study time.

    Most believers do not have adequate study in God’s Word. Scripture that seems impossible to obey is possible through God. Strength, power and ability are the Greek translation for the word possible. God will impart the power to adequately study His word. “And he said, the things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Lk 18:27) We activate God’s perfect will in our situations when we know the word to apply. Jesus gave us the example to follow when He was tempted by Satan. He combated the devil with the Word of God. “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:4) Our weapon to combat Satan is the written word of God and not our intellect. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” (2Cor 10:4) Victory over sin and defeat is achieved by applying the word of God in our daily walk. “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Ps 119:11)

    Overcoming sin is by hiding His word in our hearts and not by operating by intellect alone. Intellect is of the flesh and does not give power to subdue carnal thoughts. God in requiring our total submission to Him includes actions, words and meditations. “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Ps 19:14) Keeping the prophecy as commanded by Jesus is a trust issue. Needs being fulfilled by trust in flesh or trust in His word is our daily dilemma. God may you give us wisdom and courage to trust in your word.

    Principles that believers need to incorporate in our daily lives are written in the book of Revelation. Faith in Jesus Christ is our daily guide to fulfilling His perfect will for our lives. Revelation of Jesus is given in the book of Revelation. How can we neglect to study the revelation of who He is that guides us? Trickery of Satan leads us to under utilize our weapons of warfare. Only the things which we do for Jesus will last and stand the judgment test. All things are brought into His will as we surrender them unto Him. Deeper spiritual perspective of our daily walk is achieved by deeper revelation knowledge of Jesus. It is a decision to make one available to God’s transforming in order that His very best is brought out in their life. Perfection to the highest level possible is a choice offered to the believer.
    “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners but fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord, in who ye also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Eph 2:19-22)

    We are built upon the foundation which was prophesized and upheld by Jesus. Prophecy is our foundation of faith and is revealed in the book of Revelation. How can we neglect the teaching which is the foundation of our faith. Scriptures foretold the advent of Jesus Christ and His fulfilling the Israeli covenants. Apostles and prophets prophesized the Tribulation Period, Millennium, New Heaven, New Earth and the final destruction of Satan. Prophecy is the foundation of our faith and Jesus commanded us to keep the prophecy. Neglecting the Revelation of Jesus Christ is willfully staying ignorant of who we are in Jesus. No longer are we strangers and foreigners but we are citizens of the household whose foundation is the prophecy. Can we expect total victory over Satan while willfully being ignorant of truth because it is not convenient to study? Many resist the book of Revelation because it simply takes too much of their energy.

    There is a negative effect on the entire body of Christ when most of the body is neglecting the book of Revelation. Scripture states that we make up the household of God, we are fitly joined together and we are a habitation of God. Prophecy is the foundation of the household which fitly joined together is the habitation of God. How fitly joined together are we as a house if we decide to exclude some of the plans for constructing the house? Can we expect the fullness of stability and protection in a house which we put together but refused to include some vital instructions from the chief architect? Much more is the appreciation for a house when the history and culture behind the house is understood. So too is it with the household of God as it relates to their studying and understanding the book of Revelation.

    Hope the movie with your wife was a blessing. Have a blessed day.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts Preston. Revelation is a tough book for many to get through. I think one of the most helpful tips for anyone reading any part of Scripture is to simply read it. Read it from the first chapter to the last and then reread it. This helps me see the wide view (overall purpose) first and then I can study the finer points of the text later. Oh, and the movie was ok. It’s just good to spend time with my wife. Thanks again!

  2. marycooke

    I enjoyed looking over your blog and was very inspired. Thanks for keeping it real.
    Blessings,
    Mary

    • Thanks for the kind comments Mary. One of my hopes for this blog is to facilitate more honest, open reflection of our lives. Hope to hear from you again sometime!

  3. Hey Matt, thanks for posting! I am really enjoying your blog about becoming last. And this post in particular resonated with me. You might want to have your wife post about how successful you are 🙂

    Seriously, what you’re doing and writing is very inspirational, and, I’m sure, following the heart of God.

    • Thanks for commenting! Haha. I’ll have to have my wife post after a good day 🙂 Kidding of course. She will probably guest blog here soon. She’s a big encouragement to me each day. Look forward to hearing more from you in the future!

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