Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

5.17.2011

Living God's Word and Loving it: Part II

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Read Part I here, if you haven't already.

If I think that scanning one or two chapters of Psalms in 5.6 minutes, bowing my head to pray, and then scampering off to my duties is sufficient, then I am in trouble. Yet how easy it is to think that I am being “Christian” by completing this task, or that I am pleasing God by doing this. Ultimately, it all comes down to Psalm 51:17:
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
         A broken and a contrite heart—
         These, O God, You will not despise.”
 Be Honest
Someone asked John Piper if it was hypocritical to force oneself to read Scripture, and he answered, “There is a difference between hypocrisy and doing what you don’t feel like doing and being honest with God and others that that is not the case….honesty is doing what you don’t feel like doing and being broken about it….there are many times when I am very eager to read the Bible and many times when my heart is going to some new computer program….when I am in that condition, I think it is right to make myself do what I ought to do…confess that that is sin…and ask God while I am reading it to give me joy in it! What I am opposed to is by discipline and will power doing what you ought to do…and thinking that—all by itself—is a virtue, without any joy. That is not a good situation to be in.”

In the book of Matthew, Jesus asked “have you not read [the Scriptures]?” six times while He was teaching—He implied that everyone should have been reading and studying Scripture. And of course, there’s Psalm 119 where all but one of the 176 verses mentions the Psalmist's love Scripture. There is no doubt that daily Bible reading should be something all Christians should do. Our motivation, however, must be because of our infantile, weak state and our dependence upon the Word of God.

Then Change
A.W. Tozer said, “The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.”

In Nehemiah 9:3, the Israelites do not stop at reading Scripture:
“And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for one-fourth of the day; and for another fourth they confessed and worshiped the LORD their God.”

Are you reading with no desire to be transformed? Are you perusing Scripture without recognizing its necessity? Are you not even grieved by your indifference? These are serious problems.
Open the pages of God’s Word with a broken heart, repenting of your disinterest and recognizing your depravity, and then read. Soon, you will pick up the Book written by God Himself, and devour it with a hunger and thirst for righteousness. If you will consider the verses your eyes fall upon and mull over the God’s Word in your heart and apply God’s commands today, then you have no time to lose. You and I—we must run to our Bibles. We must read—today, tomorrow, and the next. How could we survive any other way?


Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
   Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Photo taken by Stuck in Customs

Watch John Piper's full response

12 comments:

  1. Mikaela, thank you for the challenge! Your posts were so good.

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  2. Amen, and amen! I made that very confession this morning, and then had a wonderful time in God's Word!

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  3. Thank you, thank you for these past 2 posts about living and loving God's Word!! And thank you also for your complete honesty. I felt like it should have been me writing them...I could so identify with everything you were saying! I love to read this blog b/c it's so different from most other blogs...just talking about girly fluff and not giving any depth. Your posts challenge me in my walk and in my love relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

    From one twin to another...:)(and one daughter at home to another...:))
    Kate
    www.100reasonswhyilovemylord.blogspot.com

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  4. Do you have any reading plans that you would recommend? I don't read my Bible as much as I should because I never know where to start.

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  5. This is a really great post and I agree with you.

    One thing a pastor said recently while preaching has stuck with me. He has really been hammering home the thought of KNOWING Christ and reading and soaking in the Scriptures. Speaking to parents, he commented that even though teenagers don't want to read their Bible on a daily basis, parents should insist on it. Simply because the Bible is the living, breathing Word of God. Even if they are just merely reading words, it is a two-edged sword. This stuck with me!

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  6. Thanks Ruthie and Debbie!

    Wow, Kate--thank you so much for commenting (I think for the first time? If so--welcome, welcome!) and sharing why you read One Bright Corner--you are so very sweet and encouraging. It hurt my pride a little to be completely honest in these posts, and that is definitely a good thing. We all have the same struggles, so why hide them? Let's be honest and encourage one another in the Lord!

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  7. Kelsey--there are as many different reading plans as there are shoe styles. However, if you have never read the Bible in its entirety before, I would highly recommend that you get on a plan to read through the Bible in a year (I did this years ago when I started reading Scripture, and it gave me a marvelous perspective). Blue Letter Bible has five excellent reading plans--the "Canonical" plan is the one I initially started with, but they are all good, so choose whichever one you prefer. I would wait on the "Blended" plan and the two-year plan, however, until after you have successfully read through the Bible in a year.

    Rebecca--those are such wise words from your pastor. Thank you for sharing! Have you ever read *Ten P's in a Pod*? In the book (which recounts the life of a large family ministering on the road in a highly entertaining manner), the family insists on a regular devotional time for every family member--and the accountability and diligent attention to Bible study means that the children are incredibly knowledgeable in Scripture and have a close relationship with God.

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  8. Hey Kate glad to see you jumped in over here!! Mikaela, I sent her your way with the give away I think!
    Great post...it is soooo easy to rush through devotions when life is crazy. I need to set my alarm even earlier...!

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  9. Thanks, Elizabeth. =) You're right--if reading Scripture means getting up earlier, then by all means, get up earlier. It's definitely worth less sleep!

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  10. Hi! On my blog I'm going to be publishing guest posts once a month. I would love to have you enter one of your posts. If you're interested, the form is on my sidebar and I would be happy to answer any questions!

    www.inletsandharbors.blogspot.com

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  11. I've been busy and have been neglecting all of the blogs I normally read, including yours, so I just read this, Mikaela...this second part is so excellent!
    I am convicted but also feeling like, "there is hope! I can make a clean start at any moment!" Which I already knew of course, but sometimes it feels like, "Lord, I've repented and been forgiven SO many times, I feel bad even asking for forgiveness again." But I know that then I am imputing my own sin on the Lord, as if He would ever become resentful or impatient with me, no matter how often I fail. He is ever gracious and loving.
    How grateful I am for that!

    Thank you for this post! It was much-needed.
    Love, Kelsey :o)

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  12. Thanks for the head's up, Katy!

    Kelsey--I know how life get's in the way of blogging. ;-) Here I am at a quarter till eleven catching up on mine! I'm so glad you took time to not only read my post, but also comment on it. I love to hear from you.

    And imput(ing)(ation)(ed). What an incredible word that is, and how freeing it is to realize that God has imputed righteousness to us. I just went and searched for all the occurences of this word in Scripture, and I found II Corinthians 5:19 which says, "To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation."

    Thanks for setting my mind on that track tonight, Kelsey, and keep up the good work. There is indeed hope with our Captain at the helm!

    Love and hugs back to you.

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