Thanks to AS, who wrote this talk.
If you have a family, think about how much they have a love for the Bible. Or maybe think about people in your youth group, youth leaders or mates and how they read the Bible. Many teenagers get sick of church, Christians and the Bible. But this isn't God's heart - he wants us to understand the Bible, live it out and be part of a church that is full of life, real people and who have found they need the Bible.
It's good to get stuck in to the Bible more. When we start, we can read something like one of the Gospels (about Jesus) such as Matthew, Mark, Luke. After this we must be careful not to just read certain parts and leave out the bits we don't think are useful for our lives! We must always read it regularly.
2 Timothy 3.16-17
Derek Prince said that we cannot love God anymore than we love his Word. Can we really say that God is top priority if we're only reading our Bible once a week? Absolutely not! If that doesn't convince you of the importance of God’s Word, then 2 Timothy 3:16-17 certainly should!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 -All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and Is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NKJV)
Doctrine= teaching and showing truth
Reproof=exposing our rebellion
Correction=correcting mistakes we make
Instruction in righteousness=Training us to live for God
If we want a great relationship with the Lord we MUST be reading the Bible regularly. Not just some of it but all of it. It is vital if we want to be equipped and complete.
What we should all do is read the bible all the way through. You may find you give up somewhere, like in the middle of 2 Kings or somewhere. But keep on going - just don't get too worried if you struggle at times! I Then go back through the Bible again - you will find it helps if you do this at regular times, or with notes, or even with mates. As God changes you, you should begin to love it and meditate the Word of God (Joshua 1:8). More and more, God will help you apply it in your life.
Joshua 1:8 - Do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful (NIV)
So what can we learn from the Bible? Here are 3 things:
1) He really does love us! – I used to think that I was a total loser and a freak and God could never love me. As we read the Bible, I see the awesome love he has for me. I think of Jesus on the cross.
Luke 12:6-7 - What is the price of five sparrows-two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; You are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. (NLT)
I still struggle in many areas but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind or heart that God loves me and has a great plan for my life. If people are having problems believing that God loves them, then I want to encourage them to read more of the Bible. Not much will change if we’re only picking it up once a week, but if we begin to immerse ourselves in his word, I’m absolutely convinced those feeling will start to disappear.
2) If I want to be all that God wants me to be then I will have to go through times of waiting, testing and refining. There is no other option! It’s good news because we will eventually be complete and equipped for what God wants us to do. The story of Joseph is an example. He was sold by his brothers into slavery, was falsely accused of assaulting a woman and thrown into jail and then forgotten about. But he kept the right attitude and came out as a great man at the end of it, saying that God used it to help save the people of Israel.
3) My view of God has changed – I think often our view of him is small and we put him in our little convenient boxes. The big buddy upstairs mentality. I read the bible which tells of his mighty acts and his great love and awesome life changing power. I see words like majesty and awesome. I think in our quest to not be religious we often lose the reverence. He’s Almighty God and we should tremble at his word.
We may have great potential and may have had many positive things spoken over our lives, but if we’re not reading the bible we will never become the great men and women he wants us to become. We cannot leave this book out of our lives. It’s disaster! But if we do read it, awesome things will happen. Our relationship with God will improve and he’ll begin to speak to us and show us things. Our prayer life will improve and we’ll be less bothered about earthly things and begin to focus on things eternal. We’ll see God’s will for our life. If we seek him we will find him and we seek him through his Word. If we’re wanting to have a great relationship with God and we commit to studying his word regularly, awesome things will start to happen in our lives.
Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires (NLT)
Will you make a decision to read the Bible, think about it and let it change you. Let's ask God to shape us and change us to have a love for him and his word.