There has never been more access to the word of God yet so little reading of it.
1 Timothy 4:13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
Nehemiah 8:1-3 all the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. 3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
Psalm 119:59 I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.
As some of you who know me can attest, this is something I’m working on in my own life. We need to spend substantial time in God’s Word, period. Too many of us our lead astry because we ‘built our castle on sand.’
As I mentioned before, waking early and planning time to spend in God’s Word bears great fruit.
I especially like the first passage mentioned above. The idea of public reading of scripture seems so outdated and yet, it is so needed. Instead of hour after hour hearing someone explain what they thing of God and His Ways, I believe we need to spend a lot more time actually reading it. And, then, we can discuss matters and answer questions as a group with the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Some read the Scriptures to attain knowledge and do not practice what they read.
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
3 John 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Lately, I have been studying deep into this, myself, so I find it fascinating that I run across this Thesis at the same time. Many students of apologetics and theology, love to spend hours and hours learning, but little time actually doing what the Word commands. It seems more important for some of them to be right, rather than actually doing the work of God that Jesus commanded. This message hits close to home, and for the last four years, I have focused on doing more in terms of reaching out to others. Lately, though the works of people such as A.W. Tozer, I have been learning more about what it means to live a holy life, which the Bible commands. Expect future blog series on that in the future.
The Pharisees strike me as those who spent a lot more time studying and attaining ‘righteous knowledge’ and little time doing the work of Jesus (loving one another). Do not misunderstand. We must study God’s Word, and apologetics are important. However, if we do not practice and put into our lives that which we learn, the head knowledge avails us little.
Worship has become an idol in many churches. The music resembles the world more than anything else.
Amos 5:23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
1 John 5:21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.
In the interest of honesty, I struggle with this point. I listen to music that I feel, without a doubt, strengthens my faith and brings me closer in my walk with God. Yet, if some of the older generation listened to it, they would say it sounds ‘secular’ and ‘too much like the world.’ There are a number of verses that say “Praise the LORD with a new song.” Yet, older Christians have marched right up to me and told me my music worships the world, not God.
And this does not just extend to music. An easy argument could extend to the comics I make and the such.
I can understand their point, as well as the one Brother Greg makes here. And I do not regularly attend modern, evangelical church, so I have few points of reference. Regardless, I would point to the passage of the Bible that says that God knows our hearts. He knows the hearts of both the performers, as well as the worshippers. Personally, I do not believe the style of music trumps the words of the music or the hearts of those participating in the worship.
Even the passages quoted above seem to (from my viewpoint) reflect this truth. God cares about the heart of the worshiper, not what type of music he uses to worship, IMHO. I submit a good example below. From one viewpoint it looks like secular rap video on par with many that come out today. However, the message comes straight from God’s Word.