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Humility, a Christian Characteristic

January 31, 2010 3 comments

Today, I preached my second sermon of three on Christian Characteristics. Last time I preached, I established from Philippians 1:27-30 that unity is needed for perseverance. Today, from 2:1-11, I preached how humility is needed for unity. If you made a flow chart, it would look something like this: Humility –> Unity –> Perseverance.

A proper understanding of the gospel fosters humility—Ephesians 2:8-9. Prayer, which I said last week fosters unity, is no contradiction to today’s teaching; in fact, prayer is an exercise and act of humility.

Philippians 2:3-4 defines what humility is toward other people. Humility is important because it is the root virtue of all Christian virtues; all other Christian virtues, such as faith, hope, and love even, stem from humility.

Conversely, pride is the root sin. Satan tempted Eve by saying, “You will be like God.” Pride is even at the root of the love of money, which is the root of all kinds of evil.

As Christians, we must put off pride and put on humility—Ephesians 4:22-24.

Paul’s ultimate argument in Philippians 2:1-11 is that we should be humble because Christ is humble. Notice Philippians 2:5-8; Jesus had the ultimate love—and the ultimate humility—in dying for us (John 15:13).

The Father has exalted the Son because the Son was humble and died on the cross to atone for His people’s sins and to reconcile us to God—Philippians 2:9-11. These verses reveal that there is nothing wrong with aspiring to greatness, but it is wrong to lord any greatness over others. “Whoever wishes to be great among you must be the servant of all.” We must work toward hearing Jesus say to us “Well done, good and faithful servant,” in humble service to God, seeking to glorify Him.

1 Peter 5:5-11. If you exercise pride, God will oppose you; if you exercise humility, God will give you grace and will exalt you “at the proper time,” to a lesser extent than He has exalted Christ.

To listen to my sermon, follow this link.

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Stuff Christians Like

January 28, 2010 Leave a comment

In my first blog post, which was written on Protestant Reformation Day 2009, I wrote that my blog would sometimes recommend Christian blogs. Not once, however, in my three months of running this blog have I dedicated a whole post to forwarding you to another website. Today, I will do that for the first time. I hope you enjoy, and I hope that this link will both make you laugh and help you “set your minds on things that are above.”

Jon Acuff, a “preacher’s kid” [grown adult with a wife and two kids] from Atlanta, has a blog called “Stuff Christians Like.” He also has a book of the same name that you can preorder on his site. Having visited this website for at least three nights in a row to peruse his extensive archives, I can happily and with much laughter recommend this website to you and all Christians you know. (A link to his website will now be under the links section in the right hand column from now on.)

Stuff Christians Like is an aptly-named blog, but it has a humorous spin to it. There are some serious posts, but most of this site is light-hearted. Mr. Acuff is serious when he must be, but at all other times he is cracking jokes. Some funnier than others, but even if some of his posts don’t apply to you, as of the time of this writing, he has written nearly 500 blogs of “stuff Christians like.” Chances are that at least 250 (half) of them apply to you … or better yet, someone you know.

Always remember, set your minds on things that are above. And http://stuffchristianslike.net will hopefully help you do that in a happy way.

“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs” Psalm 100:2, NIV.

Living the Christian Life in 2010, Part Three: The Preeminence of Public and Private Worship

January 24, 2010 2 comments

Worship of God is the fundamental Christian act. Previously, I have stressed the importance of reading God’s Word and praying to Him. These are certainly important, but in actuality, they are a part of proper worship. Studying the Bible and praying to God are not ends of themselves; they are not independent activities. Rather, they are (or should be) aspects of our worship of our Creator. When we read the Bible, we should do so in the attitude that we read to know God more fully. Reading the Bible, in fact, teaches us how to worship. This is important because there are wrong ways to worship God. Namely, wrong worship of God is anything not from faith.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). If we praise God but do not really believe in His existence and that “He rewards those who seek Him,” we worship amiss. Furthermore, consider the last sentence of Romans 14:23, “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”

Prayer, also, is an act of worship; prayer is the expression of our reliance upon God. In prayer, we cast our cares on God, we thank Him for who He is and what He has done and what He has promised to do. Prayer rightly includes the worship and praise of God (Matthew 6:9).

In the broadest sense, there are two forms of worship: public and private. Since most people—myself included—think of public worship when we hear the word “worship,” I will discuss public worship first.

Public worship is our worship of God along with other Christians. Most familiarly, public worship takes place during a church service. We sing hymns (or other songs), have an offering, and listen to a sermon. Singing, giving, and hearing the preached Word of God are all aspects of public worship that are extremely important. There are those who are against “organized religion” and who are against attending church services. But this is not just a modern problem; the early church faced this problem, as well.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:23-25). Notice that from what the writer of Hebrews tells us that even in the first century of the church, some were “neglecting to meet together.” Individualism is the bane of spiritual growth. Is daily “alone-time” with God important? Yes. But to grow spiritually, we must “stir up one another to love and good works … encouraging one another.” God is sovereign, and in His sovereignty, He has provided His people with the Church, of which we Christians all are a part.

Church worship, however, is just one form of public worship. Partaking in Christian service projects is another form of public worship. James, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27). Here, I ask: How are we to keep ourselves “unstained from the world”? By public Christian accountability. “No man is an island.”

Yet another form of public worship is when we meet to read the Bible or to pray with even one or two other Christians. Jesus said in Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them.”

But public worship should both feed off of and further ignite private worship. In private worship, we can read the Bible and/or pray (as mentioned earlier). But there are other aspects to private worship. As with public worship, we can sing. So many times, I personally have listened to and sung along to Christian songs, and singing certainly is a vital part of worship, both public and private. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16). Private worship, of course, most broadly defined, is how we should live every aspect of our lives 24/7. Everything we do should be an act of worship to God; everything we do should honor and glorify Him.

All that said, it is important to discuss what worship, in general, is and is not. Here, I must admit that my own words cannot express so well what others before me have put so wonderfully. Here are a series of quotes about worship from others:

“God has no need for our worship. It is we who need to show our gratitude for what we have received [from God].” Thomas Aquinas

“It is only when men begin to worship that they begin to grow.” Calvin Coolidge

“God does not need our worship! But we need to worship God! … Made to worship, man becomes something less than human when he refuses to worship. It is not God who suffers when we do not worship—it is we who suffer!” Richard C. Halverson

“Worship is not simply something done on set occasions or on certain days. It is an entire way of life.” Wes Harty

“When Christian worship is dull and joyless, Jesus Christ has been left outside—that is the only possible explanation.” James S. Stewart

“The test of true worship is not whether it makes us happy, but whether it makes us holy; not whether it pleases us, but whether it pleases God. Worship is not always a pleasure, sometimes it is very painful.” Brian Edwards

To Edwards’s statement, “Worship is not always a pleasure, sometimes it is very painful,” I can only attest to its shocking truth. Worship is, in fact, “sometimes very painful.” There are times when we read a passage of Scripture, or pray, or listen to the words of a song, and immense pain strikes our hearts. But there is, in fact, “godly grief [that] produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret” (2 Corinthians 7:10). That is what this painful worship causes: godly grief. Because when we are truly worshipping God, there will definitely be times at which we feel the immeasurable weight of our sin and the infinitude of His holiness, which certainly would produce in us a repentance born of godly grief. But I must go a bit further than Mr. Edwards did. Even when worship is not a pleasure, it leads to pleasure. Because we feel no greater joy, we feel no greater gratitude, than when we have seen afresh in a time of worship our boundless sin and the boundless grace of God that overcame it on the Cross.

I leave you with Psalm 95:1-6:

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also. The sea is His, for He made it, and His hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

Why God Hates Sin, Not Haiti

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

Today’s edition of Newsweek featured an article by Lisa Miller provocatively entitled “Why God Hates Haiti.” Her title does not necessarily evince her own opinions about the matter; rather, they reflect the opinion held by CBN personality Pat Robertson. To start out with, I disagree with Pat Robinson; God does not hate Haiti. God hates sin. This fact not only clears up Patterson’s obvious confusion but also neatly solves Miller’s “frustrating theology of suffering.”

God does not hate Haiti. God hates sin. Recall the list of seven sins that the Lord hates in Proverbs 6:16-19. God hates sin. But He does not hate Haiti. He even would rather “that [the wicked] should turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 18:23). This idea that our God who does not desire the wicked to perish but justly sends them to hell anyway (Romans 9) is paradoxical at best if not downright offensive. But if we take offense at God’s justice in sending sinners who have transgressed the One True Holy and Righteous God to hell, we lose sight of the bigger picture. God elects people to salvation out of His love (1 Thessalonians 1:4); God is never spoken of electing people to hell in the Bible. In fact, it’s people’s own sin and rejection of Him that “judge [themselves] unworthy of eternal life” (Acts 13:46)! Biblically, God hates sin … he does not hate Haiti.

Pat Robertson also must have forgotten the multitudes of Christians who live in Haiti when he made his comments. As Dr. Albert Mohler writes on his blog:

Does God hate Haiti? God hates sin, and will punish both individual sinners and nations. But that means that every individual and every nation will be found guilty when measured by the standard of God’s perfect righteousness. God does hate sin, but if God merely hated Haiti, there would be no missionaries there; there would be no aid streaming to the nation; there would be no rescue efforts — there would be no hope. … In other words, the earthquake reminds us that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only real message of hope. The cross of Christ declares that Jesus loves Haiti — and the Haitian people are the objects of his love. Christ would have us show the Haitian nation his love, and share his Gospel. In the midst of this unspeakable tragedy, Christ would have us rush to aid the suffering people of Haiti, and rush to tell the Haitian people of his love, his cross, and salvation in his name alone.

But the problem with Mr. Robertson’s comments does not end with his comments. Lisa Miller wrote an article for Newsweek that uses his comments as a springboard for a treatise on “the frustrating theology of suffering.” For people like Bart Ehrman, whom Ms. Miller quotes multiple times in her article, they can’t reconcile the idea of “a powerful and loving God in charge of the world” with the fact that terrible things happen. But for us Christians, we realize that God gives us sufferings (Philippians 1:29) to bring us closer to Him. We know that suffering produces perseverance, which produces character, which produces a hope that doesn’t disappoint us (Romans 5:3-5). Sufferings aren’t meant for us to become depressed and doubt God, rather, they are meant to bring us closer to God and be a cause of Christian joy! Why? Because by suffering, we are assured of our salvation. By suffering, we know are brought to a deeper trust and reliance upon God—and a confession that He alone is our salvation, not just spiritually but also physically.

As Christians, we can look to Haiti, which was struck by a 6.0 magnitude after shock this morning, and see the grace of God. There are Christians who died and are now rejoicing with their Savior and Lord in heaven. There are those who died without Christ, and are now in hell. The first fact should dry our tears and make us rejoice; the second fact should bring tears anew to our eyes and a sense of conviction that we will not allow a message of God’s hatred to reach Haiti, but rather a message of how Christ alone is the Savior of mankind, and that repentance toward Him and faith in His finished work is the only way of salvation. Is it confusing that our loving God allows suffering in this world? Yes. But each time this issue arises to confuse us and to tempt us to doubt our loving God, we must respond with the Biblical truth that our God is just; our God is sovereign; our God is infinitely holy; and we are infinitely sinful. The fact that any of us are not rotting in hell at this very moment for all eternity—which is what we all as sinners against the Most Holy God deserve—is cause for celebration and for glorifying God. Ultimately, we must trust in the Perfection of God; that everything will, in the end, turn out for His greatest glory and our greatest good.

A list of all the websites cited in this post:

May God bless you all and constantly remind us all of our utter dependence upon Him, and of our pleasurable duty as His people to bring Him honor and glory in this world, and to “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; do it with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).

Living the Christian Life by Exhibiting Christian Characteristics

January 17, 2010 1 comment

Today, I went to Tilden, MS, and preached the first sermon of three in a series on the characteristics of a Christian. Today, the sermon was on Christian unity and perseverance, with its text from Philippians 1:27-30. While these characteristics tie in with my regular “Living the Christian Life in 2010” posts on this website, I do realize that I still have yet to post the blog on public/private worship. I hope to have it up by the end of this week. My sermon series on Christian characteristics will last at least through the month of January, and I will post links to each sermon as I upload them to my account at podbean.com.

To explain the relationship between my current blog series and sermon series:

My blog series, “Living the Christian Life in 2010,” exhorts us Christians to do three things:

  1. Daily study God’s Word, the Bible,
  2. Pray, and
  3. Worship God both privately and publicly.

My sermon series, “Characteristics of the Christian Citizen of Heaven,” exhorts us Christians to

  1. Be unified in perseverance (Philippians 1:27-30),
  2. Be unified in humility (Philippians 2:1-11), and
  3. Shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:12-18).

My blog series presents elementary building blocks of what we as Christians should be doing; studying God’s Word, praying to God, and worshipping God are basic things we should all be doing. My sermon series presents what should result as we do those three things. As we study our Bibles, pray to God, and worship God, we should become more unified with other Christians, persevere in the faith, become more humble, and shine as lights in the world. In other words, the traits I am preaching about in Philippians are what should result from our studying the Bible, praying, and worshipping. That said, these Christian characteristics (listed in my sermons) are other ways we should live the Christian life not just in 2010 but in every year we live; but we cannot exhibit these Christian characteristics unless we are first living the Christian life by reading the Bible, praying to God, and worshipping Him.

You can listen to the audio of from my first sermon on Christian characteristics here. As I mentioned earlier, I hope to have the last post on “Living the Christian Life” up by the end of this week, and you can expect the rest of my sermon series on Christian characteristics at least through the end of this month.

I hope you are all having a worship-filled Sunday. God bless!

Living the Christian Life in 2010, Part Two: The Importance and Power of Prayer

January 11, 2010 5 comments

On New Year’s Eve, you may recall that I recommended you all to begin a daily Bible reading plan this year. You can, of course, begin a Bible reading plan at any time of the year you choose, and unless you want to start in the middle of some books, you may want to personalize a Bible reading plan for yourself. Here are a few practices I would recommend to you if you do not have a current daily Bible reading plan:

  • Choose a book of the Bible and prayerfully read through it. Absorb as much as you can from this book as you read it, taking it as slow as you need to so you can comprehend what is being written because, yes, some books of the Bible are harder to read than others. (Reading through just a book of the Bible and then jumping to another is especially helpful in reading the larger books of the Bible, especially the larger OT books and the Gospels and larger epistles in the NT.)
  • Choose a section of the Bible and prayerfully read through it. Absorb as much as you can from each day’s passage(s) as you read it/them. For example, you may wish to read the Poetry books of the OT (Job through Song of Solomon), or you may wish to read the Pauline epistles (Romans through 2 Thessalonians or Titus, depending upon whether you include the Pastoral Epistles). And you can probably think of more “Book Groups” than these and may even want to customize the books you include in the Book Section you are reading (for example, you may wish to read all the epistles in order, not just the Pauline epistles).
  • You may wish to combine the two and/or alternate between them throughout the year. (This is probably the practice I will begin next year, since I am already using the 4-book Bible Reading Plan for this year.)

Now that I have given those of you without a plan for reading the Bible various options you may consider, I turn to the meat of this post: the importance and power of prayer. Daily Bible reading is certainly important, but prayer is our means of communicating with God. As God uses the Bible to communicate with us, so we pray to communicate to God. Prayer is actually commanded in the Bible—multiple times (1 Thessalonians 5:17 and Ephesians 6:18, among others). But it is not enough that we are to pray, there are certain things that should be true about our prayers. Consider how the Lord taught us to pray in Matthew 6:5-13:

And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread (or, our bread for tomorrow), and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (or, the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen).

Before Jesus actually gives us “the Lord’s Prayer,” he reveals the whole intent of the passage. There are characteristics our prayers should show:

  1. Humility. Unlike the hypocrites, we should pray secretly and not for people’s praise.
  2. Trust in God. We should not be long-winded. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a particularly heartfelt prayer to have no words at all but groanings (Romans 8:23). And when we don’t know the words to pray, the Holy Spirit “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26). Jesus, in the Matthew text, says that we shouldn’t use many words because our Father knows what we need before we ask Him. So, if we use words just because we think it will make God hear us, we are expressing disbelief in God. It is certainly okay to be persistent in prayer (in fact, Jesus commands us to “not lose heart” in prayer in Luke 18:1).
  3. Praise. In the actual prayer our Lord models for us, He first praises God, calling him “Father.” “Hallowed be Your name” also means “let Your name be treated with reverence.”
  4. Desire for the Kingdom. As Christians, we should desire the coming of God’s kingdom … and we should pray for it.
  5. Desire for God’s will to be done. As Christians, we should desire to grow in holiness and daily conform to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; Philippians 2:12-13).
  6. Faith that God will provide. “Give us this day our daily bread” can also be translated “give us our bread for tomorrow.” Our prayers should show faith that God will provide for our needs.
  7. Desire for forgiveness. We still sin because of our old sin nature, the flesh, but we have the Holy Spirit within us and have a new, hateful attitude toward sin. We should ask God for forgiveness of specific sins in our lives (1 John 1:8-9). Also, the stipulation “as we also have forgiven our debtors” reveals that we as Christians must forgive others not to achieve our salvation but because we are saved.
  8. Desire for deliverance from temptation. This actually ties in with points 4 and 7, since in God’s eternal kingdom, we will be free from the very presence of sin, and, of course, in being forgiven of sin, God enables us to confront and conquer sin that remains in us.
  9. A final admittance of God’s sovereignty. Our prayers should rightly express our utter and whole dependence upon God concerning everything in our lives.

In summary, our prayers should be humble, expressing our utter dependence upon God for everything. Why? Because prayer is powerful.

Consider James 5:16,

… The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Our prayers have great power! Not because we are righteous but because Christ our Lord is our righteousness! Paul expressed confidence in the power of prayer in Philippians 1:19. Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” The same Jesus who commanded us to pray to not be delivered into temptation commands us here to pray so that we won’t be led into temptation! Prayer has power! Healing power, even! Power to free apostles from prison (Acts 12)! It has power to heal the sick! In the verses leading up to James 5:16, James had told believers to pray over sick people to heal them … this sounds strange to our modern ears, and we should definitely “have faith in God and take [our] medicine” as Martin Luther advises, but all the same, we should pray and have faith in God that He will heal the sick in accordance with His good and perfect will.

 

I recently preached a sermon on Philippians 1:19-26, and as previously mentioned, this passage deals, in part, with prayer. You can listen to the sermon by following this link and following the on-screen directions. I apologize for any unwanted advertisements that may plague you; Podbean.com was not cooperating that day, so I had to use a third-party website.

I leave you with 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Living the Christian Life in 2010, Part One: The Importance of Studying God’s Word

January 7, 2010 4 comments

Good afternoon. I hope all of you are adjusting back to “normal life” well. If you are like me, however, today’s snow has interrupted that normalcy. The grocery stores are surely out of their bread and milk by now, and the roads may begin icing over as temperatures drop. But invariably, we have all begun accustoming ourselves to our daily work and school routines again. As we are now nearly a full week into the still-new year of 2010, I hope that we all are both reading our Bibles and praying regularly, if not also often. As we begin this new year, I begin now a series of posts on the Christian life (which somewhat correspond with my upcoming sermons on Philippians 1:27-2:18). Today, I will be dealing with the importance of studying God’s Word, the Bible. (The following posts will be on prayer and worship [both private and corporate], respectively.)

Before I begin stressing the importance of studying God’s Word, there is the need for me to clarify certain prerequisite truths that we must acknowledge about the Bible itself:

  1. The 66 books of the Bible “constitute the plenary (inspired equally in all parts) Word of God.”
  2. The Bible is the written revelation of God and is “verbally inspired in every word.”
  3. According to 2 Timothy 3:16, the Bible is “absolutely inerrant in the original documents, infallible, and God-breathed.”
  4. The Bible was written by dual authorship; God the Holy Spirit enabled men “through their individual personalities and different styles of writing” to compose and record God’s Word without making any error at all.

(Above quotations are taken from The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur © 2005, published in Nashville, TN, by Thomas Nelson, Inc.)

While the reader of the Bible does not have to accept the above points in order to read the Bible, without acknowledging those truths, the reader of the Bible cannot have adequate reverence and respect for the Text that it deserves. It is, therefore, my prayer that all of you in reading the Bible understand and accept the truth that it is God’s perfect Holy Word and that it is worthy of obedience and respect. Consider 2 Peter 1:19-21:

And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Specifically, the “prophetic word” refers to the entire Old Testament (OT). (To read about the inspiration and infallibility of the New Testament [NT], see 2 Timothy 3:16-17.)  Since this prophetic word—indeed, the whole Bible—was written by “men [who] spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit,” we ought to “pay attention” to the Bible’s teachings and “heed” (NKJV) them. The Bible is a “lamp shining in a dark place;” we in our sin are blinded to spiritual truth, and only by the grace of God in our studying of His Word will we understand spiritual truths and be motivated to apply them to our lives.

The Bible is exceedingly important to us Christians; the Bible is what God has told us! There are those who say that God still speaks to us today apart from His Word (an issue I will neither affirm nor deny at this moment), but the fact remains that God will never say anything that contradicts the Bible (and by this same truth, the Bible does not contradict itself, either). For us Christians who want to know God’s will, the Bible reveals God’s will to us! For us who want to follow God’s loving commandments, the Bible reveals them to us! A Christian cannot properly grow spiritually without the Word of God. And even though we may hear the Bible preached week in and week out by our pastors, two or three sermons a week is not enough for true spiritual growth (regardless of how good those sermons are). We Christians in our daily lives must read and study the Bible. Peter also wrote (under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, of course) in 1 Peter 2:2-3:

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

If we are true Christians (“have tasted that the Lord is good”), we should long to read the Bible and be nourished by its teachings like newborn infants long for their mothers’ milk. Simply put, the Bible is God’s milk for us. The Bible is to be our spiritual nourishment. We as Christians should long for the Bible—and extended absence from its nourishment should make us “hungry” for more and give us the desire to return to it.

Since the Bible is so important to our lives, I hope that each of us are reading the Bible regularly and that we will read it all more often, too. Jonathan Edwards would devote hours to the study of the Bible and prayer—surely we can devote enough time to read a portion of it daily. If, however, you feel you are too busy to read the Bible, I encourage you to invest in an audio Bible that you can listen to on your daily commute. (The average American has a 50-minute round trip commute time. Even if your commute is only 5 or 10 minutes, you could still be nourished by the Word of God in this manner.) Amazon.com has some audio Bibles (in both KJV and NIV) available for under $50 (and since all of them are over $25, you get free shipping). If you must, add time to your day for the study of Scripture. Wake up early to read the Bible, or stay up 5 or 10 minutes (at least!—read as much as you can and desire) later at night to read the Scripture.

All of us can—and should—spend time daily reading the Bible, for without this, we will starve ourselves spiritually, and that certainly isn’t God’s will for us in Christ Jesus. (See this post on what God’s will for us rather is.)

Sources for further study:

The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur

John Piper’s sermon on 2 Peter 1:20-21

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