Monday, November 9, 2009
Be the Church with a Biblical Mind - Week 2
Have you purchased a GPS unit? Why did you buy it? I don't do much traveling but have always wanted to purchase one ever since I found a website where I can download Mr. T.'s voice as the one giving the directions [link] . How cool would it be, "turn right fool!" or "I pity the fool who don't turn right in 400 yards!"
What is your funniest, "Honey, I think were lost story?" Or, "Honey, why did you throw away the directions story?"
Why are clear concise directions important when you go on a trip? Well they...
- help you get there - keep you from getting lost - save money - help you avoid trouble - help save time - help avoid arguments - helps make the trip more enjoyable
The Psalmist asks the question, "How can a young man keep his way pure?" You and I might ask, "how can I live the good life?" The ad agencies would ask, "How can I young man live the Miller High Life?"
But the Psalmist is not asking how can I - live a safe life - live a comfortable life - live a life of leisure - live a life filled with stuff...that's not what he is asking. "How can I keep my life pure?" This is his question and in his asking we learn that there are two ways we can live our lives:
1. A life that is pure and pleasing to God.
2. A life that is impure and displeasing to God.
How can you and I live our lives such a way that we don't contaminate them? Think of a fifty-five gallon drum filled with crystal clear, pure, cold rainwater. Think of how that water refreshes, think how good that water tastes, think of how that water satisfies. Now go to your most unhappy place, the worst gas station you have ever visited. Think of the rancid, stopped up toilet that hasn't been cleaned for days, imagine the smell as this "soup" has been baking all summer. Now, take a dropper and pull one drop from the toilet and put it in your rainwater. Not very appealing now is it? One drop into fifty-five gallons pollutes the whole thing.
How do we avoid the pollution, the rot? How do you and I live so that we are: - a good friend - a good employee - a good husband/wife - a good dad - a good follower of Jesus?
How do you and I live so that we can one day stand before King Jesus and hear, "Well done good and faithful servant"...not "depart from me, I knew you not."
Psalm 119:9 Says that we keep our way pure by guarding it. By putting up our defenses, posting guard, installing video cameras, putting another deadbolt on the door, turning on our alarms....this is serious stuff! We guard that which is treasured and valuable and we guard when we know we are going to be attacked.
1 Peter 5:8 says that the devil is looking for the weak, the stragglers of the heard, those who are isolated, alone, those who have let their guard down. Jesus said in John 10:10 that the thief comes only to "steal, kill, and destroy." Jesus has great plans for your life Jeremiah 29:11 as He is using all things to conform you to His likeness. Satan also has plans for your life and they are to - attack you - destroy your life - to steal your joy - to kill your relationships.
Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart for it is the well spring of your life." Everything comes from your heart, how you think, how you act so don't let anything in that could contaminate your heart...above all else...guard it!
Psalm 119:9 By guarding it according to the word of God.
Jesus builds His church for His plans and purposes. To Be the Church of Jesus we are commanded to assemble on a regular basis [link] to challenge, motivate, encourage, and to stir one another to love and good works.
In Acts 2:42 we see the church devote themselves not only to regular assembly but to regular study and learning of the Bible. An important part of Being the Church is thinking with a Biblical mind. For us to Be the Church Christ desires our minds must be set on and obedient to the word of God.
The Bible must be the authority for our living - to prevent heartache - to avoid trouble - to prevent loss - to prevent confusion - to keep from getting lost - to direct us on how to be a better husband/wife, friend, employee, follower of Jesus - to make the trip more enjoyable - to keep our way pure - to learn how to live a life pleasing to God with a Biblical mind.
You and I have to guard our lives according to the word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says that the word of God is a sword, think Scottish Claymore.
Remember the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4? What happened? Jesus went to the dessert to fast for forty days. At the end of the forty days when Jesus was at His weakest Satan came to tempt Him. How did Jesus respond? Jesus rightfully and powerfully unsheathed the sword of the word of God and hacked Satan to pieces!
You and I have this powerful weapon in our arsenals yet many of us fail to practice with it, carry it, or use it in times of danger. Charles Spurgeon [link] once told his congregation "There is enough dust on some of your Bibles to write damnation with your fingers!"
Using Psalm 119:9-16 I want us to look at a pattern of how we can develop and maintain a Biblical mind.
#1 Make a daily choice to live the word. Psalm 119:10-11
The Psalmist says "With my whole heart I seek you." This is a conscious, deliberate, decision to follow Jesus, not a half-hearted attempt. Matthew 6:24 Jesus said that we cannot serve two masters. Jesus wants us all in and in Revelation 3:16 Jesus said that lukewarm, half-hearted, Christians who straddle the fence make Him want to puke.
Is the Bible God's word? Genesis to Revelation? Do you really believe the Bible is what it says it is? Is the Bible to sole authority for your life? Does the Bible shape how you live, how you treat other people, how you spend your time, money, energy, and resources?
Everyone has a worldview...the question is do you have a secular worldview or a Biblical worldview?
Our worldview shape our thinking, shapes how we act, and how we relate to each other and to God. Will you make the conscious decision to live in the word of God daily? Will you let the Bible shape and define your mind?
#2 Make a daily choice to learn the word Psalm 119:12
Here are eight steps instructing you on how you can begin today to learn the Bible.
1. Schedule time for it - if you don't put it on the calendar it won't happen.
2. Pick a book of the Bible and work your way through it beginning to end.
3. Take your time - I usually don't read more than a chapter at a time.
4. Begin each session with prayer asking the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and to give you
understanding as to what you are about to read.
5. Use a journal to jot down important thoughts, repeating words, commands, promises.
6. Summarize what you just read in ten words or less. This will help you retain what you just
7. Write out any applications for your life.
8. End with prayer thanking God for His grace, asking for forgiveness of any sins revealed.
#3 Make a daily choice to love the word Psalm 119:13-16
Loving God's word does not come natural to us and is a choice. Loving God's word is us submitting our will to His and doesn't come easy yet once you begin what once started off as something hard, difficult, quickly becomes something ingrained in you, something you miss when you aren't able to do it, and something you love.
To love God's word verbalize it - Psalm 119:13 - know it inside and out...begin memorizing it.
To love God's word meditate on it - Psalm 119:15 - chew on it, think on it, think deeply over it
again and again and again. Don't just let it pass or do a quick scripture drive by.
To love God's word contemplate it - Psalm 119:15 - realize that we are under the authority of
God's word...never in authority over it.
To love God's word delight in it - Psalm 119:16 - enjoy God's word, look for answers in God's
word, and see Jesus in God's word Luke 24:44.
On a scale of 1 - 10 how would you answer the following? 1 = strongly disagree and 10 = strongly agree
1. The word of God is the authority for all my life.
2. I wish the word were more central to my core beliefs and decision making.
Will you respond right where you are by committing today to - live by the word - learn the word - and love the word?
Will you respond?
How will you do it?
Post any words of encouragement, advice, prayers in the comment section below.