10 Reasons to Dive Deeper
This year we're challenging our members to read through the entire Bible in one calendar year. Here's the free booklet we're using to keep track of reading through scripture. You're welcome to follow along with us.
But why should you do this? I mean we're all so busy perfecting our Instagram accounts and snap chatting our friends. I mean you probably don't even have time to read this whole article, right? You'll just skim through the bullet points.
Well, here's why:
1. To know where you are going.
World views answer deep questions. Where are we from? What are we doing here? And where are we going? If you read through scripture, God answers all three and ends with a promise of eternity through him. See Jeremiah 29:11-13, and Romans 8:1.
2. To have wisdom.
Oh to be wise! Solomon had it all, and had wisdom. Meditating daily on God's word gives us wisdom: the ability to choose the right thing in even the toughest of circumstances. To hold your tongue and be patient in a world of instant gratification. Read Psalm 19:7 and James 3:13-17.
3. To find success.
God blesses us with contentment and godliness when we humble ourselves, look to scripture and follow him. He never promises wealth and earthly success, but he says we will have peace and joy. To find more about these promises read 1 Timothy 6:6-11.
4. To live in purity.
We all can imagine the bride in white, her white dress represents purity in her being presented to her groom. God calls us as his bride to live a pure, healthful, blemish-free life in Christ. One of the best ways to stay pure, free from the guilt of sin is to read his word. Ephesians 5:26, and 1 Peter 2 discuss the church's relationship with Christ.
5. To obey God.
Jesus spent much time alone with God, praying, meditating on the scriptures and in turn he obeyed the will of his Father, to death on the cross. We can know what God's will for our lives are by studying and listening to scripture. Romans 10:14.
6. To grow in faith.
What would it look like if you promised to follow God, yet never listened to what he had to say to you? Every time you read scripture, new insights, and understandings will be shown to you about your life. You can learn about a story you thought you knew in Sunday school, but never read yourself. There are stories about loss, hurt and grief that can be helpful. These stories will help you to truly rely on God for strength in your own life. 2 Peter 1:5-11, Galatians 5:6 and James chapter 2.
7. To have joy.
Scriptures are filled with references to joy. Joy is greater than earthly pleasures or fleeting happiness. It's a contentment about life that brings peace and love and it's contagious! If you have joy about how God is acting in your life, others will see that and rejoice with you! Check out all these references to joy in the Psalms: 14;7, 32:11, 51:12, 97:12, 100:2, & 149:2. Also read 1 Peter 1:8.
8. To find deliverance.
Deliverance is a big word we don't always use any more. But in this case to be delivered from something means to be rescued from the pain and suffering we were approaching. We could have been given sorrows and grief, but because of God's love for us in Christ, we have been set free. We don't have to endure the punishment we deserve. John 8:31-32 and Galatians 5:1 talk about this.
9. To have peace.
When you pass a cop going 5-8 miles over the speed limit, you feel a flicker of guilt and fear that you might get caught, right? That fear we put ourselves through, just to go a little faster is what it's like when God asks us to meditate on his word and we haven't done it. BUT, we can avoid fear and live in peace and have peace, just by doing what God asks us to do. John 14:27 and 16:33 speak about this peace.
10. To distinguish good from evil.
When you study scripture, you tend to find patterns about what God finds right and wrong. If you study and learn to love God, these things begin to shape what you believe is right and wrong, too. Seeing homeless people, seeing people mistreated, the poor, the needy, the lost, the let down. Orphans and widows. Injustices become more obvious. People who call themselves Christians, yet seemingly are doing more damage than good. Jesus turned to love these people, he calls us to do the same. Hebrews 5:14, 4:12. Read through this list.
That is all, but I hope you will decide, however you do it, to read more scripture this year. Have a blessed new year!
-Based on sermon from Jonathan Long on 12/31/2017