Good Evening and welcome to our evening Bible Study devotional. The last few days we have been talking about the authority of the scriptures. You might wonder why it is important for the scripture to be the ultimate authority for you and me. What difference does it make? Let me read to you from Isaiah 55:8-11:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Last, year we sang an old song for VBS called, “I’m Using My Bible As A Roadmap.” The words of this song show us how God’s word should be an authoritative guide for how we live. It is the absolute truth of God that inspires us to treat each other well and do good for others. It is the ultimate guide for love and marriage. It is the ultimate guide for serving God. It is the ultimate guide to determine right and wrong. The Bible has value.
You see, God’s word achieves exactly what he wants it to do. The Hebrew writer said that God’s word is “living and active”. He says that it can divide between our thoughts and the attitudes of our heart. In other words it can cut through all the bologna that we throw out there.
Last night I saw a meme on FB that said, “There have now been more deaths from the coronavirus than there were on 9-11.” That statement at first impacted me hard. After all, I remember that somber day as if time had stood still. It brought back to my mind the uncertainty of that day and the emotions that we felt. For everyone I know 9-11 evokes strong emotions and memories.
Suddenly it dawned on me that although this statement is true that it was designed to manipulate me. To invoke feelings of uncertainty and fear. Wait a minute, that statement is true of a lot of things. There are more deaths by cancer each year than 9-11. There are more deaths by heart disease each year than 9-11. There are more deaths by suicide each year than 9-11. There are more deaths each year by texting and driving than 9-11. There are more deaths by alcohol, and from drug abuse, and from negligence, and murder… you get my point. Although that statement is a truth the two events are not really compatible. They simply are designed to evoke fear.
What does the Bible say about all this:
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
John 14:27 quotes Jesus as saying, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”
I could go on all night. Did you know that there are 365 “Fear Not” verses in the Bible. That is one for each day of the year. God does not want us to worry and fear about things unseen or uncertain. We are to trust in Him. To know that He is in control.
Today it has been announced that the first case of the coronavirus has hit Ashe county. Some people are freaking out about it. YES! It is deadly and contagious. I believe we need to be wise and to be careful. But God doesn’t want to you to live in fear.
The other day I shared a Bible verse with a message group to try to bring a little peace to their minds. I was surprised at the response… “This is serious”… “This is life or death”. I am not denying that and I am not making light of the situation. But I believe that God is on the throne. He is in charge. And it is to him that we should be turning, not just in this situation, but in everything we do.
The Bible has value for everyone. For those who are lost in sin it is the power to save (Ja 1:21; Ro 10:17; Jn 3:16-17, 36) for those who hear it and receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. For those who are already saved the Bible is indispensable. There are many ways in which the Scriptures are valuable to the life of a Christian.
The Bible is a means of spiritual growth. “ (1 Pe 2:2; Mt. 4:4; Ac 20:32). A neglect of the study of the Word makes spiritual weaklings.
The Bible is a means for us to be continually cleansed and set aside for service (Jn 15:3; 1 Jn 1:7; He 9:14; Ps 119:9; Jn 17:17). When I was a child I wrote this in the front of my Bible. ”This Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book."
The Bible helps us to resist tempation. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, our Lord repelled every thrust by the use of the Word of God (Mt 4: 1-11; Ep 6:10-18; Ps 119:11).
The Bible is a tool for winning souls for Jesus.
I hope you will dig deep into the Bible and find the encouragement and spiritual power to be all that God has desired for you to be.
Thank you for joining us tonight. I hope that you will use this time to build connections within the church and outside in the community. Call your fellow church members and your neighbors to see how they are doing. Bless them with a scripture to encourage them. See if they have any needs. Pray with them over the phone. We may be separated but no one needs to be isolated. CONNECTION is Koinonia fellowship.
PRAYER THOUGHT - Lord God Almighty; Thank your the blessing that you give to us each day. I thank you for the authority of your living Word. I ask that you help keep me on the narrow road that leads to life. Protect me from falling pray to hollow philosophy, social pressure, and political correctness. Help me stand firm in your word. In Jesus' name. AMEN!
Join us tomorrow night as we talk about how to study the word of God. I hope to see you here.