Well over a centruy ago Charles Haddon Spurgeon, England's phenom preacher, said this of John Bunyan, author of The Pilgrim's Progress:"Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his soul is full of the Word of God."
I want that to be said of me and you. We should be so full of the Word of God that it overflows from us like a cup filled to the brim. All it takes is a nudge from any direction and God's Word just spills out.
The problem is that the mastery of Scripture and, specifically, verse memorization has fallen upon rough times in the current culture of pre-packaged, easy to digest sermonettes. For many Christians watching a Nooma video is as deep as it gets when it comes to absorbing truth.
I see young youth leaders reading all sorts of good books these days, many times to the exclusion of The Great Book. Don't get me wrong, I'm all over reading books. I've been a devourer of all things printed since I was a little kid. It kept me from going stir crazy growing up in my often violent and always loud home.
But it's when I talk to these youth leaders about the Bible and theology and basic 101 stuff that I get concerned for them and for the teenagers they are leading. But it's not just youth leaders I get concerned with and for it's parents of teenager and the teenagers themselves. There just seems to be a deficit of Scripture mastery in this gimme gimme quick culture of consumer Christianity. It American faith were a beer it would be a lite one…same great taste, one third the theological calories.
When we master God's Word and let it master us then great things happen. Our lives are transformed and so are the lives of those around us.
So for any youth leaders, parents or teenagers who are reading this blog right now I want to give you a few reasons why you should make it your life quest to master and be mastered by God's Word.
1. It helps to keep us from sin.
"I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" Psalm 119:11. David is making a case in this Psalm that if our hearts and minds are so full of Scripture that it will be more difficult for us to entertain the prospects of sin in our brains. Fill a tank with water and all the air will disappear. Fill a heart with God's truth and Satan's lies will be pushed out.
2. It will transform the way we think.
Paul warns and challenges believers in Romans 12:2 to "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Our goal in studying God's Word should not just be the accumulation of knowledge but the renewing of our minds. In other words the Word of God helps us to think differently so that we can live differently.
All of us are probably familiar with The Gallup Poll from a few years ago that showed no signficant difference in the lifestyle choices of those teenagers who claimed to be Christians and those who did not. What's the result of a lifestyle that doesn't stand out? Teenagers become increasingly difficult to reach with the gospel because they view their "Christian" friends as hypocrites. I am convinced that the same is true with us adults. We are not living differently because we are not thinking differently. We are not thinking differently because we have not filled our mind with God's truth. And the end result is a watching world that think it's all a crock.
3. It will guard us from false teaching.
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some" 2 Timothy 2:15-18
When we rightly divide the word of truth we can discern the wheat from the chaff, the poison from the cornmeal, the real thing from the counterfeit. Enough said.
So read the Bible for devotions but also for enjoyment. And help your teenagers or teenagers in your world to do the same. Pick it up and read it right now. My blog blah, blahs are not nearly as compelling as God's Word. As a matter of fact I'm cutting this blog short. I gotta get some Scripture in me.
Want to join me? Log off your computer right now and then log on to God's Word. Then later on tell me what you learned from your time in God's Word.
God's Word rocks!