This month we begin Life Groups! Life Groups are an avenue for us to connect with others around God’s Word. Our goal is that everyone in middle school and older joins a Life Group. Are you in? If you haven’t signed up yet, don’t delay! Decide today!
I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, how God has impressed upon me in recent weeks—during our “Body Building” sermon series and our lead up to Life Groups—the absolute necessity of His Word! The Bible, the 66 books God wrote and preserved for us, is a precious gift. More than that, it is life for us.
The central issue for humans has always been, “Will you listen to what God has said?” It has always been about the Word of God. At the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Adam and Eve by saying, “Did God really say…?” The choice they faced is the same we face: Will we believe and obey what God has said, and thereby live, or will we believe and follow the lie of Satan, experiencing death thereby?
After the Israelites wandered for 40 years in the wilderness, God revealed a key lesson He was teaching them in the desert: “man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Our Lord Jesus understood this, and lived it out. He quoted this very verse form Deuteronomy to Satan as He rejected Satan’s enticement to sin.
From Mount Sinai the LORD gave to the Israelites His Word, the Ten Commandments and the regulations that flowed from them. This was for their life. Moses explained to them that the Law God gave them “is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess” (Deuteronomy 32:47).
God sent prophets to His people with His Word so that they might turn and live. God sent His Son as the Word made flesh (John 1:14). The Lord Jesus taught that God’s kingdom advances as His Word is sown in human hearts (Matthew 13:1-23). Jesus sent His apostles out to preach that word of life (Acts 10:42).
And God had the words of His prophets and apostles—His very own words—written down for us … that we might live. “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
So, as we think about “Body Building” we need to realize that what will build up the Body of Christ is the Word of God. As we step into Life Groups, we need to understand that the Bible must be, and will be, the core curriculum for every Life Group. As we seek to grow in the Lord through personal one-on-one time with Him, we need to make the Bible an indispensable part.
In regard to your personal time with God, I want to urge you to resist being overly dependent on devotional writings of people as a substitute for direct intact of the Bible. For instance, if you get out your Daily Bread and realize you don’t have enough time to read both the day’s Bible passage and the day’s devotional comments, read the Bible passage. Certainly we have been blessed with many good Christian authors who have written a lot of helpful books but we simply must maintain a steady diet of God’s Word. The godly person meditates on God’s Word day and night (Psalm 1:2).
To quote Max McLean, “Read the Bible. It’s great for the soul!”