Monday, July 18, 2011

Intimacy with the Word of God

 This message was preached by Cyril Georgeson  at Word of Grace Church on the 17th of July. He is the head of Training and Development India, for RZIM Ministries. This is a summary of his preach.
Intimacy with God through His Word
James 1:23: Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 
The Word is a mirror. If you are feeling lost this morning the question I have for you is this “did you look in to the mirror of the word of God?”
Jeremiah 23:29 -"Is not my word like fire," declares the LORD, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?  The writer likens the word to  Fire which purifies our hearts. Sometimes it’s a hammer that shatters the rock. Some of us have been Christians for a long time and our lives have plateaued. We are not seeing the changes we would like to see and we get frustrated. Sometimes the hammer needs to strike many times to weaken something before it breaks. At first nothing seems to be happening, but the first blow has developed a crack inside the rock. Its starts to weaken from inside out and a crack appear on the surface and it finally breaks.
In the same way as we come to the Word of God, it will purify us and break in us things that are not of him.
How do we grow in the Word of God. Ps119 has 176 verses and each of them have made reference to the word (precepts, law, Word, statues, commands etc).
So how do we grow in the Word? Here is a clue 119:97-104 :” Oh, how I love your law! 
   I meditate on it all day long. 
98 Your commands are always with me 
   and make me wiser than my enemies. 
99 I have more insight than all my teachers, 
   for I meditate on your statutes. 
100 I have more understanding than the elders, 
   for I obey your precepts. 
101 I have kept my feet from every evil path 
   so that I might obey your word. 
102 I have not departed from your laws, 
   for you yourself have taught me. 
103 How sweet are your words to my taste, 
   sweeter than honey to my mouth! 
104 I gain understanding from your precepts; 
   therefore I hate every wrong path.

How I love your law! To love is to be consumed by it, to be preoccupied with it, think about it all the time. Biblical meditation is filling the mind with the WORD and not emptying it like in other forms of meditation.
Three things happen when we begin to do this
·        v98- It makes me wiser than my enemy. We always need to out strategise our enemy.
·        V.99- We are more insightful than people who do not meditate on the WORD
·        V100 –We gain more understanding than our elders. Ezra 7:10 He studied, practised and taught the WORD. He practised /obeyed i.e Love = obedience to God. My Sunday celebration should be out of my obedience to the Word through the week.
How do we get Intimate with the WORD?
1.      Macroscopic Reading – This is rapid reading through the Bible in order to get a bird’s eye view. If you three chapters each day you can go through the whole Bible in one year.
2.      Microscopic Reading – This involves detailed study. Set aside time maybe once a week to study a book of the bible in depth. Makes notes and ask the Holy Spirit reveal things to you from the word.
3.      Meditation – the only antidote to a destructive imagination is meditating on the Word. Meditation is when we also allow our imagination to be engaged.
4.      Memorization – Ps119:9 how can a young person stay on the path of purity? 
   By living according to your word. 119 :11 – I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Memorise 1 verse each week and you will have learned 52 verses in a year. Use idle time for scripture memorization e.g.: waiting for a bus or train, during your bus /train ride etc.

Make a Plan:
Macroscopic – how many chapters a day?
Microscopic – How much time a day or week?
Meditation : Should be a part of your macro reading.
Memorization – How many verses a year?

To end I quote : C. H Spurgeon “The Bible is a harbor where I can drop down my anchor, feeling certain that it will hold.  Here is a place where I can find sure footing; and, by the grace of God, from this confidence I shall never be moved.” 

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