Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Growing Strong - In the Word


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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church by Colin D Cruz on 15th Jan 2012.


In last week’s message we lay the foundation of the grace of God in our lives. We saw how we were like Mephiboseth crippled and at the mercy of the King. In the same we were crippled by sin and in need of mercy. King David wanted to show kindness to anyone from Jonathan’s household and that was the only qualification needed. God said because of Jesus He wants to bless us. It’s totally unearned and undeserved. Mephiboseth was fearful.He thought that the king would kill him. But David restores him and makes him sit at his table. 

God picked us up from our miserable state and gives us a place next to Christ . We are seated in the heavenly place with Christ. We have been adopted into God’s family. And now we have to live in the goodness of that. God is committed to you. He is committed to making you  like Jesus.  
When they asked Michelangelo how he made his statue of David he is reported to have said, "It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn't look like David." In the same way , we are a work in progress and everything that is not Christ is being chipped away from our lives.
Today I want to talk about another foundation :feeding on God and His word.
TEXT:1Peter 2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.
We need God’s word. It is a necessity. You will die spiritually and your life will be of no consequence.
Deut 8:3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. God said this in the context of feeding the Isrealites manna everyday. Yet he reminds them that food alone will not satisfy. The things of this world will not satisfy. You may have the best spouse, kids but they will not satisfy. Only He can satisfy you. We have a God shaped vacuum that only He can fill. We are made by god, like God, for God.
1Cor 1:9 - God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
 How do we cultivate that relationship? Through the Word of God. Through the scriptures you will come to know what God is like.Jesus is the most perfect being and HE wants friendship with us. But the irony is that we don’t want to spend time with him. We may grow physically, intellectually etc but to grow spiritually we have to feed o the Word of God. Unless we feed on it we will remain infants spiritually.
How do you feed on the Word of God?
1 You need certain convictions- First you must believe that the Bible is God breathed. 2Tim3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,. These words are not ordinary – they come from the mind and heart of God. If we don’t believe this we won’t trust it. It not only God breathed but TRUE. Today many people claim to know the truth. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life”. So not only is the bible truth but it is the standard of truth. It is the Plumb line against which everything is measured.
 The bible instructs in 2Tim2:15 do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Scriptures are written for each one of us to understand and not just for the scholars. Mark Twain once said “It’s not the things about the Bible that I don’t understand that bother me, it the things I do”. The Bible is shallow enough for a baby to wade in and for an elephant to drown in.
The Bible is useful It instructs us on life. How to bring up children, how to love your wife, work related issues. Did you know that you will be rewarded in heaven for how you work in your office?
The bible has effect- The word of God is powerful. Heb4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Rom 10:17. 1Pet 1:23, 1Pet2:2, Jn17;17.
The Bible has great power Ps19:7. The law of the Lord is perfect reviving the soul. If you are down read the Psalms- it will lift your spirits. Ps 1 tells you that you will be like a tree planted by streams of water. Josh 1:8 tells you that by abiding in the Word you will be prosperous. God’s intention is to nourish and strengthen you. We have to make the effort to feed ourselves.
2. What is the posture we need to adopt?
We are not here to judge the word of God. The Word of God is above us. You are right or wrong. We will be judged by it. We are to place ourselves under the authority of scripture. Ps 139:23-24 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me,   and lead me in the way everlasting.
Heb4:12. The word of God judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. When we read the word we should read it as spoken to you. Don’t apply it to others but apply it to yourself.
 Thomas Watson a Puritan preacher said “Learn to apply Scripture. Take every word as spoken to yourselves. When the Word thunders against sin, think thus: “God means my sins.” When it emphasizes any duty, “God intends me in this.” Many put off Scripture for themselves, as if it only concerned those who lived in the time when it was written; but if you intend to profit by the Word, bring it home to yourselves: a medicine will do no good, unless it is applied.”
James says do not be deceived – if you only hear the word but do not do it you deceive yourself.
3. How do you feed on the Word?
God wants us to have a daily time in the Word. Here is one way. It’s not the only way to do it – some way is better than no way!
First – It’s good to spend time with the Lord at the beginning of your day.
A.  Briefly pray for God’s help to understand His word unless the Holy spirit opens your understanding you will understand  nothing. Ex33:13, Eph3:16-19. Pray our aloud – it helps you stay un-distracted. Keep your diary next to you to write and put away distracting thoughts and to do lists that keep popping into your head when you are praying.
B- Read in an unhurried way and in a systematic way. Use a daily devotional that twill help you. Parents get one for your children- there are plenty good ones available online. For mediation you need time in an unhurried way.  Don’t start your devotions 10 minutes before you have to leave for work.
Seek consistency in time and place. Benefit from habit – it helps.
C- Have a method. George Muller said that he struggled to pray for 10 years. The he discovered that if he read the word first he got into the groove and it helped to kick start his prayer. Intersperse scripture with prayer.
Journalize – Invest in a note book where you can record what and how much you read. It helps you keep a tack. Meditate – It’s like sucking on a sweet and having the juices flow.
Part of meditation is prayer.
Three things to include in your meditation 1. Family – if you don’t pray for them who will? 2. Your day at work etc. 3. Some aspect of Church – if you don’t pray for your church who will?
If you do this you will grow spiritually. Start with 15 minutes and then you can increase it. Write 2 things in your journal. One sentence beginning with God and the other beginning with, I
As you do this day by day, week by week and month by month you will grow. You will have victory over sin and temptation. We have one life to life – lets live it will because one day we will die and have to face Jesus.
 Colin D Cruz  
Jan 2012