I've been in the habit lately of writing out my FCA lessons as a way to prep and get myself ready to present a coherent lesson that kids at all walks in their faith can understand. Tomorrow it's my turn to present a lesson. Our pastor did a sermon today on honoring the Word of God, and a few verses he referenced really stuck out to me. So here's what I've got so far:
If you want to excel at basketball, football, golf, volleyball, etc; if you want to learn all you can about the sport, who would you go to? I want to learn more about long distance running, so I'm reading Hal Higdon's book. Higdon (now 80) has run 111 marathons (as of 2006) winning four of them and earning several age-group firsts; he has written for Runner's World magazine longer than any other writer and has written a list of books too long to remember (Hal Higdon). The guy's a freaking machine and a running guru.
When we want to do the best we can at an activity, one of the things we do is go to the source or a master of the source to learn from. The same principles apply for being a follower of Christ. If we believe that God is who He says He is (created the entire universe and sent His only son as an atonement for our sins)--then we should want to honor Him and learn from Him. And we can learn about how best to honor Him by going straight to the source: the Bible.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, "All Scripture is breathed by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work."
The first part of these verses makes an incredible statement about the word of God: that it's breathed by him, it's directly from Him written by a variety of people throughout the years. The Bible is our source for learning how best to honor and follow God. Pastors, other believers, and Christian writers are all helpful people, but if we really want to know how to live for Him, then we should read the Bible. Not only is it breathed by God, it shows us what to do and what not to do. The Bible corrects us. Now, we don't always like to be corrected. Being told we're wrong pretty much sucks...but without this, we don't grow. We need to be corrected in order to succeed or be all we're made to be.
A regular habit of reading the Bible is life-changing; you kind of have to try it out for yourself to know what I mean. Just as taking golf lessons from Tiger Woods would take my incredibly poor golf skills to a higher level, taking lessons from God by reading His word will take my walk with Him to a higher level. So...if you're not in a regular habit of reading the Bible, I encourage you to find time to do so. When I first became a believer, I started with the book of Romans based on advice from a campus ministry leader. Start small--try reading a few verses three times a day. Then build up to a chapter a day. It doesn't really matter where you start; God will use whatever you're reading to teach you. Like practicing or training for any athletic event, reading the Bible won't always be pleasant. Sometimes you'll hit dry spells, but persevering and making a habit out of reading the Bible will revolutionize your life and take your faith to a newer level.