Tori and I were just watching a television show where the arch nemesis comes back a season later with his act cleaned up, and the only noticeable change is he quotes a catchy scripture and has a cross on his wall.
The word Christian means "Little-Christ" or "Christ-Like." Christianity is the life-long pursuit of the character of the Son of God. It's the unending search for a deeper relationship with the Father. And it's the living out of the kingdom of heaven with the Holy Spirit's power.
And just as God is real, there is a real devil. No matter what popular opinion is, there's a hungry lion that is seeking people to devour. But, he has been defeated by the power of Christ's death and resurrection and we're called to live that out by waging spiritual warfare against his schemes. We've been given a myriad of defensive equipment to ward off his attacks:
- Belt of Truth
- Breastplate of Righteousness
- Shoes of Readiness given by the Gospel of Peace
- Shield of Faith
- Helmet of Salvation
But we've only been given one weapon to go on the offensive with.
- The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God
We can't even do battle with out own words. It's only the Word of God that makes any difference or takes any ground.
The Word of God was what created the world. God spoke, and it happened. And in the beginning of John, Jesus is described as the Word. Him who was with God and was God.
God's word is the cornerstone on which everything we know rests. If we fail to build our lives on this rock, everything will crumble.
So it's vital (that means necessary for life) (meaning you're going to be spiritually dead without it) that you not only read your Bible, but live off of it. Ingest it. Eat it. Metabolize it. Chew it.
Jesus said that man does not live on bread alone but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. God's Word is be-all and end-all in Christianity. If you're trying to seek God without looking in the pages of the Bible every single day, you're looking in the wrong places, and you'll find the wrong gods.
How do you get to know someone better? You find out about a different part of their life! If you only know them as a work friend, and you don't ask them about their life at home, your relationship will never take the next step.
Start reading about who God is as He relates to different people. Take a look as this list. It shows how Jesus is revealed in every book of the Bible.
God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but that doesn't mean that we can know all there is to know about him in one sitting, or one year, or one lifetime.
And so how do you seek God in His Word? Where do you start?
TIP #1: Begin to cultivate a love of God's Word. Read Psalms 119 and hear what he had to say about the word of God. Spend every day reading God's word. Put it up on your doorframe and facebook page. But more importantly put it deep inside you heart. That means memorize it.
TIP #2: Simultaneous reading. I used to start the "Read-the-Bible-in-one-year" plans and I would get to about half the old testament and quit because it wore me down. I was laboriously reading all of the long stories without finding how it applied to my life or seeing how Christ fulfilled that covenant.
Then I picked up a book that suggested this strategy: read a little bit out of each major section each day. So now I split my Bible into 4 sections. Psalms/Proverbs, the rest of the Old Testament, Matthew/Mark/Luke/John, the rest of the New Testament. What this allows me to do is still read the same amount each day, but not get stressed out in the laws of Leviticus for three weeks.
TIP #3: Talk about what you read. Make it less of a hobby and more of a source of life. Every time I find out something cool in a new video game or I get told a funny story by a friend, I pass it on to others. We should be doing that all the time with the Word of God! Otherwise, we aren't putting enough weight on the things the Bible says.
TIP #4: Resolve. Decide in your heart that you're going to spend time in God's Word. The true test of whether or not you're been set on fire for God is this: Can you do it when it gets boring? Can you do it when it's "hard to find anything that means anything to you?" Can you seek God when it means He'll ask for all of your luxury, all your leisure, and all your recreation?
TIP #5: Obey. This is more of a tip for after you've spent time reading, but it really shouldn't be left out. Don't just be a hearer of the Word, but be a doer. If you read in Proverbs that a trustworthy man keeps a secret, then you had better not go around gossipping to all of your friends. If you find out that Jesus wasn't ok with living a pious, prideful life then you had better not serve on your worship team with one ounce of self-righteousness or pride.
Comment below on any other tips you have. Also, what do you do in your personal scripture reading? And how are you doing with memorization and with talking about God's Word with your friends?