Temple Baptist Church - 1-2-2022
A. As the New Year begins, I want to look at the important role that God’s Word will have in your life this year. As most churches, we encourage our people to read through the Bible at least once a year. This is not an insurmountable task, as some would suppose.
B. For the average reader, it will take seventy-two hours to read the Old Testament and eighteen hours for the New Testament. Ninety hours out of 8,760 hours that the Lord has given us in a year doesn’t seem like too much. A tithe of our time would be 876 hours.
C. The Bible is given to us in two basic ways: principles and facts.
1. In the story of David and Goliath, there are fifty or sixty facts. In the first exposure to the story, one will remember several of the facts. After reading it several times, hearing a Sunday School teacher present it, and maybe a sermon preached on it, or maybe teaching it ourselves, we will know most of the facts from memory.
2. Then there is a basic principle in the account. A little nobody, with not much to offer, with God’s help and blessing can handle a big giant situation or problem in his or her life. Every time we are exposed to the story, that principle will be more deeply imbedded in our outlook. When we come to problem times in our lives, we will think about David’s impossible situation and the great victory, and we will take courage and face our problem and get victory. We become spiritual by becoming scriptural. The more scriptural we are the more spiritual we will be.
D. The Bible is filled with history, geography, science, engineering, music, philosophy, poetry, religion, drama, politics, struggle, suffering, prophesy, advice, warnings, direction, helps, encouragement, examples, and covers every conceivable area of human knowledge and experience.
E. The Bible is a masterpiece on social problems, on economic issues, domestic settings, foreign relations, emotional disorder, mental disturbance, physical health, financial management, and spiritual victory.
F. The Bible has the answer to the crime problem the divorce tragedy, the moral slide, the evolution debate, the liberal drift, the pornography blight, the aids epidemic, the abortion question, the teen delinquent problem, the illegitimate birth situation, the world energy problem, the world hunger problem, the birth defect burden, the pollution fear, the alcohol plague, the drug disaster, and the terror threat.
G. The Bible also answers questions such as: Where do I find out about heaven, and about hell? Where can I learn how to be saved? What will the millennium be like? How will the world come to an end? The Bible is the only reliable source of insight on these and many other subjects.
H. One man wrote a song about the Bible and one of the verses goes like this:
How do we find out what is right from wrong?
How get the power to make us strong?
How grows our faith from a tiny seed?
Open the Bible and read.
J. The Bible is our instruction book for living. The prophet Amos wrote, “For they know not to do right sayeth the Lord.” (Amos 3:10a) He did not say they did not want to do right, or that they did not intend to do right. He said they did not know what was right, and because of it, it cost them dearly. Their houses were spoiled. An adversary stole all the integrity, character, decency, and morals. They were like a lamb that had been mangled by a lion. All that was left was two legs, and a piece of an ear.
K. The Bible tells us what is right and what is wrong. It is not what I think is right, or the way I feel about it, or what some learned theologian says is right, but what the Bible says about it. The Bible tells us that God is right, and the Bible is right. I must get into the Bible and find out what is right so I too will be right. If I do this I will be able to think right, then I will do right, do right in a right way, and do right at the right time, do right for the right reason, and do right with enthusiasm. I must do right in a right way lest I make right wrong.
What will it do for me if I read my Bible through this year?
1. IT WILL RESULT IN PROSPERITY. Prosperity is promised over and over again in the Bible to those who understand and obey the teachings set forth therein. However, the promised prosperity covers a lot more ground than money and finances. Success and prosperity will come in the spiritual, the physical, the social, emotional, the mental, domestic, as well as the financial area of life.
Luke 24:27, 32 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. . . . . . .And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (There is a hint of at least three areas of prosperity in this one verse. He touches on the financial, the physical, and the spiritual. The Lord wants His children to prosper.)
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Deuteronomy 29:9 Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.
1 Kings 2:3 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself:
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
Psalms 1:2, 3 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
1 Timothy 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
2. IT WILL DEVELOP AND BUILD FAITH. Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. D. L. Moody said, “For years I prayed for faith and thought that someday faith would come down and strike me like lightening, but faith did not seem to come, then one day I read Romans 10:17.” (Many in this day are basing their faith on experience. It is not safe to build one’s faith on feeling or something that happened to us. The devil is very subtle and deceptive, and has led away a multitude in this way.)
a. First, It is the avenue through which we are saved. Ephesians 2:8, 9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
b. Second, when faith is developed it will please God. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
c. Third, It will quench the fiery darts of the wicked. Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
d. Fourth, It is the condition of answered prayer. Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
3. BIBLE READING WILL GIVE VICTORY OVER SIN. David said, in Psalm 119:11, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against thee.” (Someone once wrote, “This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book.”)
a. Reading the account of Achan will help one to think about the seriousness of stealing and deception.
b. Reading the account of David’s act of adultery and murder with the awful fourfold judgment of God upon him and his family will help one to think about the consequences of such sin.
c. Reading the account of Ananias and Sapphira will help one see the seriousness of lying about the things of God.
d. Reading the account of Absalom and the resulting heartache and tragic end surely will keep a person from rebelling against authority.
e. The terrible outcome of Lot’s turn toward Sodom resulting in the awful exposure to wickedness, the loss of his wife, and the resulting incest with his own daughters, should keep anyone from turning away to the world.
f. We are told that the things that happened to the people in the Old Testament times were recorded and shared with us for our examples. 1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition.
4. IT WILL GIVE PEACE. Peace comes in three stages.
a. First, there is peace with God. Isaiah stated, in Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
b. Second, there in peace of God. This results from peace with God. In Philippians 4:6, Paul said, “ and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
c. And third, there is peace with others and situations and circumstances around us. Peace with my neighbor, peace where I work, and peace where I live depends on the first two. David wrote, in Psalms119:165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. (The word nothing covers a lot of area.)
Isaiah 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
Isaiah 48:18 O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:”
5. IT WILL ASSIST YOU IN GETTING PRAYERS ANSWERED.
a. Jesus taught in John 15:7, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
b. John wrote in 1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.
1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
c. Doubt is the major enemy of answered prayer and reading the word of God expels doubt. Romans 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
6. IT WILL BRING GREAT JOY.
a. Jeremiah the prophet of old cried out, in Jeremiah 15:16, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.”
b. Jesus Himself said, in John 15:11, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
c. We read in 1 John 1:4, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full”
d. In all of these verses it is clear that joy comes from hearing the word of the Lord.
7. IT WILL MOTIVATE US TO SERVICE.
a. The Spirit of the Lord uses the word of the Lord to build a fire in our heart. Jeremiah 20:9 But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.