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Quit reading the Bible. You’re smart enough. [Time Out]

Topic / Time Out

Time Out quiet times for the youth worker's soul

Time Out: Weekly quiet times for the youth worker’s soul.
by Adam Wormann

I think one of the biggest problems we have as Christians is that we know the Bible too well. Well, I guess you really can’t know the Bible too well, but what we do is study it to know it. Not necessarily to know God, but to know what the Bible says. I know that this happens all too often in the tradition I came from. We treat the Bible more as an end than as a means. We miss the point.

Every night before my kids go to bed, I read a passage from the Bible with them and discuss it. (See, I’m really not against reading the Bible). We changed it up a little bit tonight, though. A few minutes before bed, my oldest son (6 years old) went downstairs and did something for my wife that was totally unprompted, caring, thoughtful, and selfless. It was a beautiful thing to see. I told him that we weren’t going to pick up with where we left off last night, that we were going to do something different. We went on to talk about what James says about looking in a mirror.

Read James 1.

Often, our devotions are based almost exclusively around reading, with maybe a little prayer at the end. How much time do we really spend in reflection? Is it that we really need to know more, or that we need to reflect more on what we do and what we need to change? I’ve met very few Christians, especially those involved specifically in ministry, that are clueless about what the Bible says. That’s not our struggle. Our struggle is making it actionable. Our struggle is doing what it says.

Reflect

  • What is it in your life that you know from Scripture that needs to be applied?
  • Be honest, what are you not doing right now? How are you going to change that?

Posted on April 16, 2012

  • pastorE

    Really don’t think I agree with the logic here. I don’t think a problem is that we know the Bible well enough. I think that we think we know the Bible well enough. Too many churches and youth groups talk about the gospel, but not many actually preach the gospel. I would agree that we should get out and do more but no one has ever been saved because someone raked their yard or washed their car. This is a means. The end is the Word of God. Romans 1:16 says that the gospel is the power of God into salvation. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing of the word of Christ. 1 Peter 1:23-25 shows that we are born of God converted by hearing the Word of God. Of course Ephesians 2:8-9 as well as 2 Timothy 2:15 drastically goes against the flow of the do more study less mantra. As ministers, we forget sometimes and underestimate the power of the Gospel. It is a dangerous thing when the Gospel no longer propels us to worship in obedience, but we do so in its absence. My boys have done good and bad things through the years and regardless of what they’ve done, we always relate it back to Scripture. The Bible is God’s authoritative word. He gave us a mission. He gave us the power of the Holy Spirit. And He gave us the power of His words. I can see where some, as you said, study just like the Bible was an instruction manual on what to and not to do. For me, it is His living breathing Word that is loaded with knowledge of Him and us that we can know Him and us better propelling us into the world with death defying obedience to Him. Matthew 28 has an imperative that isn’t to go, or teach, or baptize. Our mission is to make disciples. This occurs as we go and we are to teach all things that have been commanded to us. We are stepping into a dangerous world where the Gospel is underestimated and human effort is exalted. As such, there is no need for God to even exist.

    • dave

      i don’ t think the author is underestimating God or exalting human effort. he is teaching his children to obey God’s commands, something that is also part of Matthew 28. I think his point is summed up in James 1:22 “Do what it says”, which after all, is God’s own words.

      • pastorE

        But it comes across as saying, by title and action, that our actions and what we do supersedes the gospel since we know it all too well. I would agree that faith without works is dead. James in James 1 doesn’t say, “do this more than that.” He puts up hearing the Word above actions in James 1:19 when he says to be quick or eager to hear (taking in), but slow to speak and slow to anger(actions). The Gospel takes precedence here. He even goes on to say that when we look into the perfect law, or Bible, and will not be a person who reads and forgets, as Adam mentions is a problem, but will be driven to act as a result of the reflection of the Gospel in our lives(James 1:24-25). Over and over even James points to the importance of the Gospel over actions, but not without them. The hearer hears and forgets, the doer hears first, acts second, and because of his hearing and doing is as David in Psalm 119:11 and has His Word now written on His heart.

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