Monday, July 1, 2013

What Are Your Stats?

Following a path is the only way to reach our
destination and the Bible is our navigational
 A poll done by Lifeway Research in March of 2012 showed that, on average, the respondents owned 3.6 Bibles.  Of the 2,000 interviewed in the poll, all of them read the Bible at least once a month.  Only a third of those interviewed read the Bible daily.  In a further breakdown of those who regularly read God's Word, 85 percent are more likely to attend worship services, 72 percent read religious books, 53 percent attend Sunday School or Christian education classes, 51 percent attend small groups, and 47 percent are volunteer leaders (Poll:  Americans Own Many Bibles but Rarely Read Them, ).
     These statistics point out the sad fact that we are overlooking one of the greatest resources we have been given for life and godliness.  The Bible is a treasure trove of wisdom, a balm for a hurting heart, peace in the midst of chaos, a light for our path, and most importantly the revelation of God's character and plan for us.
     In Psalm 119: 97-104, the writer gives us reasons to love the Word of God:  "Oh how I love your law!  It is my meditation all the day.  Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.  I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.  I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.  I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.  I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me.  How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way."  When we read and then meditate on God's Word, it works change in our thought process.  We begin to think God's thoughts after Him.  Our perspective on living is so limited because we are finite creatures.  Would it not seem reasonable for us to spend time exploring the infinite riches of God's mind?
     Quite often, I hear people say that they wish they could see God face to face or really know what He wants for their life.  The answer is to look into His Word and implant it in our heart.  As the Psalmist indicated, we will be kept from evil ways when we know God's Laws.  We will not be so easily deceived by false teaching and worldly secular thinking.  Right now, our culture is struggling for clear answers to many of life's problems.  If we want to reach people with the Good News of God's salvation, we need to know the Book upon which our faith is based.  Reading it once in a while will not do the trick any more than eating once a month will keep us alive.
     Unfortunately, according to the research, people have lots of Bibles available to them but they are spiritually starving to death and it shows!  Church attendance has declined, many folks cannot tell you how many books are even in the Bible, and few can explain their faith if asked.  This is not something a Pastor has control over.  This is our responsibility to set aside the time to read the Bible daily.
     Family Bible study is vitally important to building strong homes, marriages, relationships and helping our children grow up knowing God's precepts.  God has graciously given us His Word that we might know Him.  Let us take the time to daily read the Word.  It is life changing and sweeter than honey.  As the Psalmist reminds us in 119:1:  "Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord!"  May we read and meditate on the Bible each day along with our children that we may walk according to God's Word.  Selah!

How do you find time for Bible study each day?  I welcome your thoughts.

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