Jul 15, 2006

Read Your Bible Pray Go To Church

An article by Todd Friel (host of Way of the Master)

I know it's long...but it's worth the read!

Read your bible, Pray, go to church:

Go to Church
The Bible says we should "not forsake the assembling of the saints". In
English that means, "Go to Church". (See, your mother did know her
Bible). The Bible says there is only one reason to assemble together.
We can worship in our cars, we can pray in our closets, but we can
only encourage one another when we come together.

If you are not attending a church regularly, you are missing out on
something big…encouragement. The Bible doesn’t suggest we do it,
the Bible TELLS us to do it. It is good for you and you are good for
others.

If that doesn’t inspire you, consider I John 1:7, "If we are living in the
light of God’s presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with
each other." In other words, if you say you are a believer, you like to
have fellowship with one another. If you don’t like going to church
because you have a hard time being around "those Christians", they
don’t have a problem, YOU have a problem.

According to I John 1:7, a real Christian enjoys fellowship with other
Christians. More than that, I John 3:14 say, "If we love our Christian
brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to
eternal life." If you are truly a believer, you LOVE other Christians.

Let’s not mess around here, those verses are serious. If you prefer to
not be around other Christians, YOU have a spiritual problem. It is not
they who have an attitude that needs to change, you do.

Get to church. Let the Holy Spirit help you love other Christians. Do
not forsake the assembling of the saints.

Read Your Bible and Say Your Prayers
Imagine this: a man is on a business trip that takes him away from
home for six months. He is living in the same hotel room the entire
time. Suppose his wife called everyday and he never returned her
calls. Additionally, she wrote him letters that he not only didn't read,
he didn't even open them.

Now, let me ask you a question. Do you think that man loves his wife?
If you said "yes", that would be the wrong answer. If that man truly
loved his wife, he would want to talk to her and he would want to read
what she had to say, even if he found the letters to be a challenge to
go through. If he loved his wife, he would want to talk to her and he
would want to know her thoughts.

His actions speak louder than his words. He might say he loves his
wife, but his actions prove he doesn't. Let me ask you another
question. Are you reading the letters God has sent to you? Are you
opening up your Bible every day and burying His words in your heart?

No? Then why do you think you find yourself wandering away from
God too often? Why do you think you are not as close to God as you
want to be? The answer is simple; you are not reading your Bible
enough.

John 8:31, 32 say, "If you continue in my word, then are you my
disciples indeed, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you
free." You have to continue in His word. George Barna recently
discovered that less than 50% of Christians can name six of the Ten
Commandments. What's up with that? How can you keep the
commandments when you don't even know them?

Do you esteem God's word higher than food? Do you think that God's
word is more valuable than a meal? Do you believe that you would be
better off spending time reading His word than eating food?

Then let these two clich├ęs haunt your conscience. NO BIBLE.NO
BREAKFAST. NO READ.NO FEED. If you find yourself eating breakfast
before you read His word, you would do better to put down your spoon
and dig into His teachings. If you truly believe that God's truths will
feed you better than an Ego, ditch the food and feed your soul.

"I don't get it," you complain. "I just don't understand what it is
saying". I understand. There might be three reasons for that.

1. Proverbs says that God gives wisdom and understanding to those
who fear him. "Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them
like you would for lost money or hidden treasure. Then you will
understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain
knowledge of God." (Proverbs 2:3-5) God gives wisdom to those who
seek and fear Him. Is that your problem?

1.. 2. Brace yourself for this one. I Cor. 2:14 says, "people who aren't
Christians can't understand these truths from God's Spirit." God says
that the veil of not understanding can be removed only by believing in
Christ. You cannot understand the depths of God's word until you are a
believer, period. Sorry to ask, but, are you sure you are a believer?

2... 3... You haven't dusted off your Bible because the last time you
did, you couldn't get passed the "thus." Have I got good news for you?
If you struggle to read the Bible because you spend half of your time
saying, "What does that mean"? Then you have to go to your favorite
Bible book store (I'm sure that is Northwestern Book Store. right?) and
get a New Living Translation Study Bible. You WILL understand
everything you read. The translation is accurate and extremely
readable.

Here is a comparison between the King James Version and the New
Living Translation.

KING JAMES VERSION Ephesians 2:8-9. By grace are you saved
through faith, and that not of yourselves? It is the gift of God, not of
works lest any man should boast.

NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
Ephesians 2:8-9. God saved you by his
special favor when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is
a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have
done, so none of us can boast about it.
Furthermore, if you read a verse whose meaning you don't
understand, there are explanations on every page to all those tricky
little passages.

Before you start to read your Bible, ask God to teach you something.
Ask Him to have His Holy Spirit reveal what He would have you learn.
Then, when you read your Bible, do not be tempted to see how fast
you can plow through it. Instead, linger as long as you can on each
verse asking these four questions:

1... What does it say?
2... What does it mean?
3... What does if say to me?
4... What does it say about Jesus?

Do not wait, go now and get a New Living Translation and dig in. Start
reading it today. It is the word of life.


Prayer
Let's get back to our little story. Remember the guy who never called
his wife? When was the last time you called God? When you love
someone, you want to talk to that person. If you don't desire talking to
God, you obviously don't love Him. Ouch, huh?

Do you think there is more value in praying or watching "Friends"? Do
you think God is more pleased if you pray or tune into "60 Minutes"? Is
it better for you to talk to God or watch "David Letterman?"

Prove you love God. Talk to Him, turn off that stupid TV and get on
your knees. Put your faith where your mouth is.


The End

3 comments:

Allforlove said...

I love this :) Thanks for putting it up!

allforlove

Kathie said...

I didn't go this weekend - my husband was preparing for a 6 hour endurance ride for today otherwise we could have gone last night as we often do. And I could have gone alone this morning (Sunday) but I was slow in getting showered and ready. I did, however, decide to put on the Christian channel - we've only just recently got it, and it was good to listen to different sermons, hear the songs and sing along with them, and listen to speakers I'd only heard about. It's not fellowship though and I'll be back at church next week.

Samantha said...

I love going to church. It's what I wait for all week long.