Thursday, March 01, 2007

QYST - Day 04 - Read Your Bible Daily

“My eyes anticipate the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.” PSALM 119:148
This is another little understood principle. If you’re interested in this “deeper” experience with God, then read today’s devotion carefully and see if you meet the criteria for the special blessing God outlines in Psalm 1.

Many years ago, I had a friend named Stan who had a dog named “Circles.” It was so named because it would walk forward two or three steps, and then do a complete circle. Then it would take another two or three steps forward, then another complete circle (it wasn’t a trick, it was just the way the dog got around). As a puppy, it had been locked in a small shed for great lengths of time. It went around in circles seeking a way out, and when it came out, it couldn’t stop.

Many Christians are just like “Circles.” The continue to tread in circles. Each week, they go from the pew to alter to pew to the altar, then back to the pew… wearing out both the pastor and the carpet. If you are like Stan’s dog, pay close attention because I am going to share the biblical key to get you out of the woodshed and onto the straight and narrow path where you are supposed to be walking. Here is the key:
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and in His Law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3).
If we fulfill the stated requirements, the Bible promises we will stand tall and strong, like a tree planted by rivers of water. Our roots will grow deep, and we will produce fruit in season—love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faith, meekness, and temperance. Also, whatever we do will prosper—our vocation, our marriage, our evangelistic endeavors.

I have saved myself hours in counseling time, by simply asking the problem laden, defeated, joyless, circular professors of faith one question. This is the question: “Do you read God’s Word every day, without fail?” The usual answer is “sometimes” or “sort of” or “most days.” The truth is they are not continuing in the Word of Christ, they don’t know the truth, and they are not free. They are not meditating on the Word “day and night,” so they are therefore not like a tree planted by water. Their roots are shallow. When the winds of adversity blow, they topple over and need to seek the pastor to prop them up. Neither does their fruit remain. They lose their peace and joy and begin to wither at the first sign of adversity. Whatever they do, does not prosper.

So, for your own sake and for the sake of those around you who are still in their sins, discipline yourself daily to read and meditate on the Word. Put your Bible before your belly. Say to yourself, “No Bible, no breakfast. No read, no feed.” The biblical priority is to put your spirit before your body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Jesus said that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” When Peter wrote his epistle and said, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby,” he wasn’t particularly writing to babes in Christ. Newborn babies live to drink, because they drink to live. They have an inbuilt instinct to scream for dear life if they don’t drink. We are commanded to do the same. Job summed up the necessity for feeding on the Word with, “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12).

Today's devotion was excerpted from How to Win Souls and Influence People, chapter 15, beginning on page 182.

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