8/09/2014

Read the Bible Daily (8/9/14): Preaching Notes

"Oh, how I love your instructions (law)! I think about them all day long" (Ps 119:97, NLT). "Instead, his delight is in the Lord's instruction (law), and he meditates on it day and night" (Ps 1:2, HSCB). "This book of instruction (law) must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite (meditate on) it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do" (Josh 1:8, HSCB).

Theme: We are what we think about. What do you think about? [C is for Contemplation, or DD for Daily Devotion or Daily Delight, or M is for Meditation/or Mind, or R is for Reflection, or S for Silence and Solitude, or T is for Think.]

1 in 5 Christians (19%) read their Bibles [2012 Lifeway survey]. 1 in 4 Christians (26%) read their Bibles regularly (4x/wk or more), [2013 American Bible Society poll]. The majority (57%) read their Bibles 4x/yr or less. Why so infrequently? Doug Birdsall, president of ABS, says, "I see the problem as analogous to obesity in America. We have an awful lot of people who realize they're overweight, but they don't follow a diet. People realize the Bible has values that would help us in our spiritual health, but they just don't read it."
3 questions:
  1. Are you living your life right?
  2. Are you loving your family/others right?
  3. Are we doing church right.
I. The Importance of the Mind


A man is what he thinks about all day long. We (You) are what we (you) think about all day long. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

But 83% of Americans do not spend any part of their day just thinking. "2% of the people think; 3% of the people think they think; and 95% of the people would rather die than think." George Bernard Shaw. Emotion (anger, loneliness, jealousy, woundedness, fear, worry, anxiety, etc) may hinder productive thinking.
  • "Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny." Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • "I think, therefore, I am." Rene Descartes.
  • "All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become."  Buddha.
  • "Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think." Benjamin Disraeli.
  • "You are not what you think you are, but what you think, you are!"
  • "Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."  Phil 4:8, NLT.
  • "Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things."  2 Tim 2:7, NLT.
  • "Love God...with all your mind."  Mk 12:30.
 II. What To Do with the Mind Daily

  1. Know why you do what you do.
  2. Read the Bible. (Read it, recite it, think, pray, reflect, contemplate, meditate what it says, share and teach it.)
  3. Read books.
  4. Have dialogue and engagement.
  5. Live in community [& solitude].
  6. Enjoy life to the full.
1. Paul's singular purpose of life - Ac 20:24; 1 Cor 15:3-4; Phil 3:10; Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 15:10; Eph 3:8; 1 Tim 1:15.

2. Purpose of reading the Bible is to live in the presence of God. Not to read the Bible legalistically, superstitiously or out of guilt.

(3) (4) "Reading makes a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man." Francis Bacon (English philosopher).

Practical Application/Suggestions: Grow/increase in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man (Lk 2:52).

  1. Pray & think first about your day when you wake up.
  2. Do something else before drinking coffee.
  3. Read your Bible and pray before checking your email.
  4. Think often about your life goal.
  5. Develop a single master passion for your life.
  6. Plan/schedule your Bible reading and reading books.
  7. Remember the grace of Jesus throughout the day.
  8. Practice the presence of God throughout the day.
  9. Share and engage with one another often.
  10. Teach the Bible to someone else.
Read the sermon online. What I write is for reading. What I preach is for listening. I welcome critiques and comments.