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January 20, 2022 7:00 pm
Dr. Jon Daulton continues the series entitled “Walking with God” with a message titled, “Satisfying Bible Intake,” from Psalm 34:8.
Welcome to The Daily Platform, our program features sermons from chapel services at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Every day students are blessed by the preaching and teaching of the Bible from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a series called walking with God. Today's message will be preached by Rev. John Dalton, who is director of student life at Bob Jones University BJ Pres. Steve Pettit will introduce him well. It was a good day at Bob Jones University 127 years ago Mr. John Dalton came to serve here in this ministry and for 27 years in varying roles that God is giving him. He has served the student body. Currently, he is the director of student life and I don't know anyone more committed to the Scripture and the student body.
The Mr. Dalton and so, as we are working this week to the idea of walking with God and seeking the Lord in seeking his word. I wanted John to come and share with you this morning. So would you please open your heart, as he comes to preach God's word. Let's give Mr. Dalton a warm welcome this morning. Let's take your Bibles and go to Psalms chapter 34 Psalm 34 verse eight will be our theme verse. As we get into our message today. You're familiar with that verse which says O taste and see that the Lord is good and when you've done that you'll experience the blessing that comes from those who trust in him.
Our theme this week is is walking with God and yesterday we were stirred. I think sincerely motivated to behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. In a way that were changed into that that same image. The image of Christ, and I trust that you are motivated to make that your lifelong objective. I hope chapel gives you the kinds of things that we received yesterday that you can take and think and meditate on. I like to descend today into a little bit of the practical implications of that kind of an objective how do we get to the point that were actually successful in beholding the glory of God and being changed into his image. We get the impression that that has something to do with Bible intake something to do with God's word, taking up a regular habitual consistent dwelling in our own hearts so we know that how do these verses strike you Job 23 neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips. I have a steam to God's words more than my necessary food more to be desired.
Psalm 1910 are they God's words than gold day than much fine gold sweeter than honey and the honeycomb Psalm 119. How sweet are God's words and my taste day there sweeter than honey to my mouth. Jeremiah 15 God's words were found, and I did eat them and I word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart prime called by the name of the Lord God of hosts Peter to as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of God's word are so that we can grow thereby those verses strike you why think they illustrate the fact that a significant part of our success in beholding the glory of God and being changed into that same image of Christ is having this kind of satisfying Bible intake. Every day, maybe more than once a day and that that process is actually designed to be enjoyable to be delightful to be meaningful to be something you actually look forward to that. Maybe some of you read those verses and you said yes that's that's me by God's grace I really think that those verses match my experience. I I want to be the kind of person that's hungering for God's word every day and that's that's what I've experienced in God's given me grace and help in that respect, but some of you read those verses new set. No that's not me that's not my experience. Frankly, I find the Bible hard understand I find it a bit cryptic.
I find it outdated and I really can't tell you the last time I actually enjoyed reading my Bible but that maybe there's 1/3 group that says you read those verses you heard those verses and you said I know that's what it's supposed to be like. I know that but I'm afraid I that's just not my experience but I wanted to be. I think this message is perhaps at least primarily for that third group has applications for all of us but that's third group and maybe that's the largest group here today in this building. Those who read words like that in fine the desire for God's words being compared to natural bodily appetites to eat food and we say that's what I'd like but I'm just not sure that's what I experienced a simple theme is just this. Every believer can enjoy a satisfying habit of Bible intake that isn't relegated just to people who turned 50 more people that have studied the ancient languages or people that are studying theology or pastors. This is reality that every one of us as believers can actually experience a satisfying habit of taking in God's word on a regular basis and I want to entice you to that today and draw you toward that because I understand from having done it myself for many years and it's not all roses is not an easy install piece a cake and take some perspective as we try to get to the point that we realize this in her own personal experience how we get to this point. How do we get to where we actually enjoy a satisfying habit of Bible intake while number one we have to deal with some obstacles you got those two obstacles that are presented to you there. I want to just take a minute to deal with both of these, because if we don't deal with the obstacle that this isn't just about falling in love with Jesus in the Bible.
The fact is you. You've got some natural hindrances that will keep you from actually enjoying that satisfying habit of Bible intake.
So what are the obstacles in the way here to visit the two that come to my mind, first Peter two we read that verse off the slide initially but only verse one, which comes right before the verse we read in fact, the last person first Peter one says, but the word of the Lord endures forever, and this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. Wherefore, laying aside all malice and all guile hypocrisies and envies and all evil speaking's desire the sincere milk of the word. You see, you can't get into, and I can't get into a regular habit of enjoyable, satisfying meaningful Bible intake. If I am not dealing with the sin in my life.
Now you might be like me you look at verse one.
It's a boy words all the real bad stuff and I don't see a real wicked sins right. These are kind of the kinesin.
These are the ones that are subtle but softer welder just as evil are how are you dealing with sin in your life. If you're not dealing with your own personal transgressions of God's law that which requires confession and agreeing with God about your sin and and trying to do the right thing by God's grace, there really is no way there's no shortcut to get to a meaningful time with the Lord. One of those sins that are enumerated there and I can preach a message on each one, but but malice and guile, hatred, dishonesty, hypocrisy envies saying evil things about each other. Can I find myself in all five of those yeah what am I supposed to do with it what my supposed to do with those things that were laying aside is an interesting word in. Sometimes in the New Testament used literally like when Saul was was cast out of the city.
He was cast out, he was laid aside most times, though its use more in a metaphorical sense in the sense of taking off clothing. Perhaps that's filthy or dirty and throwing it aside and getting rid of it dealing decisively with what's what's your relationship towards the natural fleshly proclivities that you got in your life today. What about those strong emotions that you're feeling negative emotions towards a roommate towards apparent what about the things that you tweeted or texted about people this morning. Do you have a sense of those violated God's law and are you dealing with them. Accordingly, to the extent that you turn from sin, to the extent that I turn from my sin. To that extent I'll have a refreshing time of the war. I've been in situations before I get up in the morning. I usually get up before most people in my house, get up and it's quiet and and I'm trying to get in the word and what is God to God bring something to my mind right like you've experienced this in while the way I spoke to my wife the other night was was wrong. I can't a guy that was wrong. I shouldn't of done that or I handle one of my children are what I did here and so I got it do you do something with that and is a term for my sin. God gives me grace and restores fellowship and I'm able to enjoy the satisfying presence of the spirit, so there is certainly an important responsibility to deal with the obstacle attorney for my sin but but the second one is focus my mind. I think this is one of those tremendous hurdles that all of us face when it comes to actually having meaningful time with the Lord.
It's Trying to get some type of control what's going on in here right looking for a pretty straightforward brother and think on these things right.
True, just honest, pure, lovely, good report, praiseworthy, virtuous, right, and I think what God's doing.
There through the apostle Paul is giving us a grid. If it doesn't fit that criteria don't think about. Another words, learn to say no to something Ken Hughes in his book. This was a godly man is a Christian.
Mind demands conscious negation, a Christian mind is impossible without the discipline of refusal. Learning to say no to some things but in addition to that, we've also got this verse in first Peter chapter 1 talks about girding up the loins of your mind and that has that imagery you've heard before of the clothing garment that was warning in old ancient times were let loose garment had to be gathered up in talking about so would impede the progress of the individual who is needing to be more mobile or able to get around, gird up the loins of your mind. Strengthen yourself so that you can say no to something, read a book a few years ago by Nicholas Carr called the shallows how the Internet is changing the way we think. Read and remember, I was encouraged right because when I finished, I realized okay now when my wife think some going senile I can actually say it's not too much YouTube that's the excuse I can give. But the book catalogs the way in which digital media has literally changed the way that small so I'll read it to you. The switch from reading. He says the switch from reading the power browsing is happening very quickly. The digital environment tends to encourage people to explore many topics extensively, but I more soup superficial level with the flood of digital text pouring through our computers and phones. People are spending more time on reading than they used to, but it's equally clear that it's a very different kind of reading, which is characterized by browsing and scanning keyword spotting one time reading and non-linear reading is nothing wrong with browsing and scanning or even power browsing power scanning we've always give newspapers more than we read them and we routinely run her eyes over books and magazines in order to get the gist of the piece of writing and decide whether it warrants more thorough reading. What is different and troubling is that skimming is becoming our dominant mode. This is not a rant on the Internet okay, all it is is to say we are us. We are a product of our environment many times and what we have to realize if you have a satisfying bottle category (practice of Bible intake and I have to actually do more than skimming.
We can't just JetSki. We got a scuba dive right. We gotta get down underneath and we gotta think differently and more carefully and thoughtfully give some suggestions on this.
How can how can we do this. First of all, and we suggest this of you as you try to deal with the battle in your mind.
Take your time to be in God's word in the morning and it's not a Bible verse to tell you have to do that but in the morning your mind is less cluttered. Your strength is strongly say don't may I mom is on a zombie. It takes me an hour to wake up change it. I don't there's always a way to say that I was a dorm soup for nine years.
Okay, most of my life was at night late hours and I just had to come to the point where I said you know what I've gotta be up early because I had children that were babies and they made noise and they were up so I had to get up before them to say I'm going to become a morning person.
Even though my natural proclivities are to be to stay up late. Take time in the morning to look at God's word reading right before you go to bed just presents the challenging of focusing on all the days of days advance without a new days energy coming suggest second suggestion to use a paper Bible. Nothing wrong with reading on your phone. Nothing sinful about a Bible at the gives you a Bible plan but those plans generally are designed to give you short burst of truth what you really regularly need is more long periods of exposure reading that way on a device many times keeps us engaged on a superficial level, and also keeps us connected to the distracting device itself is not in the Bible is just a suggestion but the last thing is this, take note of distractions. I always keep some paper right next to me because it is amazing that when I read my Bible. Everything I have to do for that day comes tumbling into my mind. So I'm writing things down. I'm not jumping to the computer and taking care the email. I'm actually keeping a list of things that have that have to be done. Don't let the thoughts that come in your mind distract you write them down and give attention to them later. So deal with the distractions deal with the obstacles, but then secondly relate to a person learn to relate to a person with someone 19 is all about. It's a conversation right that's going on between David and God, you're not intersecting a book. This is not about a book. This is about a person you're coming to the king of kings to the ruler of the universe David in Psalm 119 is clean pleading and praising and worshiping and bagging a real being his God.
If you just look at the first-person pronouns. I mean my mind 278 of them. The second person pronouns you and you are 226 times God is named in directorate address like the Lord. 20 different times, what's what. What we say. There's a relational component to my Bible intake that I cannot ignore. This is not just about reading a printed page. It's a page that reveals a risen Lord who desires to meet with me and loves me and cares for me an email from a student tutors go is what he said.
I thought this just was beautiful, captured this point. He said last night and got along with God. For the first time in a long time. It was such an encouragement. It was weird because I didn't know where to start.
I started by talking about my current situation and how I wasn't worthy of anything. I told him everything about personal struggles.
That was hard to do but I did it as soon as that happened.
It felt like all the weight came off my shoulders and it was a great feeling. I felt like I was talking to a friend that I haven't talked to in a while and I just kept talking and the more I talked the more I opened up to him. I asked him to let this be my turning point and to guide me as I try to make things right with him. He said I can go on and on.
He said the last night was a special night for me.
I woke up this morning and I prayed for the first time in a long time and I know it's not an easy road for me but I'm ready to do whatever it takes to have the relationship with the Lord that I used to have. Praise God. He's got these realize this is a relationship with a person. Can I suggest you devote yourself in the morning when you get to your Bible and you get your quiet place, just just get yourself devoted we we tend to think in terms of having devotions, as if that somehow I'm getting something from the Lord and that's not entirely wrong but think in terms of getting yourself devoted here I am Lord.
For your purposes for your service today and am devoting myself to those it's not completely wrong to think about it passively, but there's an active component of this, I am here. I want to be devoted to you and you know what, I can't tell you how many times I sit down with my Bible in the morning when the when it's still dark out I got my Bible in front of me and I say Lord I don't want to be here.
I want to be here. We say why you do that Johnny's my therapy or something will not it's it's in a it's an admission on my part, but I'm not afraid to tell the Lord about it either, because then he ministers grace to me and truth to me in a way that I needed because he knows I'm having a real problem with my motivator that morning so devote yourself and then welcome him, Lord, please open my eyes.
Help me to see truth. While it's only a pin. While it is a printed page that reveals a risen Lord. It's also a living word and I need the Holy Spirit of God to turn the lights on in my understanding in ways that coffee won't even do it right and give me eyes that see truth and receive it and appropriated my life. So devote yourself to him, welcome him the third thing I would say is his embrace structure.
One of the commendable traits of your generation is the way in which you prize authenticity. That really is a virtuous trait and I think you do that for number different reasons. Some of them you seen your share of fake and phony people and you don't want to do with that and as a result of that, you disdain Hippocrates hypocrisy to such an extent that you have little to no appreciation for anything that seems forced, you're focused on how you feel and if you don't feel right. It seems inconsistent it seems fake. As a general rule you prefer something organic or spontaneous, not something that's foisted upon you.
This tendency can make it very difficult to live with a routine because routines frankly are boring there there fairly monotonous but iconic I suggest some things to you. Just about this that are so crucial to you, having a satisfying time of Bible intake. Get yourself first of all, a place where you go every day to meet with the Lord. Maybe it's the prayer room. Maybe it's the living room. If you're at home. Maybe it's an office. Maybe it's outside of the soccer field. You pick out a place that you're going to be every morning. That will help get you there pick out a time to be here each day.
At this time.
Maybe just me 15 minutes, but I would be there. It's this time. Don't leave. It is one of those things. It's kind of on the end of the day that just kinda not sure if I get around to it sent a place set a time supplant what you cover what you gonna do.
Following a plan not only gives you direction, but it also provides a little bit of a sense of accomplishment.
We enjoyed were human beings. We enjoyed doing things and seeing things accomplished and done so little planning reading your Bible actually not only strengthens your heart and gives you God's mind for the day, but it also gives you little boost little sense of accomplishment, which I think is is very very good, but here are some suggestions. What are some things you could do.
What are some plans you could follow. Well you could read the Bible from beginning to end. That would be a good thing I'm finding that more and more.
Who are your age you are starting out and getting into this habit of a difficult time starting with that maybe instead read 12 of the shorter books of the Bible in a year. Take the 12 shorter books.
My wife and I did this probably 10 years ago we just took 12 of the shortest books in the Bible assigned one to each month of the year and read that book through one day each month so January read Philippians 31 times February we read Psalm 119. We made that a book we read that 28 times. March we read Colossians we just work through. Don't don't not not done Nahum okay.
Not that there's a thing wrong with that but but but some of those New Testament shorter epistles plug those in you know what you when you write a book 30 times. You kinda know what's going on in that book, give yourself a week of mulligans you've missed seven days you still read it 22, 23 times you got a sense of what's happening there. You're taking in God's word.
Your understanding and you you get rid of you. Get rid done reading a book like that and you start to gain an appreciation for for what really is not just the superficial things that always got your attention, but the themes that actually are the under paintings of the book, write out your own copy.
The Bible often.
I've written books of the Bible out just right up by hand, sometimes writing for you is a little bit better. Keep your concentration better write out a book. Nothing wrong with that.
Memorize a chapter by reading it repeatedly. You may not be real big on a on a particular memory plan but but how about just getting a chapter like Romans eight I been working on that for actually the last year and 1/2.
What I do. I just I just read through it. I'm constantly reading through it and I picked up some of it so it was familiar. Other parts are beginning to pick up because of just reading it over and over again. Great way to memorize use a marking system.
If you like me like the color so get out pencils and pens and you something a paper Bible that you can highlight themes and keep dropping themselves and and and help tie things together. Journal journal for some people think. At least we think we guys tend to think that's kind of famine and only girls Journal note, no, actually that's a human thing that's a great thing and a journal doesn't have to be a long two-page entry.
It could be as simple as one sentence that says here's something I learned from this verse and then a prayer to sentences that says this is I want to take it apply to my life. Journaling is great. Build your own topical counseling file so we were biblical counseling majors about reading through the Bible every time you come to a particular issue. Take it and drop it into a file that says by the end of you read the whole Bible through, you've got a real helpful index to help you figure out how to deal with people's problems are your own problems. And lastly, don't be inflexibly rigid. Don't be so hard in yourself. It's a boy.
I sent him to do this so I'm not stopping for six months.
You know, if it's not working for you flex realize this. There's a different way to do this I can use a different plan.
There are many different ways to see God's word take up a rich doing and are in our hearts is when I was 16 that God began to work in my heart to get me into a regular habit of Bible intake.
I look back at some of those things I read and highlighted in my Bible when I was 16 and I wasn't always real good with applying because I didn't have the right interpretation. Some things but but you know that's when it started and it was college. It was this time when I was your age.
When I was sitting in the seats that God started to work in me and it hit.
It is a challenge.
It's not something I'm perfect in, but every one of us as believers can have a satisfying habit of regular Bible intake and it will be crucial to the way you walk with God the spring.
Father, help us with these simple thoughts. I pray that you would take your word and you would burn it into our consciousness. I pray that we would seek you and we would find you when we search for you with all of our hearts, blessed young people and give them the desire of their hearts to really have enjoyable meaningful time with you every day in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon preached by Rev. John Dalton which was a second message of the three-part series called walking with God. Listen again tomorrow as we conclude this series on The Daily Platform