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Next Steps in Following Jesus: Scripture, Part 2

The Verdict / John Munro
The Truth Network Radio
September 26, 2016 10:52 am

Next Steps in Following Jesus: Scripture, Part 2

The Verdict / John Munro

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September 26, 2016 10:52 am

Dr. John H. Munro September 25, 2016 1 Peter 2:1-3 Our spiritual life begins with the Word of God, and reading and studying the Bible is essential to our spiritual health and growth. Pastor Munro gives practical steps to help you in your study of the Word of God.

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Our mission at Calvary's being and making authentic followers of Jesus and in the cities were asking, but what does it mean to follow Jesus. One of the next steps as I follow Jesus and my Sunday and that was a recap of last week or so. I last Sunday we dealt with the centrality on the importance of Scripture as we follow Jesus know the Bible has always been an important part of my life before I could read the Bible for myself. It was read to be by my parents always encouraged to memorize the Bible and read it for myself. So whatever I could learn to read.

I can remember how old I was, but from that point I was encouraged to open the Bible and read it for myself. I remember just before my 17th birthday.

Just before I was baptized I went to Christian bookstore and bought my first Bible I been given Bibles before, but this is one that I particularly wanted and since then I've been given, and I bought many many Bibles in God's grace. The Bible is always been central to my life. I can't imagine life without the word of God. Incidentally, get a good Bible you're going to spend a lot of time. I will breathing it so get a good one. I believe it's the one of the most important investments you will ever make is to buy a Bible when we moved to the ESV here at Calvary. I bought two of these and one of my study at home in one of my study here and I wish I could wear it out faster because I love buying a new Bible I just like the smell of the Bible and if you go toward room. We got some wonderful Bibles for you. There is the MacArthur study Bible the estimate the study Bible their ivory study Bible, and by a Bible stories told of how a Ironsides. The great preacher he was at a Bible conference and he went down for breakfast and was a lady there all excited because should read the text that morning on the calendar and that she was saying to Holly I Ironsides I did you read the Bible this morning. What did you read in and he was a little shy and then he said what did you read and she said the particular valves but press them and said Mr. Ironsides, what did you really read in the Bible this morning he said well before breakfast I read the book of Isaiah 66 chapters reset of hot air inside that every year he bought a new Bible.

He warded out and he bought a new Bible. If you can afford a Bible. Let me know. I'll be glad to buy you one. We want you to read the Bible. Last week we learned that the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God in the Bible there is all that you need to know for salvation. All that we need another spiritual life to grow and to act without in the situation we face in our city. When people ask what do we do, how do we respond we should go instinctively, not to our feelings not to prejudice as our desires that we should go to the word of God.

It alone is the absolute truth for the precious gift God gives us an I've wasted my life in many things, but I've never regretted the time I've spent in this book so I want to encourage you to read and study the Bible. If you have your Bible, their turn with me to first Peter chapter 2 towards the end of the New Testament analyze some of you don't know much about the Bible. There's an index and you will see that Peter writes two letters were looking at the first one and I'm going to need the first three verses of first Peter chapter 2 Peter was one of the followers of Jesus. One of the apostles and these writing under the inspiration of the holy Scripture says in verse one.

Put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and also under like newborn infants long for the pure spiritual milk that buying it you may grow up to salvation. If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. We saw last regular spiritual life begins with the word of God we are saved by the medical of the new birth which comes through the living and abiding word of God. Look back in chapter 1 from verse 22 Peter says, having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth of this that by their pigeons to the truth for a sincere, brotherly love, love one another endlessly, from a pure heart, since you been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God." The Old Testament know for all flesh is like grass all his glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls with the word of the Lord remains forever, and this word is the good news that was preached to use the brilliant all else in life withers and dies people of their opinions.

People of their philosophies. People of their agenda and we hear it all of the time. Everything withers and dies but figures say the word of the Lord abides forever, and those who are born again.

Those who have received this salvation through Jesus Christ, who have tasted that the Lord is good. We have this great desire this morning, as Peter says in verse two. For this pure spiritual milk that buying it. We may grow up to salvation. How am I going to grow spiritually answer through the word of God in here Peter uses an analogy will understand the uses the analogy of a newborn baby longing for milk mothers. You know that it may be strong desire newborn baby is in for the fencing nursery that you prepared electric pair of pajamas or a soft toy.

It's overwhelming desire is for milk so young gave you newborn a doughnut or a T-bone steak on a packet of M&Ms, absolutely not. This little baby this little boy this little girl once the mothers pure milk and with her baby doesn't get milk, you know all about it and really raising a baby is very easy. I am told as long as you provide the baby would milk and clean up the consequences of it. Everything is fine. You got a happy little baby yet upon and is mothers you are delighted when that baby wanted your milk and you were very concerned if that newborn baby didn't want your milk every follower of Jesus is to long for the pure milk of the word notice.

Peter says it's pure it's wholesome it's unadulterated doesn't need any additives. This is the next step in following Jesus. Jesus says in John eight verse 47 whoever is of God hears the words of God. You want to be of God, you want to be godly when you make an impact for your world in the name of Jesus Christ, you must hear the words of God. If you don't have that desire.

If you're not, longing for the pure milk of the word can I say to you. The problem is not with this book. The problem is with your spiritual appetite over the years good and I have invited many people to our home for a meal. I was say to go in the on the entertainment you provide the mail I could buy to the kitchen and she often says what what you want to do with these people have invited. I said don't worry about it.

I'm not worrying about the food you don't worry about what I'm going to say to them is a great marriage but I know some you men really quick. I admire you, Nathaniel, who was here he keeps telling me he's a great cook. I just look up to men like I wish I was like that, but I'm not.

But very occasionally will of someone into her house for a meal and they don't eat the turn up their nose and nothing.

The problem is the food. The problem is there appetite before coming to her home.

Perhaps that stopped and in a big Mac or bought some doughnuts or something they don't have an appetite or they may have an eating disorder that either eating too much or too little of the wrong thing. We know physically if we don't have a balanced diets problems develop.

We all know the dangers of junk food only, so if you don't have an appetite for the word of God. Here is my diagnosis you're taking in too much junk food. There's a spiritual disease spiritual disease something going on in your life if you claim to be a follower of Jesus, which is impacting your appetite for spiritual food perhaps are taking in the wrong stuff and inspire.

Instead of spending time in this book your spending time taking in something which is contrary and inconsistent with you being a follower of Jesus. When I begin to lose my desire to read the word of God is happens from time to time I have found one of two things happening in my life, or possibly both of them first. I've been reading the Bible as a task to be accomplished rather than as a delight to be enjoyed were told to read your Bible camp and read my Bible but has become a task rather than a delight second lay in all probability, some say in has crept into my life some say in which I do not confess something which had not dealt with its come into my life. It is been well said that this book will keep you from sin, and sin will keep you from the book. Your word says the summers I have treasured in my heart that I might not sin against you, Jesus, as he is in dialogue with pilots.

Remember in John chapter 18 when Pilate asked him about truth. Jesus says to him in John 18 verse 37 everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice. What a powerful statement you want truth you want to know what God thinks on a particular subject. You want to know how you can handle something Jesus is saying everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice. If you're not listening to the voice of God you can be listening either to your own feelings or listening to other voices happen so easily doesn't Wear in the undated with nice to saw the video there's noise there's opinions and we live in a very very noisy world. It is essential brothers and sisters that we take time every single day as every day to get into this work. Proverbs 30 verse five.

Every word of God proves true. It is a shield to those who take refuge in him. When the shield want protection you want to know that things are going to go well in your life.

Word of God is a very shield to me if I adjust my life and align my life with the word of God. I am guaranteed of God's blessing is a lights and it is a lamp and so when at home you open your Bible, or when I say let's open our Bibles. You should come with a sense of excitement. What is God going to speak to me today. The psalmist certainly delights in the law of the Lord.

He says that Psalm 119 over and over again. Here's two examples of it. Psalm 119 verse 19. Seven he says how I love your law, it is my meditation all the day. Can you really say that you love the word of God. Verse hundred and 11.

Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. So if you're looking forward to kickoff at 1 o'clock for the Steelers at 430 and I got pleasant baptism. So there we are some of your really excited.

You're looking forward to 1 o'clock to look forward to time in the word to look forward to the preaching of the word doing forward to that Bible study. The psalmist says God's word is sweeter than the honeycomb is more precious than gold, yes, than much fine gold. Jeremiah says your words were found, and I ate them on your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart just to join. I wish I had that joy. I wish I had such a delight in the word of God.

I don't just have it now, that may be true, there may be sin in your life. Without the spiritual junk food contact, contact the pollution all that stuff you are feeding on an off-site iPhone, turn off all the television in the videos and just get a loan with the word of God, the more you read it, the greater will be your chart know what is a five things about setting the word of God. Very quickly this morning. First of all, focus on the text of Scripture.

When studying the Bible he sleep came to Calvary just to hear this. This is so obvious. Yes, it is obvious, but most of us are not doing it. Focus on the text. First of all read the word of God and humbly hear the word of God. This desire to listen to God Yuri Long Island you open your Bible, do you realize that God speaks to you in his word when the Bible speaks God speaks you listing your focus.

Are you concentrating when I practice law and we someone died and we brought out the will and the relatives were there. We always said where there was a will there's a relative and so as we got out as we got out the will. I never once had to say to the greedy relatives not listen.

Listen to what dad said in his will or listen to what Granddad said no there listening listening for their name there, listening for the amounts you don't have to say to them, concentrate no there there why they're expecting something as part of the problem is we don't expect God to speak to us. We don't expect a blessing and expects that promise, that we need so desperately for that day not only say something very very important. I'm talking about studying the Bible. I'm asking you to focus on the text of Scripture devotional Bible Bible study guide, study guides, videos, and all of that other place I have a huge library so I'm not against books.

I'm not against study guides, but I'm going to say this to you have said this before, and some you don't believe me nothing.

Nothing can substitute you. The Bible and the Holy Spirit cannot just read the study guides fill in the blanks who cares about filling in the blanks of the study guide and has a place. I understand that some of you love them. It's great but you can study. The study guide. You can read the book upon the Bible you can read what someone says about the Bible, but that is nothing like you. The Holy Spirit and the word that should be one of the most delightful joyful things that you do on any date be a self theater read the Bible, not just what someone says about it, read it and reread it and reiterated focus on the text of the Bible several times in the Gospels, Jesus says, have you not read this Scripture or they had righted, but it didn't penetrate the didn't understand is that John know your pastor and we actually pay you to study the Bible and that's what you do up in your office all day.

Obviously it's a dream in her that I would just have stairs study my Bible obit must be great. My life is busy.

Your life is busy supposing you can only spend 15 minutes a day Germany minutes that are in a day.

1440 minutes 24 hours for sale. I sleep yeah you can sleep as long as you like.

But 15 minutes is there anyone here so busy doing God's will, doing God's work that they don't have time to spend 15 minutes in this book. Don't tell me you're too busy you're too busy for God you got other priorities you'll think nothing of spending several hours watching a video watching a game working out to the gym whatever it is, no client and yourself can enter quiet place and open this book starts over the book of Philippians only has four chapters. You can read in one sitting just a few minutes, the history of verse reader is a what I do.

The next date read again the third day read again the first day read again the fifth day read it again. The six day read again and then you're beginning to understand Philippines to use not just taking a vast Philippines for verse 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me your understanding the context in which Paul says that you're now beginning to understand Philippines you're getting away from our habit to take some isolated text and make it say anything you want and to ignore the context read the Bible in a natural way.

Much of the Bible is not difficult to understand is that are difficult parts, but going to lie what you don't understand to take away what you do understand focusing on the text of Scripture that requires concentration listening to preaching takes concentration, but it is essential that you focus when reading and studying the Bible asked myself why is it that some television preachers and other preachers who spend no time in this unisex position of the word of God attracts thousands of people never ask yourself. I do because they claim that God is speaking directly to the they say they're going to share their hearts to me that's always a little dangerous as mentioning my heart surmises your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. You really want to share your heart. I don't know if I want to hear your heart.

I want to hear from God, but they say they're sharing their hearts sharing their vision sharing that agenda sharing their dream sharing their journey that requires no study and there's no way of evaluating what they're saying is true or just a scam to get you to send money to their ministry today. Would a wash in emotionalism would awash in subjectivism would awash in people saying God told me to tell you if I followed what I have been told over the years of what somebody told God to tell me I would be going in a thousand directions. I want to hear from God myself. I don't need you to tell me what God told you to tell me this in the word of God, give me the Scripture focus on Scripture, not your own ideas, not some impression, something which is absolute truth. It is only God's word, which is absolute truth. First focus on the text. Secondly, write it down right some key things you observe from the text.

Why is Paul writing, usually writing to what the theme of Philippians 1 are some things that particularly apply to me. What questions do I have my to respond to this that Paul is saying business applying to me he's telling the two women to behave themselves in the church and to stop arguing with Rabbi Daniel Abbas is telling us not to worry. In chapter 4 what my worrying about. Don't be afraid to underline your Bible. Don't be afraid to write in the margin. Don't be afraid to write the date next to particular verse which impacted you spiritually. What are you doing when you're writing your slowing down the process you're focusing on what the text of Scripture is saying you're observing the text and often if you don't write it down as the spreading of God gives you understanding you may forget what you've learned.

Member Sherlock Holmes saying to Dr. Watson.

You see, but you did not observe as many of us is in the when reading but would not observe Israel was told member in Deuteronomy 6. In the great Shema hero Israel, the Lord your God is one, and so on.

And he tells the fathers and he tells the mothers et al. write the word of God and the very doorpost of their house and on the gates so that the word of God would be on their hand on their foreheads that whatever they went with her.

They got up in the morning when you go for a walk with your children.

You're constantly being reminded of the living and powerful word of God.

My mother recently went into a nursing home in Scotland. She's 91 bit of dementia. Some physical problems in so my brothers and I very much against my mother's wishes have said mom you can't stay in your own home you're falling down, and so on and so the house is big is being sold is very sad. Those of you have gone through that very difficult, isn't it. This house is been in the family for four many years, and them so my brothers were calling me and said John is anything you want well know can take an armchair over the Atlantic, so I said not really innocent, while your dad that are the few books that mom has ever you know if you're going to throw them away or wait till I come in. I'd like to see them but I said that on a couple things I do want my parents had a couple of texts and one of in the bedroom scenes of the Scottish Highlands and verses of Scripture because in that generation.

Just about all followers of Jesus Christ had texts in their homes. We still see that from time to time. No, but perhaps not as much as a previous generation was a reminder wasn't that in our homes.

Word of God was to be prominent. We are writing down the word of God. So first focus on the text.

Secondly, write it down. Third, pray over it. This is a spiritual exercise. You need the help of the Holy Spirit. Some hundred 19 verse 18. The psalmist says open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law, we sign open the eyes of my heart that's Paul's prayer to the Ephesians in Ephesians 118.

He prays that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened because it's possible I come and I'm not listening and I don't see what God wants me to see. Isn't it wonderful that God helps us to understand his word is not. It is not a great delights your your reading your Bible, and that you read a verse that you maybe not all of your life. Or if you're a new follower of Jesus reading it for the first time in that verses comes alive doesn't and I look and assume I can. I see that before. This is magnificent. What's happening the wonderful ministry of the Holy Spirit illumination. Turning on the lights. What I'm convicted or Sue don't know if I like that there are snow because it's got your name on it. John this is for you. This is for you. This is how God sees you, and you must change or here is a advance when you've had a very difficult and discouraging day and you open your Bible and there's this glorious promise the pointer to Christ and you realize that I have this card with me and he's never going to leave me and that Christ never asked me to go when he himself first has not already gone and we pray over and we meditate on. The psalmist says that I delight and I meditate on your word day and night.

We just chew it over. Meditation is like preaching to yourself so you have read the words are you focus on that and you're praying on her than this or is your driving orders on your treadmill.

You're going for a walk or or going on your business that this this vast is in your mind and your thinking about the ginger meditating on it but actually dying on a 3 x 5 card to have in your pocket that you can take a potent, remind yourself and say Lord I want to understand this. I want to claim this promise keeping it central in our minds and that of course shoves out doesn't take the junk foods because the more I am engaged in Scripture and the more I'm praying about the modem understanding it, there is this tremendous cleansing effect going on in my life.

So when the garbage comes the filth of it is exposed against the purity of the word of God, pray over it.

Fourth live it.

This is a big problem for us is in the many of us know the Bible, we can answer the question in adult life group we can impress people by Bible knowledge, but were not living it's is not just for her head as it is for the hearts for every area of our life.

As I said in the statement about Charlotte. This, in this way our city needs, not just our words, a demonstration of Christ lived out in our lives. So with taking the word of God and were living it out in our homes and their marriages and their families at Warwick in the neighborhood and how we conduct our business and certainly in the church and were living it votes I was appreciating at a wedding yesterday in your people love weddings as was.

I do as well, but you have to talk about love in a way your Paul says in first Corinthians 13 love is the first thing patient. I wish he had started with that one area I would like to rewrite that one. Paul that's the first one praying this I understand love is patient and I get to cutting this Paul, but why would you start with patients.

That's a struggle for me. That's what the text hasn't I'm to lift its if I'm a loving person and I'm to be patients. So we read the word of God and we prayer than we say, Lord, I need your help with this, because I'm impatient. Sometimes I'm impatient with those who are close to me. I get frustrated something or it's a lamp to her feet to the light to our path were to claim the promises were to live by faith. One of the greatest joys I have is a pastor and I think all of you can understand this as well is when I see the word of God having an impact on someone I love to hear testimonies but I love to know about lives being changed talk is easy, isn't it, that impacts you, doesn't it. When you see Jesus in someone's life when there's a change in the person's habits. Here is a man who has a very dirty mouth and he curses in the he swears and he tells dirty jokes, but now he's confronted with the work cards in these convicted and the man who once had a 13 mouth is no amount of praise and a man of kindness a man who gives healing. The husband was very harsh with his wife is meeting with her. I may even push it out on sometimes it's the word of God.

Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and he's convicted, the nuns of the polluter of the Spirit is life is being changed as a young man who steeped in pornography realizes that this cleansing of his life comes from the word of God and he pursues a path of holiness is a businessman or businesswoman.

All she was concerned about was making money but knows a follower of Jesus reading the word of God she or he is not concerned about the care for their employees.

Here is a very selfish individual was all all about them and their friends and family know it. You know the kind of bridge individual is all about me that includes a lot of us doesn't selfishness it was an individual who starts giving generously to the church into Christian ministries.

Here is a individual who it was who is very prejudiced and makes comments about those of different races and ethnicities a note he understands. She understands that every single one is made in the image of God and so before there were harsh comments and overgeneralization snow that is praying this was happening living out the word of God. Finally, we must share it. We must share it is really the word of God to transform the life you want to tell others about it only you know the great joy if you if you teach you teach Sunday school teaching adult life group you lead a Bible study. The joy of sharing the word of God is and as incredible as needed. Provided it's coming first to yourself.

We have to preach and teach their hearts first and then to others, parents, you have the great joy don't you teaching your sons and your daughters. The living word of God. What's with the joy not just words on a page but never lived out in your life.

Communicating the word of God to your friends word in season. Jesus said blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it much could be said will move on hearing the word of God. While rehearsing Beethoven's ninth Symphony.

The musicians responded with particular sensitivity to Toscanini's every wish and desire and what resulted was a performance that moved the orchestra to a spontaneous elevation than the standard and widely applauded. This little minder conductor had given them such insights into the music and that desperately. Toscanini student trying to get them to sit down and when they finally sat down and then the cheering stopped. He said in a broken voice, it isn't me. It's a great program and when the word of God speaks to us. We realize this is not the words of Calvary church. This is not the words of John. This is not the words of any man. This is the voice of God to do hear the voice of God. We understand how privileged we are to have in our own language. This book, the Bible, most of us have many copies of it that we can take it and open it and say Lord speak to me for your servant hears and one of the great great ways I think when we know that the word of God is getting hold of us in this not just in our heads is not just answering exam is not just impress people, but when the word of God is lived out in our lives and I Calvary church. We have many many opportunities for you to get involved in missions that are overseas missions and we often emphasize that as I close, I want to mention some of our ministries right here in the city. I mentioned the were the world can I say the city of Charlotte is tired of her words. We need words. We also need all of us don't we living it out and serving and when we read the word of God. And when it transforms us, we have this desire to share it to display and proclaim our Lord Jesus Christ and this morning in the Galleria weave a number of tables from three a to 8A, and at the table. There is a ministry and there are several people involved in that ministry and I'm going to introduce to them.

No starting it with charm affects the world. Great way to begin. And if she's coming up, others are going to come up as well. Sharon heads up operation Christmas child one many of you to visit that table and to learn about operation Christmas child. This is God's love in action.

We also have a table with the pregnancy resource Center.

Here is Erin Forsyth is the executive director we for the joy of partnering with this ministry is one thing to say that were against abortion, and we are. We believe in the sanctity of life is another thing, isn't it, to help women and men who are struggling in this area, and hence heads up this magnificent ministry throughout our city community impact Debbie where can I say about Debbie community impact. She has a table she keeps harassing me about what we should be doing and that she's going to tell you about about the importance of Christian holding and getting involved in our community changed choices: co-batch is the executive director. This is an incredible ministry. Some of you know by that some of you going to want you to visit the table and to find out how we minister to women who can make valid godly choices Lois Lodge again with the program director Diane Nunnally as she calms we for the joy of supporting all of these ministries over the year. Again, a great ministry to young women, particularly who are in need who are pregnant and that we can display the love of Christ to them. Caleb ministries with Margaret Dunbar. Caleb ministries ministering to mothers go through difficulties with the miscarriages and other ways. And again, we partnered with them over many years of prison ministry headed by Guy Sorell and his dear wife, how could we forget Kelly can come up as well know you're okay sitting there this ministry under guise leadership has we put in.

We really have more opportunities to go into the prisons of North and South Carolina than we have opportunities for so guy is there to help you.

Thank you Jesus for so many of you who serve in that way. Joni and friends at Gail Engel is your boss, Jim Caswell is working really.

Jim was formerly in sapphires or passive missions and is now one of the leaders in the Joni and friends a ministry to those who are disabled tremendous ministry ESL sending Joe ESL. We got off to a great start this week. How many students have we got currently Sunday hundred and 20. These are most of them unbelievers are all nationalities and become and that we teach them English as a second language.

Finally, Pete Delahunt, who heads Calvary Street ministry again. I ministry that we've done for many many years feeding the homeless when we make the meal on Saturday mornings in the kitchen when team makes the meal and another team takes its out. Would you like to join in the thinking these are brothers and sisters for this wonderful ministries know if this book doesn't lead to action or something wrong is I like doctrine. I like the logical discussion, but is not wonderful that we can through these ministries make such an impact in our needy needy city more by action than by words. I would ask them now to go to the tables in the Galleria and as you could lead the way. Sharon, as you exit on your way to nail G or after the ALJs just take a minute minutes stop at the tables volunteer get information about them. Some of these ministries.

You may know nothing about and pray how you can be involved and also thank them for the ministries they represent behind these leaders. There are teams of many many volunteers and so we thank them. Our father, we thank you for the transforming power of the gospel and we thank you in particular for these ministries that we can partner with it, Calvary, as we support them financially. Not only financially but in practical ways me. All of us read and study your word and be transformed by it. We ask in Christ

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