Good morning and welcome to today’s Daily insights. This is day 4 of our episodes. What does it take to Grow? On behalf of Pastor Lucy Paynter daily insights, this is Jane Lenny.
Yesterday we touched on Habit 1. To grow, we need to eat - our food as Christians is the Bible. We looked at 3 reasons why we need to eat as Christians. We said that as we go through these habits, the Goal is; that l will commit to the habits necessary for spiritual maturity.
Today we look at 2 more profound reasons why we need to mature as Christians through reading the Bible.
4. The Bible is like a mirror for an actor. Without it, you’ll never know what you’re like or change how you act.
James 1:22-25 (NIV) Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it - he will be blessed in what he does.
What does a mirror do? Show you what you look like. This morning I spent some time in front of a mirror. Some of you are thinking, “Not enough time!”
In this passage, James specifies that the man looks and walks away and forgets what he looks like. A woman would never do that. She’d do whatever it takes to restore her face to the original glory God intended!
The function of a mirror is to show us accurately what we look like so that we can make any necessary changes. The function of the Bible is to show us accurately what we look like so that we can make, with God’s help and enablement, any necessary changes.
It’s tragic when everyone else knows that Jim gossips, but Jim doesn’t know it. It’s tragic when everyone else knows that Betty has a tongue like a razor, but Betty doesn’t know it. It’s tragic when everyone else knows that Kate’s spending far more money than she should, but Kate doesn’t know it.
The Bible is like a mirror. It shows us what we are like. It shows us where we need to change. It not only points out the need, but it also helps us change! But a mirror does you no earthly good unless you use it! Look in God’s mirror!
5. Why do we need the Bible? The Bible is like nutrients and water for a plant. Without it, you’ll be stunted and starved.
Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV) Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law, he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prosper.
Let’s go back and take a look at my plant here. Doesn’t look too worse for the wear. But if I left it here till next week, just like this, without water, without access to nutrients, you know what? It would be dead and ready for the garbage.
Here’s the tragedy. There are some of you who are trying to live like this. Each Sunday, you’re trying to get all the spiritual food and water you need for the entire week. You can’t do it. It’s not possible. It would be like this plant, only putting it in the pot, giving it water and nutrients for one hour a week or two hours.
What would that do to the life of this plant? What does that do to your spiritual life? Here’s the tragedy. Many of you today are more concerned about this plant than you are about your own spiritual life. You’re thinking to yourself, “I hope that poor plant survives.”
If you’re concerned about this plant, how much more should you be concerned about your soul. Your soul needs the water of the Word. Your soul needs the nourishment that only this Book can provide. And you’re trying to survive on starvation rations! You only eat once a week and then wonder why the spiritual life is so difficult! Wonder why you continue to fall into sin. Wonder why you can’t make much progress. I’ll tell you why - your soul is starving to death! I could have a table set with the most nutritious food imaginable, but it does you no earthly good if you don’t eat it! Eat God’s food!
Matt 4:2-4 . “ v2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. v3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” v4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (NIV)
Eat God’s food!
I want to challenge you to take the next step, heighten up your commitment to the study of God’s Word, pull up your socks.
On behalf of Pastor Lucy Paynter daily insights, this is Jane Lenny taking you through What Does It Take To Grow episodes. Today was day 4 of our episodes. Tomorrow goes to Habit number 2 in the 10 Habits of Maturing Christians. God bless you, Shalom Shalom.