Worn, But Not Used

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Worn, But Not Used

Walking out of grocery store today, I saw a bunch of people wearing jackets but they weren’t zipped or buttoned up; in fact I saw many people trying to hold their jacket together at the top with their hand in a vain attempt to close it against the bitter cold and wind of our Georgia fall weather. They were wearing their jackets and coats but they weren’t being used

Worn, But Not Used!

According to a 2017 Lifeway research poll, many Christians (87%) have access to a Bible in their home, but more than half of them have read little or none of it.[1]

If you have it in your home or on your phone, but don’t read or study it on a daily basis, just like an open coat on a cold day, it won’t do you any good.

Money in the Mattress

There was once a poor, starving family who’s elderly grandfather died and left them with nothing—or so they thought. Getting rid of his old, worn out mattress, they realized that it was extremely heavy— heavier than it should have been for its age. When they investigated, they found it filled to the brim—overflowing, in fact—with hundreds of thousands of dollars! They had been poor their entire lives—all the while the solution to their poverty was within their grasp.

The Bible is the same way. It is filled with everything we need to get us successfully through this life, but we must engage with it; we must actively and consistently read and study it. The Apostle Peter wrote:

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. (2 Peter 1:3, 4, NLT).

The Apostle Paul wrote that,

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17, NLT).

What is Your Attitude About God?

The editors of the men’s magazine GQ, on their online site, noted that the Bible was number 12 out of “21 Books You Don’t Have to Read.” They wrote:

The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it. Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced. It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned.[2]

It’s clear that, given what they wrote, they see absolutely no value—literary or otherwise—in the Word of God.

Contrast their attitude with what David writes in Psalm 119 regarding the importance of the Bible in life and the benefits of reading, studying, memorizing, meditating, and living it out in our daily lives.

In Ephesians 6:17, the apostle Paul adds to David’s strong feelings concerning the value of The Bible in not just life, but more importantly, in spiritual warfare. In fact, he calls the Bible a “sword.”

The writer of Hebrews clarifies that position again by specifying that that sword is not just used to defend and protect us from outside threats, but more importantly, God uses the book we read to read us:

What God has said isn’t only alive and active! It is sharper than any double-edged sword. His word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow, until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts. (Hebrews 4:12, CEV).

Lastly, Jesus, at the end of his life-changing speech—popularly called “The Sermon on the Mount”—warned His hearers of this inconvenient truth:

Anyone who hears and obeys these teachings of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock. Rain poured down, rivers flooded, and winds beat against that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on solid rock. Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn’t obey them is like a foolish person who built a house on sand. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded, and the winds blew and beat against that house. Finally, it fell with a crash” (Matthew 7:24-27, CEV).

How to Do It

The only way to live in this sin-sick world with peace, power, purpose, and joy, is to immerse ourselves, not just in an active and daily relationship with God through prayer, but we must also connect with His love letter to us—the Bible!

So how do we do it? Here are four ways (all mentioned in Psalm 119) to connect with His instructions for life for us:

 

  1. Bible Reading: Spend time reading 0r listening to the Bible every day. There are many wonderful (and FREE) resources online. Personally, I love to use a Bible app that reads two to three chapters to me every day. If you do two to three chapters a day, you will complete the entire Bible in one year! 
  1. Bible Study: Honestly speaking, I don’t do this every day due to the simple fact that I don’t have the emotional/physical energy and focus in order to do it. But I do it weekly. It usually takes me several weeks in order to get through a specific book or the Bible or topic that I am studying. A good place to begin is to choose a specific book or topic that you are dealing with in your life. The Bible is highly relatable and relevant to our lives—so we should study it like nothing else!

 

  1. Bible Memorization: There is nothing more important to memorize than God’s Word! You may feel that you can’t memorize the Bible, but I promise you, it is possible. Again, there are all sorts of wonderful FREE resources and apps on the Internet. Pick one short verse about something that you are dealing with in your own life and start there. You won’t be disappointed. Scripture memorization is something that will pay you a lifetime of dividends!

 

  1. Bible Meditation: Lastly, pick that same verse you have just memorized, write it on a sticky note or an index card and look at it and think about it all throughout your day. You can read and think about the same verse for one day or several days. Two good questions to ask yourself are: “What truth is God telling me through this verse/passage of scripture?” and “How does this truth apply to my life?”

Worn & Used!

Everything in the Bible has been written to us in order to make us more like Jesus, but if we don’t read it, or only read it and don’t apply it to our lives, it’s useless to us—much like an open coat worn on a frigidly cold day.

God is more than willing and able to keep us warm, but we must all promise to first put on all our spiritual coats—and then to zip and button them up.

______

Notes.

[1] Accessed on November 8, 2018, from https://lifewayresearch.com/2017/04/25/lifeway-research-americans-are-fond-of-the-bible-dont-actually-read-it/

[2] Accessed on November 8, 2018, from https://www.gq.com/story/21-books-you-dont-have-to-read

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Omar Miranda, a counselor for more than 20 years, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual and pornography addiction. He was the editor/director of Insight Ministries for Adventist teens and has written numerous articles and books. Omar lives in very unplain Plainville, Georgia, with his wife and two children. Check him out at omarmiranda4.wix.com/mirandawrites.