Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Moment With Ashley

The Word

When I came to IHOP in August it was a bit of a reality check for me. I came here ready to learn, but I thought I had a pretty good understanding of a lot of stuff. I guess you could say I was fat, dumb, and happy. My first class here at IHOP was Excellencies of Christ with Allen Hood. The first week he was telling us a story, about how the year before he gave a test where the students had to write about every season of Jesus’ life. He talked about how people turned in 15-30 page papers on the topic….that’s when I knew I was in trouble, because I could only think of about a half-page worth of information. The problem was that I would go to church, and I just assumed that since I knew the story the pastor was talking about, that I knew everything. Well I didn’t, and I still don’t. Today I want to give each of you a little reality check. I’m not going to blow you’re mind with amazing information or tell you a story from the Bible you’ve never heard, but my goal is to encourage you to dive back into the word with a hungry spirit.

The Bible is one story it’s not a collection of stories thrown together. If you were to go to the library and get a book would you only read the end? No, you would start at the beginning and read it all so that you understand the book. Sometimes we can get too focused on the New Testament that we just completely rule out the Old Testament. I’ve heard people say, “I don’t really read the Old Testament I’m more of a New Testament kinda guy.” It really upsets me to hear people say that, and they think it’s ok to just read the end of the Bible. We won’t be able to fully grasp the meaning of the New Testament until we read the Old Testament. I’m not saying that every time you read the Bible you have to read it all the way through, but I am saying to make sure you are balancing out what you read. Do you know the stories? Do you know the people? Can you testify of God’s faithfulness? Their story is your story. Reading through the Old Testament you are able to see God’s faithfulness. It gives you faith that because He was faithful then, He will still be faithful with you today. You’re able to see that the people of the Bible were by no means perfect. They weren’t always faithful to God, but He was always faithful to them, and He upheld them with His mighty right hand.

We have the Bible not only as an encouragement but also as a promise. There are 735 predictions about the future in the Bible, and 596 of those have already happened. That’s 80% so that leaves us with 20% left to be fulfilled. God was faithful with 80% but not a lot of people know that. They don’t trust Him because they don’t know that He has been faithful this whole time! We take the Bible and look at certain parts but we forget to take a step back and look at it as a whole.

What is John 3:16? I bet 98% of you were able to answer that question without hesitating. Now do you know John 3:17 or John 3:15? The numbers probably went down with that one. They didn’t used to have references in the Bible; they just knew what it said. In the New Testament you’ll see the disciples and Jesus will quote the Old Testament. When they were talking everyone knew what they were talking about they didn’t have to say in Daniel 8 verse 3. Would you be able to find you’re way around the Bible without the references? I’m not saying the references are bad, but I am saying don’t limit the Bible to just the references. Let the word impact you’re heart. If you don’t have millions of verses memorized it’s ok. When something impacts you’re heart you’ll remember it, but don’t stop reading. Get into the word, read the word, meditate on the word. Don’t just skim over and check it off your to do list, but really read what it has to say. This is a gift given to us, use it take advantage of it. Don’t just say it’s your favorite book because you’re a Christian, but really read it, think about what you’re reading, pray about what you’re reading, ask the Holy Spirit to open up your eyes of understanding. I pray that each of you will fall in love with this wonderful book. That each of you will truly long to read it each and every day. 

1 comment:

Lisa Gentry said...

Sure Kristin, I will add you on mine, too. I'm just getting networked into this whole thing. I hope you are doing great!