Why Read The Bible – Day 23 of 32 – Treasure The Word
Today’s Scripture: “1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:1-6
I am a couple of days behind. The last few days when I work six in a row get to be a little rough. I usually get up and write after I take a nap, but I just knew that it was time to take a short breather so I can come back strong and finish up this series.
So, this would’ve been Tuesday’s message, and what we would’ve talked about on Tuesday is what we’re going to talk about today…Treasure the Word. I know that this is going to be a good message, and am excited to get right into it.
So, before I begin since I’m still a little groggy and foggy I figure it’s a good idea to start with a prayer.
Lord God, I thank You for another day and opportunity to write messages inspired by the Holy Ghost. Holy Ghost, I need You to lead and guide me into all truth so that I may write only of the oracles of You. I ask You to anoint my fingers, and make them as a pen of a ready writer. Writing only that which You, Holy Spirit, would have to say. I ask that You would give the readers open hearts and minds, and that You would give them an encounter with You through this message. I pray for boldness, clarity, and conviction…and I ask these things in Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen.
Treasure the Word. This goes back to the message we had not too long ago about Delighting in the Word. See, if more people in the body of Christ treasured the Word of God then we would have more than 25% of Christians who read and study their Bibles on a daily basis. See, because you give your time and attention to the things you treasure.
If you treasure your marriage you will give time and attention to your spouse. If you treasure sports then you’ll do like I do at times and get so carried away with sports that you forget about the fact that you have a ministry to take care of…and people who are counting on you to take care of your ministry.
Oh yes, I’m going to get personal today. I can sense it already. I can sense the Holy Spirit wants to deal with some things in your hearts and mine through today’s message…and I haven’t even gotten to look at our scriptures for the day yet.
The question really is about what do you treasure? Do you treasure your relationship with God more than you treasure you position at work or is work more important? Do you treasure your relationship with God more than you treasure television or is it more important to know what’s happening on Criminal Minds? Do you treasure the Word of God or is it more important to read the Sunday newspaper? Do you treasure the Word of God or is it more important to watch your favorite program on television. That’s the second time about television…some of you may need to shut the television off for a while…and reacquaint yourself with the Word of God like I did not too long ago.
See, what is most important to you is what you treasure. If you don’t treasure the Word of God enough then you’ll be more interested in watching NCIS. If you don’t treasure the Word of God then you will be more concerned with SportsCenter. If you don’t treasure the Word of God then you won’t have any compassion at all for anyone or anything outside of your own personal interests…and the Word of God instead of being a light unto your feet will be an impediment to you having a good time.
See, there in lies the issue. Whether you’re a preacher or not. Reading and studying the Bible on a daily basis is WORK. It requires time, sacrifice, and commitment. You cannot expect to get revelation from the Word of God when you occasionally show up for church on Wednesdays and Sundays, and maybe you grace a small group with your presence or maybe you don’t. But, you cannot expect to have fresh revelation and have the Word of God impacting your life if you are barely interested in doing the basics.
Listen. I am writing to myself. It’s easy to argue with yourself sometimes, and lately it’s easier to decide to stay home some times because of my work schedule. Do you know what the difference is? I am writing messages, and I treasure and value the Word of God. There is a premium that I have placed upon God’s Word. So if I miss a Wednesday or a Sunday I’m not missing an entire day’s opportunity to get into the Word of God. Yet, I’ve had the Lord tell me to just suck it up, and get my tired butt to church…because He’s the One who supplies my energy and strength when I don’t have any.
Don’t you know that when I go to church even when I’m at the end of myself physically that’s when He can take over because I’m not believing or trusting in my strength. I’m fully trusting in Him, and because I am obedient and crucify my flesh…and make it go to church anyways…I usually get some good revelation from going.
So, more often than not, even when I’m at my weakest points I still suck it up and get to church. Like I did last night. Last night was the end of a six-day work week, and I was exhausted. It was 4pm, and I was already arguing with myself, but I put my foot down and decided that we were going to church…and I’m glad we did because both of us had really good services.
You see. I treasure God. I treasure the Word. It’s valuable to me because my relationship with God is valuable to me. I want to know how to live a better life. I want to know how to get closer to God. I want to know how to please Him, and be one of those who is told “well done” at the end of life. Do you know how I find that out? By treasuring the Word of God.
That’s a huge…huge problem today. Preachers are becoming slothful because these days you can go on to one of many websites devoted to helping preachers and pastors…and you can print out a sermon that someone else studied and wrote out. All you have to do is pick a topic, and you can find sermons that are complete with scriptures, jokes, illustrations, and most of the time they’re free. So, as a pastor who is more interested in entertaining his congregation than feeding them something that will really help them they download this sermon, preach them, and wonder why there’s no anointing or power. They wonder why the Holy Spirit isn’t in manifestation in their church…in fact the only time they might feel a slight breeze of the Holy Ghost is during worship because God always inhabits the praises of His people…but there’s no power, no anointing, no yoke breaking, no healing, no gifts of the spirit, and no one in the congregation is really getting fed because they’re not really being taught anything of value because the minister who decides to take that short cut and preach someone else’s sermon is really feeding their sheep junk food.
That’s right I said junk food. Growing up as a kid my mom and I some times would do what we’d call “junk food” night for supper. All the ice cream, cookies, and whatever else we wanted for dinner we could have, and did have. Do you know that as a child I enjoyed those dinners, but what I didn’t realize back then is something I know now. There was absolutely no nutritional value to those junk food dinners because they were empty calories. It’s the same thing with these ready-made sermons that you preachers download and print off the internet…they are empty of substance.
Preacher, you are starving your congregation because you have left your first love. I believe that when Jesus talks about the church that left their first love that it’s the Word of God that they have left because when you have the Word of God as the cornerstone of your ministry…like Christlike Ministries NWA has it…then you cannot forsake your first love. I told you I was going to get personal in this message.
Listen to me, preachers. You cannot continue to feed your sheep junk food. If you’d take the time to read your Bible yourself then you would know that there are people in your congregation who are desiring the sincere milk of the Word, and you also have people in your congregation who are starving for substance…for meat and potatoes and vegetables…they are desiring a well-balance meal supplied to their spirit…and the only thing that can supply that to them is the Word of God that you’re neglecting to feed them.
Preacher, what you have is a congregation full of malnourished sheep. If you treated your own pets the way you treat God’s sheep the Animal Control Police would be coming to take your pets, and charge you for cruelty to animals for failing to provide them with an adequate diet.
Let me be clear:
GOD IS GOING TO COME AND REMOVE YOUR SHEEP IF YOU DON’T START TO FEED THEM THE WORD OF GOD. IF YOU CONTINUE TO UNDER NOURISH THE SHEEP THAT GOD HAS PLACED IN YOUR CARE AND ENTRUSTED YOU TO TEACH THEM HIS WORD…HE WILL TAKE THEM FROM YOU. YOU ARE ALSO GOING TO ANSWER FOR EVERY SINGLE PERSON THAT YOU LEFT MALNOURISHED AND UNDERFED. YOU ARE GOING TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVERY SHEEP THAT YOU REFUSED TO FEED BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT DOWNLOADING A SERMON WAS MUCH EASIER THAN STUDYING ONE FOR YOURSELF. PREACH THE WORD PREACHER…THAT’S NOT A SUGGESTION IT’S AN ORDER FROM OUR COMMANDER AND CHIEF…THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Beloved, what do you treasure? What’s valuable to you? Have you placed a premium upon the Word of God and God’s presence or are there things that you’ve made more important than God? I had to answer these questions a few weeks back, and I found that I needed to fast from a few things for a while because I’d placed other things above my relationship with God. Friends, if you’ve done the same then I would like to encourage you to do the same. Turn off the television, and turn on the Word. Turn off the world, and turn on God.
Jesus said that “Where your heart is your treasure will be also.” Where is your heart? What’s valuable to your heart?
Points for Pondering:
- What do these words convey?
- Why would this father desire these things for his son?
- What is valuable to your heart?
- Have you placed more of a premium upon the world or God?
Conclusion and Prayer:
I truly believe that there’s a premium in my heart upon the Word of God. After all it is the most important thing that we as believers have outside of salvation. Well, without someone preaching the Word to us there wouldn’t have been salvation. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. See, people cannot even be saved without the preaching of the Word of God.
Do you treasure God’s Word? Is it valuable to you? If there’s something more valuable to you than the Word of God…then you seriously need to repent. I don’t know why there is such an anointing on me to talk about the importance of the Word of God, but maybe that’s something that I’m called to…is making sure that it’s understood how important God’s Word is and how valuable to us it should be to us as ministers. We’re called to be ministers of the Gospel…not ministers of someone else’s sermons.
Oh my, let’s pray shall we?
Oh, Lord. Please forgive us for being so lazy and placing other things above You and Your Word. Please forgive us, Father God for making Your Word something that’s ineffective and undesirable because we’d rather download someone else’s sermon than teach or preach a message we’ve studied for ourselves from Your Word. God…please give Your preachers, teachers, pastors, evangelists, apostles, and prophets a love and fire and burning passion for Your Word. Remove those who have devalued Your Word, and replace them for preachers who are unashamed to still preach what thus sayeth the Lord. Draw us back to the Bible, Lord…teach us to treasure Your Word, teach us to put a premium on Your Word, Your presence, and the things of You…and forgive us for the things we put above You and Your Word. I love You and I love Your Word, but I ask that You would even burn with in me a more intense desire, fire, and passion for Your Word that can only be satisfied by more of You Word. Let the fire and passion for Your Word burn with such intensity that nothing else will satisfy me. Thank You for what You’re accomplishing through these messages, and I thank You Lord God, that Your Word never returns void, but always accomplishes that which it was sent out to do…like rebuke, exhort, encourage, instruct, and equip Your people…let us all become more perfected, let us all reap more of the profits of being students of Your Word, and let us all continue to be instructed in righteousness that we may be complete, lacking nothing, and fully equipped to go into the Word preaching and teaching Your Word. In Jesus name…Amen & Amen