Today’s Scripture: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:8
We return to yet another scripture that’s talking about the importance of daily Bible study. When you see scriptures like this that say day and night that’s the reason they’re written…to make sure we understand that we’re not just to read our Bibles once in a great while…but day and night.
So, let’s get into today’s message…Studying the Word.
So, here we are again talking about meditating upon the Word day and night. We’ve talked twice about scriptures that remind us to search the scriptures daily, studying to show ourselves approved unto God, and that’s because we are suppose to be making the reading and studying of our Bibles part of our daily habits.
Remember back on our very first message the stat that someone who had taken a survey found that 12% of the Christians they surveyed read their Bibles daily. That is simply not good enough. Over 80% of the people who confess to be Christians had answers varying from a couple times a week to hardly ever reading their Bible at all.
So, why do we study the Bible anyways? I mean besides all of the answers we’ve given so far…what is the big deal about Bible study? Perhaps this verse here in Joshua 1:8 gives us some more insight as to why it’s so important.
Let me ask you a couple of questions. Do you want your way to be “prosperous”? Do you want to have good success? Stupid questions, aren’t they? Of course we want to prosper and have success, but then the question really becomes if we want those things than why aren’t we willing to do ALL that is necessary to have that success?
In our jobs we want to make more money, maybe have a better position, and we want to have success, right? So, what do we do? We try to make sure that we’re at work…on time…every day. We work the entire shift. We do the little extra things that either no one else wants to, and every menial task that our boss asks us to do…some times even at the expense of everything else, right? We work long hours at the expense of our family time. We accept special assignments or work holidays or do whatever it takes to be noticed by those who are able to promote us in the workplace. So, here’s a thought to meditate upon. How come we don’t do that for God?
He has the ability to promote us in every area of our lives. He has the ability to bless our family life, our finances, our health, and more. Yet, we are satisfied with going to church a couple times a week, maybe a small group every other week, and that’s it. We arrive at church late, and with an attitude that says that it better not go more than an hour.
Here’s a better question. What would happen to you on your job if you treated your job the way you treat your relationship with God? Would you have a good report? What if God was your boss at work? Would He fire you or promote you? I am asking because the Bible says that we’re to do all that we do for His glory anyways, and I am betting that for the most part we do much of what we do for His glory…or do we?
Part of our JOB as Christians is to study the Bible, but how many of us actually take the time to do that? How many of us actually set aside time every day to study, meditate, and read the Word of God? Well…less than 25%.
Listen, one of the most important parables in the Bible is about the Sowing of the Seeds. In it we find that there are four kinds of soil that the seed is sown into. We also know that the Seed is the Word of God. Let’s take a look at these soils…and how they relate to what we’re talking about.
- Matthew 13:19 NKJV The Way Side – “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside.” These are people who barely read their Bible, and don’t ever really go to church either. These are the people who go to church on Christmas and Easter and maybe Thanksgiving. They never read the Bible for themselves so they go to church, they hear the Word of God, but they never do anything with it. So, the enemy steals the Word that they heard, and they go on living their lives with out any impact from the Bible because the Bible didn’t have any impact upon them.
- Matthew 13:20-21 The Stony Places – “But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.” These are the people who attend church a couple of times a week, they hear and receive the Word, but they don’t go beyond that. They are not rooted and grounded upon the Word of God. These are also the ones who maybe tried for a while, but they weren’t getting immediate results so they decided that studying the Bible really isn’t for them, and they would rather hear a feel good message from Joel Osteen because it makes them feel good, and doesn’t challenge them at all. These are also the people who are probably saved, but they don’t do anything else.
- Matthew 13:22 The Thorns – “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” This is the place where most of us live (including me at times). We hear the Word, we receive the Word, and we even maybe study the Word from time to time. However, the power and authority in our lives are choked away by the cares of the world. We have our attention taken away by television, and are more interested in being entertained than enlightened with the Word of God. This was the reason that I did the 21 Day fast a few weeks ago. Because in this state while we may be receiving the Word we’re not really doing anything with it. This is also those who are just hearers of the Word, and not doers. This is the carnal Christian. They have one foot in the world and one foot out of the world. This is the most common place where Christians are at because they have no discipline. They have a desire for the Word, but are only willing to read it when they can schedule it into their day. These are the Christians who have NO power…and therefore as a result they bear no fruit.
- Matthew 13:23 The Good Ground – “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty”.” These are the ones who study to show themselves approved unto God. These are the ones who meditate upon the scriptures day and night. These are the ones who search the Scriptures daily. These are the ones who read and speak the Word of God. These are the ones who have power, boldness, confidence, and unshakeable faith in God. These are the ones who aren’t just hearing the Word, but doing what it says. These are the ones who are making their way prosperous and having good success. These are the Christians that have results. This is the group that we should all aspire to be in.
Would you like proof that this works? Jesus had 12 disciples right? Who are the only ones that you hear of constantly? Who were the only ones who were always with Jesus? Who were the ones who went with Him while He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane? Peter, James, and John. If you know basic math then you know that 3 out of Jesus’ 12 disciples actually bore fruit. The other 9 out of 12 you barely hear from…but Peter, James and John are the only ones after the Gospels that we hear about. Judas, we know what happened to him. What about the others? What about doubting Thomas? What about Phillip? Nathaniel? You never really hear about the others because I imagine they wound up in one of the other three groups.
Listen, your going to find yourself in one of those three groups, and here’s the truth. The group that you find yourself in is directly related to how much time you spend studying and meditating upon the Word of God for yourself. The more time you spend studying the more fertile the soil of your heart is going to be, and the more likely your going to find yourself in the last group.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be Good Ground. I want to be the kind of Christian who has power and authority. I want to be in the group that reaps a good harvest, and has good success.
I want to be one who meditates upon the Word day and night…how about you?
- What soil are you?
- What are the commands in today’s scripture verse?
- Do you feel like you follow these commands?
- What do you need to do in order to change the kind of soil you are?
Conclusion & Prayer
Daily meditation upon the Word of God is key to our success as Christians. The more we study the scriptures the more we’ll find ourselves approved of God. The more we search the scriptures the more we’ll understand. The more we aren’t just hearers, but doers…the more we work to make sure the Word of God is important to us…the more we will find our way prosperous, and have good success in all our ways.
I don’t know about you…but I want to have that good success.
Lord, thank You that the Word of God causes us to have success in our lives, and causes us to be prosperous. Help us, Lord to place a premium in our lives on Your Word, and help us Father God not to just be readers and hearers, but doers as well. Help us, Lord God to become that Good Ground where we bear fruit in abundance. We love You Lord, and we love Your Word. We ask these things of You in Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen