Jan 3, 2011

RESOLVED: To Be a Student of God's Word

I started a new sermon series at Sixth Street yesterday called "Resolved: Commitments that Count".  In this 4 week series we will be looking at 4 key resolutions that if we undertake them will have dramatic effects on our lives, families, and church in 2011.  I talked about how most of us have become disillusioned with making New Year's resolutions because we confuse resolutions with goals.  A goal is a preferred outcome.  However, if we don't make it, no big deal because it was a goal.  Resolutions require resolve.  "Resolve" is defined as "to come to a definite or earnest decision about; a determination to do something."  Resolve requires determination.  Determined to not be content any longer and determined to do whatever it takes to make necessary changes.  For instance, I may have a goal to lose weight and eat better.  However, when my doctor tells me that if I don't exercise and lose weight that I may have a heart-attack and leave my wife a widow and my kids fatherless, now I have determination.

With that in mind, as Christians we usually make a new year's goal to "read the Bible more."  However, the weakness of that statement is what usually leads to our failure. If you only read the Bible 10-12 times last year outside of attending a worship service or small group, then if you read it 20-25 times this year you would technically accomplish the goal, but still fall far short of your intention.  Instead, we should me a "resolution" to become a student of God's word.  That statement carries with it greater weight, accountability, and action.  When I phrase it in that manner, then I must make some hard changes in my life and time management to accomplish it.

We looked at Hebrews 4:12 and the Prosperous, Powerful, Piercing, Probing, and Productive word of God.  We saw that God uses Scripture to transform our desires, attitudes, thoughts, values, and priorities.  Here is the resolution I have adopted and gave our church as a challenge yesterday:

WHEREAS, the natural course of our personal human nature is to trust in our own wisdom in all matters of life; and
WHEREAS, the wisdom of the world is foolishness in the sight of the living God; and
WHEREAS, the life of the believer is to be one of deep devotion to God and personal transformation by the renewing of one's mind; and
WHEREAS, the Bible is the authoritative, life-giving, inspired, inerrant word of the living God; and
WHEREAS, the mind of the believer is transformed through devotion to and interaction with Scripture; be it now
RESOLVED, that as a follower of Jesus Christ that I will become a student of God's word; and
RESOLVED, that I will no longer be content with a shallow relationship with holy Scripture; and
RESOLVED, that I will intentionally and purposefully manage my time to create opportunities to regularly read and study; and
RESOLVED, that whenever I find something in my life that is incompatible with God's word that I am to change and not it.

I also gave some suggestions for Bible reading plans for 2011.  Here are some of them:
The ESV Bible Plan
The One Year Bible Chronological Plan - read the events of the Bible in the timeline as they happened.
Discipleship Journal plans - The 5x5x5 plan and the regular through the Bible plan.