Zion Baptist Church
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Baptist Missionary Association of America
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By Mrs. Connie Reifsteck - January 2010
Another New Year
As long as I can remember the “New Year” has been a time for making resolutions: to lose weight, to stop smoking, to exercise, yada yada yada. In other words, get rid of a bad habit or a bad physical condition, take better care of yourself, yada yada yada. And oh yeah, for those of us with a more “spiritual” bent, read the Bible through this year, do more Bible study, talk to more friends and acquaintances about the Lord, yada yada yada. I don’t really mean that last yada yada to be irreverent, but you get the idea. We always seem to make some kind of resolution to do better at something, and it only seems to take a very short while (in my case about one to three days) to renege on the resolution and go back to last year’s comfort zone.
So this quarter, the Adult Sunday School lessons are focusing on ways we can make ourselves more accountable to those who ask questions about our beliefs. (I think this will be one quarterly I will keep.) Now this seems to just fit right in with something I’ve been thinking about for a while - my personal Bible study. I’m prone to read some portion of scripture, have a random thought, and start chasing rabbits. It’s not bad to chase rabbits, but it might be more profitable for me to stay on track, make a note about a potential rabbit, and chase it later.
Why is studying the Bible important? You know, a lot of people with more money than sense (and unfortunately some with little money but a sense of desperation) look to all kinds of things to give them guidance in their lives and a sense of purpose. They want something to spotlight the path they should follow, and justify their actions. Well, there is an excellent guidebook for us, God’s Word. II Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Here’s a few reasons to study God’s Word. First, it is commanded. II Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Seems like pretty plain English to me - “Study...”
Secondly, it reveals the way of salvation. Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” I Corin- thians 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” Still looking at plain English here.
Thirdly, God’s Word gives assurance to the Believer. John 10:27&28 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” Again, this doesn‘t look like rocket science.
A fourth reason to study God’s Word is that it will endure forever. Mark 13:31 “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.” Can’t get much plainer than that, now can you.
And just one more of many reasons to study is God’s Word will give great peace. Psalm 119:165 “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” In this day and time, I find the notion of great peace, well, peaceful and comforting. Each generation probably felt they were living in perilous times, but I gotta think THIS may be perilous times what with the threat of terrorist activity: sabotaged planes, suicide bombers. And that doesn’t even take into account gangbangers, drive-by shooters, drug deals gone bad, and, well you get the picture. I mean, sometimes just standing on the corner will get you in trouble. So God’s Word will deliver peace in a troubled world, and I think that’s a very good thing.
This New Year, I’m not going to make promises or resolutions about what I will do, except that maybe I will try to leave the rabbits for another time when I’m studying God’s Word.
I found this old poem in a magazine a while back, and I’d kinda like to think I will use my Bible as much as this poem suggests.
My Old Bible
Though the cover is worn,
And the pages are torn,
And though places bear traces of tears,
Yet more precious than gold
Is this Book worn and old,
That can shatter and scatter my fears.
This old Book is my guide,
‘Tis a friend by my side,
It will lighten and brighten my way;
And each promise I find
Soothes and gladdens the mind,
As I read it and heed it each day.
To this Book I will cling,
Of its worth I will sing,
Though great losses and crosses be mine;
For I cannot despair,
Though surrounded by care,
While possessing this blessing Divine.