Saturday, 21 December 2013

The Bible, God, the Church and the World

We may study Scripture personally but we must not study it individualistically. Our study of Scripture must be related to God, the Church and the world.
We need a revival of the apostolic devotion - “we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word” (Acts 6:4). We are not to study Scripture for our own benefit only. We are to “hold fast the Word of life” by “holding forth the Word of life” (Philippians 2:16).
The Word is God’s Word. The work is God’s work. The Word is to be read in God’s way. The work is to be done in God’s way. We are to read the Word of God prayerfully. The work of God - evangelism and edification - is to be done prayerfully.
We are to approach God’s Word in a spirit of prayer - “Give me understanding, that I may keep Thy law and observe it with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:34).
We should pray for those who preach the Word (Ephesians 6:18-20). Pray for them in their preparation. Receive the preaching prayerfully, even when the preacher is not among the best.
The Church is established through evangelism and equipped for evangelism. If the Church is to be equipped for evangelism, there must be edification.
God’s people must feed on the Word of God if they are to become strong and able to share it with others. As well as “quiet times” and sermons, we should take advantage of opportunities for group Bible study.
Prayerful study of God’s Word opens doors for God to work in our lives, our churches and our communities.
In drawing our attention to his own deep commitment to both evangelism and theology, Michael Green made the thought-provoking remark: “Most evangelists are not very interested in theology: most theologians are not very interested in evangelism” (Evangelism and the Early Church, p. 7). Insofar as Green’s observation is accurate, our theological understanding and our evangelistic endeavour are weakened.
This matter must be taken to God in prayer. There, we will be given understanding and we will be equipped for evangelism. There, we will discover that “prayer is evangelism shorn of all its carnal attractions.”
God has declared His purpose: “For I’m building a people of power and I’m making a people of praise, that will move through this land by My Spirit, and will glorify My precious Name.” Let our prayer be, “Build Your Church, Lord.Make us strong, Lord. Join our hearts, Lord through Your Son. Make us strong, Lord, in Your Body, in the Kingdom of Your Son.”