The Habits of Growing Disciples 5: People of the Book

One of the vital habits of growing disciples involves the process of becoming immersed in God’s Word. I believe that if we’re going to be devoted followers of Jesus, we must be people of the book! And if we’re going to be a missional community after God’s own heart, we must be people of the book!

John Wesley was known as the “man of one book.” I love that! Now, if you know John Wesley, you know that he read widely, so how could be called a “man of one book”? Wesley was person who immersed himself in the Scriptures, so that it served as the foundation for his entire life. I too read as much as I can. But, like Wesley, I want to be known as a person of one book, a person of the Scriptures!

Notice the king’s response, when he discovered God’s Word in 2 Kings 22.10-13. (See also Deuteronomy 6.4-9, which we’ve been reading a lot during this series. God’s Word was obviously to be a vital part of the life of faith!)

Hebrews 4.12
For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.

Ezekiel 3.1-11

When the rabbis would begin teaching children the Torah, they would put a drop of honey (the sweetest substance in their day) on the child’s finger. The child would taste the honey, and the rabbi would say, “God’s Word is like honey!”

However, the statistics reveal that we are not “people of the book.” I read recently that 92% of households in America own at least one Bible. Of those households that own a Bible, the average number of Bibles is three. But, according to Gorge Barna, 37% read the Bible at least once a week.

Becoming people of the book …
So, if we’re going to become “people of the book” we have a lot of work to do! But we must do what do it. Our relationship with Christ depends on us being people of the book …

Colossians 3.16
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

2 Timothy 2.15 in KJV, NKJV, and NLT

Disciplines related to the scriptures

  • Reading/Listening (systematic)
  • Meditation/Reflection
  • Study
  • Memorization
  • Guidance
  • Praying the Scriptures

Wrong Question: Are you being spiritually fed?
It may be because I’m a pastor that this questions bothers me. But it really is the wrong question to be asking.

Right Question: Are you spiritually feeding yourself?
Too many people have confused the role of the church. People think it’s simply the church’s responsibility to spiritually feed people, particularly children. While it is the church’s responsibility to feed and to equip, spiritual development is the 7-day-a-week job of the family in the home. That’s true for your kids. It’s also true for you.

Yes, we want you to be fed while you’re here. But the reality is, if you’re only “eating” once a week, you are starving to death, spiritually! As a teacher, leader, a shepherd, I can only lead you to the feeding trough; but once there, you will always have to feed yourself! That’s your responsibility! I can’t grow you. I can only teach you how to grow yourself!

We must get God’s Word into our Head, Heart, and Hands and Feet!

Head (orthodoxy)

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10.17)

Heart (orthopathy)

“I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119.11)

When we put God’s Word in our heart, God becomes our passion. And when God is our passion, we don’t want to sin against God! The best antidote for sin is passion for God!

Hand & Feet (orthopraxy)
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”(Ephesians 2.10)

May God help us to become people of the Book. In doing so, may we immerse ourselves in the Scriptures so much that we not only know right doctrine, but that we live out God’s commands with passion!

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