Matt described four categories of people in our church. Which of the following do you most closely identify with? What is one small decision you are going to make this week towards becoming more biblically oriented?
-You are not a Christian, but you might feel inclined to study the Bible.
-You are new to your faith, and your goal now should be to grow deep roots so that you are not swayed by this world.
-You are consistently in church, but there has not been movement or growth in your life for a while. Your heart is hardened, and you have been sitting close to the Word and not obeying it.
-You have been feeding on the Word faithfully for a long time, and you can see that the Spirit has made you fruitful and strong.
To be biblically oriented instead of self-oriented, we must respond with both personal devotion and constant learning. What does either of these look like in your life currently? Which one do you have a harder time with and why?
What is something you have recently read in Scripture or heard taught that you might be disobeying? How do you need to respond instead?
God says we are rewarded when we seek him, yet when we hear his Word and disobey, there will be consequences—a hardening of our hearts. Can you remember a time in your life when your heart was tender and responsive to God’s Word? Can you give an example of what that looked like and how your inward devotion to God’s Word showed outwardly?
We are all going to feed our souls with something. We have to make the choice to choose to feed on every word from God.
Being biblically oriented starts with slow, incremental, and consistent nourishment of God’s Word. There is nothing “magical” about slow and incremental, but we have to choose to take the long-term view and recognize we can’t feed ourselves all at once or overnight.
Scripture tells us if we accept and obey his Word, this reveals our love for God. If we reject and disobey his Word, this reveals our hate and neglect of him. We don’t get to rewrite these rules for ourselves.
We often struggle in our culture with “faking it” and even deceiving ourselves to think we are obeying God’s Word when we are actually rejecting it. We have to remember that our love for God is manifested by action.
Mark 4:4 tells us that we have both a responsibility for searching Scripture and obeying it in faith and consequences for neglecting it.
If you are in a stagnant place in your spiritual life, oftentimes the answer is not to just go search your heart (because we cannot trust our hearts), but rather to take a step of obedience so that God can start working in you to move you in a certain direction.
As a church, we will always be committed to:
- Teaching the Bible (whether culturally popular or unpopular) as our teachers study, obey, and teach (Ezra 7:10).
- Calling people to action and repentance (e.g. singing after the sermon in response, joining a community group, taking an institute class, or joining a care group).
As believers, we should be committed to:
- Consistently carving out time to be fed from God’s Word.
- Learning new things and moving towards them to study and understand.
Scripture: Matthew 4:4, John 14:15-21
Topics: Bible Study, Biblically Oriented, Core Values, Devotion, Local Church, Scripture, Spiritual Discipline