January 18, 2008

My Testimony: Reading the Word

A few times a year in between series of messages, Crosspoint opens up its doors for a trio of testimonies called 3-in-30 (3 people, 30 minutes).

At the beginning of this month, January 6, 2008, I was one of those three.

Audio: Download MP3 (12:02; 5.51 MB)



It's an honor to be speaking to you, my peers.

My testimony/background - similar to the Timothy we find in the Bible - low on drama, high on heritage (MK, Awana)

Building on Heritage

Eating food for myself

What I knew - The value of the Scriptures
Hebrews 1:1-4 - God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

Psalm 138:2 - I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name For Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.

Isaiah 55:6-11 - Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. "For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Romans 3:1-2 - What advantage then has the Jew...? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.

High School in Florida - DC94 - 25,000 of us promised to spend at least 10 minutes a day reading the Word.

Confession - 12 years later - I did not read the Word.

WORSE - I would talk about the Word. I was thanking God for a gift I had not allowed him to give me.

Course Correction

What I have found

Exciting - TODAY - I had an epiphany on Epiphany Sunday:
I'm less interested in applying Scripture to my life. (Me at the center.)

I'm more interested in applying my life to Scripture.
That's not just a semantic different--it's a different meaning, the opposite direction.

Hope of Redemption - Do you see yourself?
Romans 5:5 - Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 6:7-9 - He who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more.
HOPE - This is real. This is going to happen. I'm going to be there! Do you see yourself there?

Do you know God? Do you like him?
Romans 4:17 - God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did

Proverbs 9:10 - The knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Sometimes the Bible is hard to understand because the Bible doesn't say what we think it should say:

The Day in Between
Acts 24:25 - Paul with Felix: he reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come.

Romans 2:16 - the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ

Amos 5:18 - Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
Are you ready? Where do you see yourself on that day?
Romans 10:9-13 - If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

For You

Fun verses discovered recently - You'll understand if you know me!
2 Peter 1:12-14 - Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me.

2 Peter 3:1-2 - This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
Sometimes being a doer of the word means reading the word! (and memorizing the word)
Acts 17:10-11 - The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.

Share it with others, even those who do not believe!
Romans 3:3
Q. What if some did not believe?
A. Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect?

Bottom Line - Read the Word to live by faith, in hope, for the love of our savior, Jesus Christ.