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Stop Reading About The Bible

Randy Roberts


Randy Roberts

Senior pastor of Loma Linda University Church



  • October 27, 2007
    10:00 AM
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raises become solicitor general voice of the Spirit in our hearts we pray that we might be open to and interested in in Jesus name amen Psalm one hundred and nineteen Psalm one hundred nineteen is well known for being the longest Psalm in the songbook it is also well over a variety of different verses that are therein one of the better-known verses is averse that I like to read this morning Psalm one hundred nineteen one hundred and five I'm reading from the new revised standard version these are the words your word is allowed to my feet and a light to Micah simple to say short your word is allowed to my feet and a light to my path the title for these lost this morning is start reading about the Bible I suppose if you heard at five to the first question if you're like me that would come to mind for you would be why what kind of advice is that coming from a preacher drew parishioners stopped reading about the wine is advised a pastor is getting to parishioners who do nothing but read about the black students on the campus of young professionals are at work and yet the reality as you spend so much time reading about the Bible they can hinder their status they don't quite make it to work is that what you're giving the recommendation to stop reading about the Bible no as a reason why are you getting as a pastor advice to parishioners to stop reading about the Bible because you find that people are doing that you greatly and yet there is nothing different in their line well know at would be a good reason in fact I would think if you asked me that question of the family the wife and mother of green said to me I can't take it anymore I said what sassy said my husband is consumed with things religions consumed with Dolly dots but he treats us indisputable way well that might be enough to call someone to say stop reading that stuff but that's not why I'm saying today I'm not even saying it is some in our surrounding culture might ask because of what's being written in the standing if you followed all the bestseller lists to peruse the bookshelves at Barnes & Noble you will see that among bestsellers in our day and time are books about the Bible not complementary books written by wide range of ages books written from the more philosophical and scientific perspective as well as from the more popular perspective and that just if I could bring those books together in one simple statement and try to describe what I understand them to be saying would simply be noticed stop treating about the black lady who asked me is is is that what why you're saying all know that's not the reason you if the reason I would say something like that stop reading about the Bible is simply the I am interested in well educated Christians were unique while there's an interesting thought that I run across some years past that had to do with education education in any fumes gentleman for whom I have a great deal of respect and educator himself one day conversation said to me you know how you can tell somebody who's truly educated at least in the standards of educational systems around us as it were what's that I can tell you what it is the people who get an okay education are those who read about the great writer about the great people in their students they read a lot about bicep the people with the truly great education are those who have read the great racks once you have read the great names in the bottles have merely studied about them though there is nothing necessarily wrong with that but the want to have study themselves firsthand stop reading about the Bible I have a bit of a hard time pinpointing exactly what was best of my recollection it was probably about sixteen years ago or thereabouts in other words it's after I had been in pastoral ministry after I had been to seminary certainly the college after I had worked in chaplaincy for several years it was after all of that it happened that one day I listened to a cassette tape most of you don't remember to set the crazy greater was even worse as most of you don't remember a tracts and never heard the word records I listened to a cassette tape I jog in the mornings and when I jog I no longer listen to desist I listen to an iPod but in those days I listen to cassette I had a voracious appetite for them because they had in day out as I jog I was looking typically through sermons listens on a day I had run out of all the sermons all the tapes I have on hands I was digging through some all things that I have lot from the garage you know how it is dig it out we can see there anything in here were really listening to and I found the tape cassette tape that I have been given some years before the cassette tape that I have been given by the ministerial secretary of the southwestern Union conference I was ordained in Texas and Southwestern union conferences are quite oversaw the Texas conference of the afternoon the Sabbath afternoon I was ordained he gave me a couple of gifts again they want a small communions that not much bigger than my Bible a bit thicker and then he gave me a cassette cassettes eight by HMS Richards on one side of the cassette tape was a sermon on living water exceptional Sir Howard a little more so I listened that on the other side of the cassette tape was an interview and interviewee was basically answering this question that was the title of that side of the tape if I were a young minister again on that's interesting I'd like to hear that and so I stuck it in the Walkman and off I went listening to agent this is the here was somebody who was nearing at that time when he recorded in the end of his not only career but his life was interesting to hear him reflect that talk about the things that he would do different wish he had no would change if you were a young minister again I'm not sure I could tell you it's been years now since I listened to the tape I'm not sure I could tell you all the things he said they were instructed but all I can tell you one things that one day he said hit me right between the arts one thing he said hit me hard enough to almost caused me to stop it hit me very hard because I knew a little bit about HMS Richards not a lot a little bit I knew he was a man of Scripture I knew he read his Scripture and read it gracious I know that because I had heard such things and rent assistance but also know because I have watched substance I've watched in that time you come to Guatemala City to preach he was preaching in a large congregation there in Guatemala City where we lived at the time and my dad was going to do the translation I remember sitting out in the congregation and looking upfront and seeing agentless Richards older by that time a bit frail and sober in his seat low blanket wrapped around him Guatemala City was cold at that time of year waiting as the early parts of the service moved by it wasn't a Spanish speaker so I'm sure he must've felt a bit lost as the singing went on the prayers the Scripture readings the announcements none of which you can understand but I remember watching album gentlemen with more iced over in his seat with his Bible and held at about this distance from strings as you read and where rating it as though it were for the first time I had a hunch you'd read those words before but he was enraptured by our remember I remember my dad translating for HMS Richards as he preached as he found from one passage to another in his Bible as he read that passage is my dad translate as he read those passages upside down and he just read but read them off walls of his member so I remember ghost I remembered a man devoutly dedicated script I suppose that's why it was as I jogged down the road that morning Mission Road which is now disappeared into houses I jot down mission road that morning and heard what he said he would do it you were a young minister again he said if I were a young minister again I would read the Bible more and I I I wanted to stop and to rewind the tape and think I'm on I must've missed something because I thought he said if he were young minister again he would read the Bible more and that's what he said he said if I were a young minister again I would read the Bible it is hard to describe quite what I felt at that moment because truth be told when I heard those words if someone has stopped me and asked me Randy dealt a major in college pastor for a number of years working in chaplaincy and he read the Bible through I would probably have cost quite a good would have wracked my mind and would have truthfully said I think so I do remember that one time when I took down my trustee King James version and said I'm going to read Mister kills me and it very nearly did and stop and start lurches installs I think I made it I'm not totally sure but I think I made sure all I've read a lot about the Bible I would've said no question about it I've read a great deal about the black I've read those large hole slows large dry tomes they had us read and seminary I've read those books from college Bible classes I've read I couldn't tell you from how many commentaries but many have read extensively about the black I wonder if the person segment will note however is not actually what I was one of those actually wondering is have you read the Bible should because it's it's it's a good education if you've read about the Bible you read a series of inspiration he read the history of the development of the Canon if you've read our understandings of Isaiah and Jeremiah and Mark education is not the best so they might is that I want to press you a bit more have you read the Bible read why didn't want to be asked that question it have to give that answer and so I made a determination that it was a determination based on something else HMS Richardson I knew this was true because or part of my time in college I had worked in the abdomen this book sooner as the shipping clerk and I had shipped a lot of things during those days and so knew a lot about the different books and music and other items that were sold in the Adventist book centers in those days and I remember that's HMS Richards said you know I decided at one point with the help of others that I was going to narrate the bar and so we sat down he said and I read the Bible outline all the way through Genesis one Revelation twenty two read the Bible you can get it he said on tape and he said it took about ninety out at HMS Richards was not a fast heart in race presents and I got to thinking as I jogged down the road if you can read the Bible through outlet not enter her in ninety hours I certainly ought to be able to read it through to myself and sixty just rating and I made a decision that day I decided I'm going to begin tomorrow morning at Genesis one one nine A for one or I'm not going to read for details studying I'm not going to read to try to answer questions that arise are not going to try to exegete passages not really doing that I'm just going to read just reap sit down and open the Bible and begin reading and so that's what I didn't sit down and begin our day sixty days later I read Revelation twenty two and wanted journey it wants larger there are some rough spots along the way of guarantee that there were some rough roads dry to Ray Leonard everywhere would be jettisoned begot I just hope that in run out again tank was still partially full I thought I'll make it to the next station in the next story the next saw and just get dry but there were also incredible this their reviews that I can't adequately describe there were those moments when it without my being aware of it driving along in a certain part of that biblical to range suddenly there in front of me was something I recognized something I knew very what I had been there many times before I just never realized that was the road that got me I then on that part of the journey and then when I drove away I wondered where does this leave I'm not sure I've been down this pathway at least not a long time and sometimes the pathway would rise and sometimes all I decided at the end of that journey that this was a journey that needed to have moron is my so 's an Asian guy decided that they want I will attempt to do by the grace of Jesus is the beginning of every year I'll begin the journey again and so surely by his grace that's on top it happened in different automobiles as you will sometimes than a new one like a new international automobile sometimes is no like the King James automobile sometimes in fact one year it was in an automobile can not playing with I was a long trip for more than sixty days but by the grace of God on seeing a young it was a great sure and a journey that could change over the years I have learned a number of different last driving that road one lesson has been that which I tried underlying to destroy and that is simply that it's not notebook however good however inspired however interesting however replaces Scripture that's where we begin it strikes me as odd that a pastor a pastor and chat could not say with any degree of confidence just I have read it through it also strikes me as odd that Christians me you some of us who percentages small randomly great lingering hunch that it's not a small distrust is on the Christians you say we affirm this to be the word of God we stay our faith opponents claim 's in fact we are prepared even if necessary to die for its affirmations it strikes me as odd that we might say that never having run never having set down and write I've learned that's not a good place to be and yet it is only solved in one manner and that is rated as the spirit of Jesus the spirit of grace to come to walk with us to guide us as we open those pages and begin to read the second lesson I've learned I've also learned that when you begin to read it why have mercy do you have a I challenge to churches will Melinda University church and Corona administered for a password some years for iCal members may make it your goal this year to read through Scripture start January one eighty reading is too daunting a task it is too daunting a task you can download it onto your iPod you can buy the CDs to listen to their because the truth is when this word was first given to humans it came in audible form not in written that's why the apostle says Faith comes by hearing and Karen but we're not the vast majority of the members of the churches to which Paul wrote could not read his right it were not the educated class they were together maybe in places like this while one reader would stand up front and would begin to read all on apostle by the grace of God and list it would hear in their faith will grow so if reading is too daunting let's will have discovered this when people read when people listen over questions asked you know what's in judges well I have read it all out in the world pastor asked have you read you is that in the Bible gas after I didn't realize that Mark says but Luke says this questions after I had always heard it we believe but then I read this text over your what in the world was at me questions all kinds of questions and when those questions arise I will have to tell you at least this pastor smarts maybe not to put inward because what it says news or so now you got to start now rating is no longer enough have you come to begin today it's not a bad way to spend the other ten months of the year the Jews on the Jews drove our Psalms are Matthew and just say I'm going to movements going to live with it until it is a part of who I live with it until I know my of the solvents a heart of the gospel Apollo 's of your past window with so I learned that when you read you have questions of war but I've also learned another lesson I've also learned that the more often you take du jour more familiar becomes the jury the more precious there are certain times in certain weeks around certain times of the early year now that I know are good weeks I love reading those storms Joseph Havard I love it when I come to Joe hope it doesn't go by too quickly the gospel 's I just lingering over the stories of Jesus I love certain times of the early year I have learned that there other parts of the journey that I endure I just endure first Chronicles on forgive the expression of the output here on projects at some roughly it's just a long genealogies just one after another after another but the more times you come back the more you begin to remember dates or you are a member you you were a sculpture I've you are certainly did James with what little he had worked his mail you soon began to find that even in the difficult terrain there are lessons I learn the more times you take the journey the more precious it becomes but I've also learned this the more times you take the journey the more it becomes part of you the more that journey becomes familiar terrain in your own self it's a wonderful blessing because then when you sit down in a sample school lesson you sit down in a church service you sit down to listen to Scripture being taught and the person up front says would you take your Bibles and open them and would you open them to Psalm one thirty nine you find yourself saying us on or when they say once you open your Bibles to the second chapter of a book you may struggle to find a back and you say why wonder where he will go I wonder what she will make of the just living actually will we end up in all its familiar terrain you've been maybe you discover that Scripture is much like so many other things in life it's like sitting down and watching the football game and saying I know the rules of the game and because of that when it comes down to a minute and a half left and it's a two-minute energy there are two points behind you know why you are getting some if you've never watched have no idea of the rules of the game your yarn and say wake me up when this zone you know Scripture you don't do because you know what is involved there's one other lesson I've learned it may be the most fresh as lesson of all the lesson that could be drawn from a variety of different passages in Scripture maybe one of the primary ones is that passage in John chapter one John one in the beginning was the work the word was with God the word was God you learn that the work the living work speaks to work the living in Esquire that great theologian John Stott makes an affirmation when he says when you approach Scripture you soon learned that it is true what he wants to go that he once again speaks it is true what he wants to smoke that he once again speaks and as you learn that you learn that sitting before his word he sensed his presence there days when it's very clear there are days when as the song says you have to trace his outline as though it were a share but he speaks so that by the time it begins to become a part of you G become a party you what you any talks so there's a wise man said there is an abundance of literature there are hooks galore Whisenant said of learning there is no way after more books are printed every year about Scripture and looks we have all books we have new moves we have inspired books and inspiring books all kinds of things we can read about why they're good but as a friend of Jesus you don't want a good education you want a great and so I would say at least for a season of your life at least for a period of your year stopped reading about the bar instead we got of grace how profoundly grateful we are you humbled yourself to become wrapped in humans much and that you humbled yourself to become revered in human works Lord let us make those words a part of our law 's a


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