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bible. Being Changed

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I - Youth Group Sword Drills

Youth Group Sword Drills
One of the most rewarding and most difficult parts of my Job is sermon prep.
How do I know I am doing enough to satisfy God?
Get stuck
Get treat
get treat
get treat
loved the competition felt like an important kind of game.
Growing up I would find myself looking for the bible when things were hard. Looking for comfort, reassurance, or ideas on what to do.

Y - we have this vague idea that its important, but how?

Trans: I grew up convinced this book was something. Holy, important, valuable, but also confusing.
Now I’m willing to bet we are all over the map here.
Some of us Dont read
Some have givin it a solid try at some point and got discouraged.
Some of you have one feel like you probably should be reading it more and feel a little guilty about that.
Some of us stopped reading
Some of us feel bad a bout not reading
Some of us Read it like a chore that needs to be done
Sometimes we treat it like an answer key or a cosmic rule book
We generally think the main way it does this is by giving us COMMANDs and RULES to follow and things to "believe" in our minds and answers to questions . We think it's supposed to be an ANSWER KEY to lifes questions. What happens when I die? Should I drink, get a tatoo, own a tv, eat pork, go to the movies? How many years old is the world? What is going to happen tomorrow?
Sometimes we treat it like a good luck charm
have one, read it out loud in hopes that those “holy words” will help us some how.
Do we read it...
Do we read it to make God happy?
To figure out what to do in a specific situation?
To find comfort after tragedy or in uncertainty?
To tell us who to vote for? Or more often to tell us we were right about who we voted for.
To figure out what we should do, or avoid?
To reassure ourselves that we are in the right?
Some of us dont
We have never been taught how?
We hear the thoughts of others on it and take their word for it.
We tried but just couldn't get into it.
Growing up I thought, “this book is supposed to change my life, but I’m not exactly sure how.”
like life’s answer key - A Rule Book of things to avoid - A Children’s book - Dont bother
I think many of us have this idea that this book matters. ITs special in some way, but were not always sure what to do with it. We dont know what to look for, or what we are supposed to find when we read it.
I dont think I’m alone in how I thought growing up, “This book is supposed to change my life, but I’m not sure how.”

G -

G -

Trans: I think to begin to scratch the surface of that question we should start by looking at what kind of book the bible is.
Trans: Well if we read carefully the bible actually gives us tons of clues.
Last week we talked about the Divine-Human origins of the bible...
66 individual books, 40 authors, 3 languages, 1000-2000 years of writing. Finished nearly 2000 years ago
we talked about the miracle it is that we have it and it makes any sense at all.

If the bible is supposed to change our lives how does it do that? How do we get that?

Some of us leave it to someone else

The bible changes our lives not just by telling us what to do differently, But by giving us a PLACE to sit down, and hear from God.

For a book that is supposed to change our lives a book we read as an answer key you might be surprised to see that a small precentage of it is “instruction” or what scholars call “Prose Discourse”
Trans: Last week we talked about the bible being breathed out by God.
What makes up the bible - Genre Composition of the Bible
43% Narrative
historical narrative,
33% Poetry
songs, wisdom poetry, reflective poetry, and political poetry.
24% Prose Discourse
Laws, sermons, letters, and an essay.
Trans: Well if we read carefully the bible actually gives us tons of clues.
How does the bible see itself?
Well if we read carefully the bible actually gives us tons of clues.
- a Poem is one. It uses metaphor to give us an idea of how to approach this book. Its not an instruction manual or a to do list, but it does what the bible does best it gives us an example of what it looks like in someone’s life when they do this.
While I might prefer a nice checklist, prefers to talk about PLACES.
Lets take a look.
Psalm 1:1–3 NIV
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
Go line by line and explain. dig in.
… What doesn't it say?
… What does it say
When the writer wants to describe what someone who is Changed by GOD through scripture looks like.
It doesn't describe a perfect person. Who lives perfectly, who never sins, who checks all the boxes.
It doesn’t describe s hero.
You dont see a picture of mother theressa or some super spiritual monk.
Instead its all about a place.
“blessed” people, people transformed by God’s word. Are people that PLANT themselves in it rather than PLANTING themselves somewhere else.
You can find this description and call all over scripture.
“The bible changes our lives not just by telling us what to do differently, but by giving us a PLACE to sit down and hear from God”
When we meditate on scripture day and night we are like the tree that draws water from the river. We notice things ,the HS reveals things to us that we would have not seen, his spirit works on our hearts and we find ourseleves transformed. Not because we figured our lives out or tried really hard, but because our roots were growing deep into the right plcae

<SLIDE> Big Buck Hunter VS Deer Hunting _illus

Where you sit determines what you get. And where you sit over the course of our life determines who you become

Being changed by God’s word is less about coming to the bible to FIND SOMETHING and take it out.
And more about consistently returning to a place where you can meet God.
<SLIDE>“The bible changes our lives not just by telling us what to do differently, but by giving us a PLACE to sit down and hear from God”
Mutter the words day and night.
We are meant to sit in it like that tree stand, consistently, with an open mind to God’s voice, willing to read something we disagree with, Looking for ways God is Challenging our ideas, Comforting our hurts, and Shaping our lives.
So we can be there when the buck walks by and we experience God in some profound way. But also when that doesn’t happen we can Know that God is shaping us in it.

<SLIDE>Where you sit determines what you get. And where you sit over the course of our life determines who you become

Y -

Trans: So here is my challenge to all of us. For the month of April, start a habit. Commit to reading this way a little bit every day not to find an answer to a question or a principal to tear out. But to sit in a place where you might encounter God.
Perhaps a whole chapter. If you are doing “Kingdoms” just use that reading.
take out your bible + a pen read, listen, and let is get under your skin a little that day. Think back to it. What questions did it raise for you, what bothered you, what challenged you, what did you not understand...
Pray, “God help me to listen for your voice as I read,”
Read a chapter or small section every day perhaps a couple of times,
underline ask questions and make notes.
write down anything that jumps out at you.
think back to it throughout your day.
If you have been reading a long time...
Pick the Book of Psalms, a Gospel like John, Or perhaps even a book like Genesis.
If you are new to this...
If you are restarting this practice...
If you are restarting this practice...

W -

<SLIDE> trans: When we read the bible like this consistently over the course of our lives. When we keep coming back to that place day after day, year after year....
Meditating, looking to be changed, living out what God reveals to us.
We will find that we will encounter God in that place and the Holy Spirit will beging transforming us, shaping us more and more into the person God made us to be.
We wont be less ourselves but actually more so.
By his grace as we MEDITATE as we SIT in that tree stand. As we PLANT by that river as we mediated on this ANCIENT book full of prayer, wisdom, fears, joys, failures, stories, instruction, challenge, correction, and answers we will find God through his spirit shaping us.
and instead of casually being transformed by what we read on facebook or watch on cable news, or the mirad of other competing influences that shape us into fearful, hateful, careless, depressed, and disconnected people.
We will be transformed by the GOD who made us, who loves us, and who actually knows who we were meant to be.
We become deeply rooted able to weather life's storms
Our lives bear FRUIT that blesses other people
We become who God always meant us to be, bringing his love, his light, and his wisdom into our relationships, our daily interactions, our homes, and even our workplaces
and instead of being transformed by those PLACES when we are rooted in Christ partially through meditating on his words we become people who TRANSFORM the places we enter.
Becoming the sort of person who is always Bringing blessing, life and light everywhere we go.
Lets pray.
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