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the Word

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Opening Story

How many of you own a Bible?

Americans Love The Bible But Don’t Read It Much, Poll Shows

By Caleb Bell Religion News Service
More than half of Americans think the Bible has too little influence on a culture they see in moral decline, yet only one in five Americans read the Bible on a regular basis, according to a new survey.
More than three-quarters of Americans (77 percent) think the nation’s morality is headed downhill, according to a new survey from American Bible Society.
The survey showed the Bible is still firmly rooted in American soil: 88 percent of respondents said they own a Bible, 80 percent think the Bible is sacred, 61 percent wish they read the Bible more, and the average household has 4.4 Bibles.
If the Bible is so commonplace in America, wouldn’t its moral teachings counteract the downward trend? Almost a third of respondents said moral decline was a result of people not reading the Bible, while 29 percent cited the “negative influence of America” and one in four cited corporate corruption.
Doug Birdsall, president of American Bible Society, said he sees a reason for why the Bible isn’t connecting with people.
“I see the problem as analogous to obesity in America. We have an awful lot of people who realize they’re overweight, but they don’t follow a diet,” Birdsall said. “People realize the Bible has values that would help us in our spiritual health, but they just don’t read it.”
If they do read it, the majority (57 percent) only read their Bibles four times a year or less. Only 26 percent of Americans said they read their Bible on a regular basis (four or more times a week).
Younger people also seem to be moving away from the Bible. A majority (57 percent) of those ages 18-28 read their Bibles less than three times a year, if at all.

Question

For New Year’s so many make resolutions and goals. But few keep them.
Not only our country but our world experienced a year like never before. If I asked how many think our country is headed in a good direction, who would agree? (Raise hands)
Show video of Church in China
We don’t spend time in God’s Word all week and MAYBE we show up for church on Sunday. We tell the pastor that it is too hot, too cold, the worship was too long, too short, not the right songs, last week that Pastor Dave went too long so Pastor Duane this week you better keep it under 30 minutes. I want to be encouraged without being pushed. I want to be challenged without being made uncomfortable. I want to say Amen without having to say ouch. I want my spouse to be convicted while I’m given a pat on the back. Now Go!
In many places in the world it is illegal to own the scripture. We have it and doesn’t it look nice on the table or shelf? If we allow things to continue down the path it is headed there will be a day that we will not be permitted to meet in the church building and then the Bible will be illegal to have because it says that we must meet together.
When was the last time you opened your Bible?

Text

What do they need to know?
John 1:1 CSB
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

1:1 In the beginning was the Word echoes Gn 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” John located Jesus’s existence in eternity past with God. The Word was God: Not only did Jesus exist before creation, he is also the same God who created the heavens and the earth. “The Word” (Gk Logos) conveys the notion of divine self-expression or speech (Ps 19:1–4). God’s Word is effective. He speaks, and things come into being (Gn 1:3, 9; Is 55:11–12).

Old Testament Dabar is the primary Hebrew expression for “word.” It has various meanings and can refer to a spoken utterance, a saying, a command, a speech, or a story—linguistic communication in general. Dabar can also mean a thing, event, or action

Reading God’s Word is an event!
I want to be closer to God.
Who is with God? - the Word
I want to know more about God.
How? Spend time with God. - the Word

Challenge

You want to spend time with God?
Word
You want to hear from God?
Word
You want an event with God?
Word

Application

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