*Just a little clarity from the feedback I’m getting, thanks everyone for your help 🙂 I am not saying to not read scripture, even if for the wrong reasons. Also, I am not saying scripture by itself is bad. This has to do moreso with us. Hope this helps!!!
I talked about worship last week and how worship is not only shown in music, but rather in everything we do in our life especially when it comes to Christ.
In the post How To Worship Without Music I looked at components of what makes up worship and I want to go over those points now.
Worship is devotion (commitment shown through engagement and loyalty).
Worship is shown in an offering– We surrender things over to the Lord, this allows us to become sanctified through Him, and draw closer.
Worship is shown through honor (respect).
But T. R. isn’t scripture reading part of worshipping Christ?
Please, do not misunderstand. If our heart and spirit are focused on reading scripture to draw closer to Him, to learn from Him, then this is not an idol because Christ is our priority and focus.
But to read scripture simply for reading scripture, like a check mark on a list of things to do, or ways to assure myself that I’m a good Christian… or to read scripture with the focus of gaining more knowledge from reading than making Christ our priority for reading, this is a problem. I’ve talked about this issue last year.
What originally made me think about this was a sermon I listened to yesterday Paul Washer – Pray And Be Alone With God Paul made the statement that some people prefer simply reading the scripture more than spending time with Christ (paraphrase) and then he continued with the sermon.
And I’m like…
“Dude…that’s a post topic right there!”
In the knowledge post I shared I was mainly talking about theology or reading a lot of books by other people instead of going to scripture. However, I did caution people to read scripture without the intent of gaining anything. Rather, read scripture to draw close to God first. (Not that God does not provide things for us to gain through scripture, He definitely does.)
I don’t think it is wrong to understand what we claim to believe in, in fact, it is important we do. Our faith cannot be rooted in empty words. I feel this longing and understanding comes from a heart seeking after God, we desire to know Him and His truth.
This is not what I am talking about and I think in some ways this was not always clear in the previous post.
But I worry we only seek scripture for our gain sometimes, and not in the manner that draws us closer to Christ. Maybe to draw us closer to people? So we can engage in a lengthy intellectual discussion or possible debate on scripture, topics of Christianity, or theology.
It is so easy to get caught up in something that is meant for good and we make it something God never intended it to become. Temptation lurks at every possible doorway. It only needs us to open the door a smidge for it to stick its ugly foot inside and refuse for the door to shut.
Studying scripture and Christ (doctrine, theology, topics, etc) it becomes an idol when we make it not about Him, but rather, what we know, what we desire to know. When it becomes about us…
I admit as a Christian blogger and as a commenter to responses on my own posts and others, sometimes, I let my focus on Christ and what He has shown me shift into trying to make my point become a bigger reason for me to discuss the topic.
When this happens it immediately becomes a debate, it becomes an argument, it begins with me getting defensive.
And I don’t have time for that because my Savior doesn’t have time for me to act that way. Christ is what matters most. It doesn’t matter if I know the truth if knowing the truth becomes an idol and more important to me than to be Christlike in all situations.
It doesn’t matter that God has shown me how we as followers of Christ can get entangled into legalism not when I try to talk about it, and as soon as people disagree, I try repeatedly to prove my point…
No. I’ve already been trapped into a snare.
It started with Christ…and ended with me trying to feel justified about what He’s taught me through other people’s approval.
It doesn’t matter if I know the truth if I am berating people for what they don’t know, or because they are not seeing what I see the same way.
It doesn’t matter if I know the truth when I feel good about myself knowing the truth and secretly judge someone else on their knowledge of scripture, theology, doctrine, and other topics.
It is not about the truth. It is not about the Law. Not when these things take precedence over Christ Himself. If He is not First, the truth does not matter and we have gone back to the Law, legalism, chains, knowing but not believing. Knowing but not showing Christ.
Knowing but not loving as He does.
Our worship switched from Him to us.
We devote time to prove ourselves right against anything we disagree with.
We are loyal to what we believe to be true, even if God rebukes us at a time, and we find out, we were in fact, wrong. Instead of backing down, whether wrong or right, we reinforce our stance seeking scripture to prove our point, and books to prove our perspective.
We surrender being Christlike and choose to harbor judgment, bitterness, anger, and blind deception. These…we honor in our heart.
What God freed us from becomes a rope from the wickedness we encouraged, entangling us further into the trap we walked into. The God we cry out to is not, in fact, Christ, but a god of lies and deceit, one we entertained in our mind, only to find how it numbed us from the inside out.
And for many we are too stubborn to admit this failure and falling out, so lukewarm as we are, we halfheartedly try again…
or simply remain the same.
Are we trying to prove something when we read scripture, read a book by a Christian author or scholar?
Are we guarded with defenses against any disagreement someone may have against what we say and think?
Think about it. I know I need to.
(NIV) Luke 11:52, “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”
Don’t use this as a way to stop reading scripture, rather, cling to Christ and seek His hand as you continue to read scripture. Here are some other posts I’ve written on scripture.
How To Study & Apply The Bible Series
Page | Bible Study & Help (Resource of these posts, and all of the posts of the Bible Summaries I’ve covered thus far)
Monthly Scripture – (NLT) 1 Timothy 1:19, “Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their conscience and as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.”
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