Carmel Warriors, After three months of instruction are you still getting ready to get ready, when it comes

to serious time of commitment to God's word? Whenever you challenge those in the church who are lazy, complacent and apathetic about personal Bible study, then they are the ones who tend to scream "legalism." But upon further review it may be that they really DON'T treasure Christ more than they treasure the things of this world. (Please read that again and this time slowly) Hey, bottom line, if you ignore the word of God then you ignore God Himself. As we conclude our class this Wednesday may I recommend that you have an honest evaluation of your time in God's word. How can a person love Christ and NOT want to spend time with Him in His word? If you are a typical American then your life is busy. We all know that busyness does not necessarily mean that we are being productive. The church is suffering today because we treasure our gifts more than the Giver and our blessings more than the Blessor. We need to move back to the basics of God's word as we read, study, embrace and live out the truths of the Lord Jesus Christ. Howard Hendricks, the author of Living by the Book writes a number of reasons people have given him over the years as to why they don't study the Bible: 1. It just doesn't seem relevant to life. 2. It is confusing, doesn't make sense and hard to understand. 3. I used to read the Bible and it made me feel good. But after a while it seemed to lose its impact on my life. 4. I feel guilty when I read the Bible 5. The Bible is hopelessly out of date. It may have some interesting stories but it has little significance for our lives today. 6. I rely on my pastor or Sunday School teacher to explain the Bible to me. 7. I have doubts about the Bible's reliability. 8. The Bible is just boring to me. 9. The Bible is full of myths and half-truths. 10. I don't read it. It's not the Bible, I just don't read anything. How about you? Can you add to or identify one of the reasons above why you haven't read or studied the Bible? Vance Havner, one of our great Baptist preachers, used to say that "an excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie." I think that applies to many of the reasons (excuses) that I have heard over the years in ministry as to why people don't study God's word.

Well, it's time as part of our final class to look back and look forward. It is time to evaluate the priorities and determine where you have been and where you are going. I have noticed that when people continue to do things the way they have always done, then they continue to get what they have always gotten. Just think about that statement when it comes to living out the Christian life and the word of God. There are people who have little joy, passion and excitement for Christ and His things, as they continue to focus on things like job, family, security and lifestyle. Since there is little understanding and desire for the truth of God's word, the church contains many who are spiritually immature. There are plenty in church today who are still weening on a bottle of milk instead of building muscle by feasting on the meat of God's word. Those who are part of the church to quickly accept this as part of a culture, and its craziness instead of calling the people to REPENT and BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ! It is a sin to exchange the glory of God for the glory of things that we value more than Him like high definition TV, computers, vacations and lifestyle. When are we going to call the people of God back to the word of God? Folks we have a chance to meet with almighty God, and the opportunity to know Him and have fellowship with Him. And we simply leave our Bibles on the night stand or in the car or on the shelves in our dens. What in the world are we thinking or are we thinking? God wants to share Himself with us, transform us and glorify Himself through us and we are just too busy for Him. If that is true then we are too busy! Come on, let us "Be still and know that He is God" (Psalm 46:10). Brothers and sisters, the Lord Jesus is going to spit out of His mouth those who are lukewarm. If you don't believe me then how would you interpret Rev. 3:16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Are you hot for Christ? Are you hot for His word to reside in you? Are you excited and passionate about meeting with God Himself, as He speaks to you through His inspired, revealed, infallible and inerrant word? Or will this be another year of yes I need to but I really don't have time. I appeal to you and plead with you PRAY-PRAY-PRAY that God will give you a desire and desperation for His word. Do you think that is consistent with His will for your life? As you pray that prayer this year I want you to watch and notice how God starts to light a fire in you for Himself. You might even find yourself getting up an hour early or going to be an hour later as you read, study and journal His thoughts for you. Come on church, come on people of God wake up! Get the Bible off the shelf and into your heart. Ask Christ to make Himself the very treasure and delight of your heart. Because we learn in Matt. 6:21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Don't make this a priority

someday but make it a priority TODAY!

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