Ever been at church and suddenly become interested in reading the Bible just to not fall asleep during the sermon? Or quickly skimming through it because you feel like you owe God something? Or remembering last minute to whip out your Bible app as you lay in bed before sleep, read a few verses, and drift off? We chuckle at those moments because we’ve all been there, done that.
But really think about it, do we receive anything from those moments? Most likely not.
What if we take God’s Word literally. When David wrote Psalm 1 (take a look at it), he meant it. In fact, God means it. Reading God’s Word isn’t a self-righteous act, it is our delight because we know when we are rooted, we receive revelation and bloom in Christ. And not only reading, but also meditating – uttering it over and over again until LIGHTBULB, we get it! (I am dead but alive in Christ, I am dead but alive in Christ, I am dead but alive in Christ, on and on…)
As pastor Gary from Jesus Experience expressed in Your Liberty in Christ class “Meditation brings Revelation, Revelations brings Motivation, Motivation brings Action, and Action brings Fruit”!
We want good FRUIT in our lives, don’t we?
At LD, join us in taking these next 40 weeks to study the New Testament in detail. The picture above shows our plan, divided in 40 weeks (it says “day” on top, but change it to “week”).
Notice the order. Don’t we normally read it beginning with Matthew, then Mark, then Luke, John, Acts, Romans, etc.?
Take a look at it again, looks like we are starting with book of Mark! Different right? The reading plan is actually laid out in the order of when the books were written! Basically a timeline!
We are taking our regular Bible Studies on Wednesday or a Saturday to read the weekly assignment as a group and dissect what we read. This past Saturday, we took the time to read the first assignment – Mark 1-4. Keep reading to find out what stood out and what we discussed!
The first verse we discussed was Mark 4:20 – “And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.”
A great question came up – how can we have or be good ground? We see that good ground brings forth fruit. Reading the parable of the sower, there are those seeds that fell into thistles, rock, on the side where birds had them for breakfast, and the same thing happened to all of those seeds – they eventually died.
But the seeds that landed in good ground flourished. How can we be good ground?
The question led us to Hosea 10:12 – “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”
God through Hosea commands us to sow ourselves in righteousness. Jesus made us righteous – we now have right standing with God as if we never sinned! But it is our responsiblitiy to act on it – sow our selves in it!
Look at that verse again. Another command God makes is “break up your fallow ground”. And that leads us to Isaiah 2:4 – “..they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks..”
What is our sword? The Bible compares the Word of God to a sword. So let’s apply that to this verse. “..they shall beat [the Word of God] into plowshares..”. The Word of God is our plowshare. We use it to break up the fallow grounds (our hardened conscience) to do what? Sow in righteousness.
So now you’re thinking, “how in the world do I do that? That doesn’t seem possible..the Word of God a plow??” Well, let’s look at the basics. You use a plow for what? To beat hard ground, not just once, or twice, but continuously until that hard ground breaks apart, opens up, and becomes suitable for planting seed! Now let’s compare that to the Word of God, which is the plow, and your hardened conscience, which is the hard ground.
Throughout Psalms, David repeatedly wrote “I meditate on Your law”. Get this straight, meditation isn’t some weird yoga thing where you sit there crossed-legged looking up into your brain for some enlightenment. Meditation is when we utter and repeat God’s Word until we receive Revelation. So the plow (the Word) beats (meditation) the hard ground (your hardened conscience) to make good ground (results of meditation) for the seed (revelation).
In order to get good ground, we should meditate on God’s Word repeatedly until we “get it”. Can you imagine we got all of this just from ONE VERSE???
What else did we dissect in these chapters?
Mark 4:19 – “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”
This time we just focused on three words – “deceitfulness of riches”. What is that?
Simple. Our attachment to this world, our attachment to things. We go after wealth, fitness, careers, cars, houses, jobs, clothes, etc for fulfillment. And we see that those things do what? Become unfruitful. It dies. Are efforts and time is wasted. That whole act of going after riches becomes against what God commanded – seek first His Kingdom and righteousness, everything else will be added (Matt 6:33).
What if we took all that time and energy that we use for chasing nothing to going after God? Can you imagine the results? Everything will be added!!! It’s a promise!! We don’t need to go after any of that stuff! If we do, we are simply wasting our time.
Another verse we looked at was Mark 3:2. Here it talks about how the religious folk of that day, the Pharisees, watched Jesus so that they can find a fault in Him. And this made a point at how religion works – it waits for you to fail.
Religious folk might look nice, say nice things, “do good” but really, religion is hateful. They will watch you, hoping the worst for you, wait for you to fail so they can come and condemn you.
If you call those your friends, leave them. They aren’t your friends.
The Word of God is filled with so much knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and when we take the time to dive into it, we flourish. And the more results we see, the more motivated we are to continue meditating! It’s an AWESOME thing! You can take one verse and turn it into a whole message – that’s how much insight God’s Word brings!! Just look at what you just read above, only three verses and they turned into paragraphs!
Mark 1-4 is filled with miracles and lessons, and we only scratched the surface with these three of many points that we discussed last Saturday. There was soooo much more.
Our next assignment is Mark 5-8. Read it throughout the week, take notes, and bring your thoughts next time!! You can check out our services here. And remember, stop falling asleep at church!