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Reflections from Nehemiah 8 on the Word

Stuff that didn't make the sermon...

1. Read the Word daily with your wife / kids / family.

 

2. The church is subordinate to the word of God (and not the other way around). We have no authority to do what seems right in our own eyes. We must submit to the lordship of Christ, and care for the church in accordance with His Word. We must minister to God’s people in God’s way.

 

3. Just because there's a church on every corner doesn't mean the gospel is preached on every corner. Just because a man talks about Jesus doesn't mean he's preaching Christ and him crucified. Just because a man uses a Bible in a sermon doesn't mean he's preaching the word.

 

4. Any church that rightly preaches the Word, administers the sacraments, and wisely disciplines is a place where you can grow and serve. The goal of a church is not to have a bigger building or budget but to see the word of God increase and disciples multiply. If the church is about the work that can be accomplished by some other way than the word of God and prayer, then we are not doing the work that God would have us do.

 

5. The fight of faith in every pastor, every church, and every denomination: do we trust the word of God to do the work of God?

 

a. "The sum of your word is truth." Psalm 119:160 The watershed issue for every soul, every church, every society:

some of Scripture is true, (making us the judge) - or all of it is true (making God the judge)

 

6. No church can rise any higher than its solid preaching of the Word.  Attending a church that does not preach the word is like going to a restaurant that does not serve food. The more centered we are in God's Word, the more sent we become as a church.

 

7. The church is not relevant to the world because we act like the world, but because we submit ourselves to Christ in thought, word, & deed. The condition of the world is not the report card of the church (2 Tim. 4:3; 3:1). If you would grade her, look to the Word.

 

8. Too many Christians want a word FROM God but don't want to read the Word OF God. I cannot read God’s mind, but I can read God’s Word. You must fight and you must overcome. Fight to read the Word, fight to pray, fight to overcome sin... God speaks in His Word. To not read your Bible is to not listen to God. And don't read God's Word just to tell people you've read it. God never tells us just to read it—he tells us to study, meditate, and devour it. 

 

9. God has a word for all of us—if we are willing to look hard enough and willing to listen. God speaks to us in his word. We speak to God in prayer. It's not rocket science. In fact, it's harder, which is why so many don't read/pray

 

10.              So many bad ideas and bad theology come into the church because Christians can’t accept the Word will be rejected by many. If you get tired of hearing the gospel proclaimed, you've never actually heard the gospel. If you get bored with hearing the Word of God preached, you've never actually heard the Word of God.  If you don't really care for church, you've never actually become part of the church.  “Take care how you hear.” Luke 8:18

 

Bottomline: When you hinder the Word of God, you are not just hostile to Christians or to the Church, you are hostile to all mankind (1 Thess. 2:15-16).