where are your roots?

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but is delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:1-3

there is such richness in that verse that we miss in america. the poet who wrote that lived in the middle east. as did i. and let me fill you in, there are not that many streams of water in israel. in fact, there is a rainy and dry season, typical of climates like the middle east.

as the psalm writer is putting it, a person who delights in God’s Word is rooted, is thriving, is producing fruit, not because of their work, but because of his/her location next to the water.

wednesday night at small group, i asked these questions: when was the last time you read the bible and why did you read it. the answers. the answers were honest but the understanding of the answers was lacking. i broke it down like this:

we say we are christians, but we do not really read God’s word.

you would not go to a doctor who just called himself a doctor and yet has not gone to medical school. and it is not being honest when we say we are active because we have the key chain to prove our membership but we never go into the gym and work up a sweat.

see. this is the struggle we face. we all face it. my hand is raised too. there are days where i do not want to read my bible. i say, “nahhhh, i’m good.” and even still, when we do read, we do it in one of three ways:

one) the college “what should i do with my life” approach: should i get married to sally? should i accept this job? should i move, and where too? well, there are maps in here …

two) the valium approach: feel anxious, tired, or burdened? there has to be a verse in this thing that will make me feel good. maybe philippians 4:6.

three) the “i don’t like green beans” approach: you like the gospels. and psalms. you really like the psalms. but ain’t nobody got time to read leviticus and if i read revelation i may want to build a bunker in my basement. so i pick-and-choose what i take in.

all three of these approaches have one thing in common: you. they are you-centered. when life has you down, maybe God can cheer me up. when i don’t know what to do, maybe God has some advice. i don’t understand the old testament so i am not going to read it.

try one of those approaches with your husband or your wife and see the results of that

your children need parents that are rooted by streams of living water. your children need a collaboration of parents and leaders that are committed to the scripture because they know that in the counsel of the wicked, there is no life. you and i need one another, learning with one another and working alongside one another to point your kids to Jesus, not just on sundays and wednesday nights.

your kids need parents and leaders that will echo what paul said to the churches he planted and pastors he led, “imitate me” (1 cor 4:15-17; 1 cor 11:1; phil 3:17, 4:9; 2 thess 3:7-9; 2 tim 3:10-11; 1 tim 4:12; titus 2:7-8).

therefore, let us take start to dive into the word a little more. lets get a bible reading plan. lets turn off the tv and lets get off facebook and lets say no to some extra things and lets get into the word. and let the story of your redemption and restoration be a delight to you.

see you at the stream

[digging deeper]

paul says “imitate me” because he continues to point to Jesus. look at his words in 1 corinthians 2:1-4a

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom

i love verse 4: and my speech and my message were not plausible words of wisdom. it is fantastic to consider that we do not need a seminary degree to point our kids to Jesus. we just need to know the Him and point to the cross and resurrection.

look at how d.a. carson in from the resurrection to his return: living faithfull in the last days puts it:

You who are older should be looking out for younger people and saying in effect, ‘Watch me.’ Come—I’ll show you how to have family devotions. Come—I’ll show you how to do Bible study. Come on—let me take you through some of the fundamentals of the faith. Come—I’ll show you how to pray. Let me show you how to be a Christian husband and father, or wife and mother. At a certain point in life, that older mentor should be saying other things, such as: Let me show you how to die. Watch me.

here are some links to some very good resources on reading the bible

seven arrows for reading the bible

help in gospel-centered bible reading

how not to read the bible

and some good bible reading plans

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