It’s been over two years and 660 blog posts since Ryan and I started blogging through the Bible. In some ways, that journey began in Mark 4. During a sermon series on how all Christians should seek to connect, grow, serve and go, I spent one week talking about the need to grow in our faith through learning about the Bible. The two best ways to do this are by 1. reading the Bible and 2. discussing it in community. During that sermon, I mentioned that Ryan and I would begin a blog where we would daily (or close to it) write about the Bible. Since then, the blog has had over 36,500 views.
The primary passage I used in that sermon was Mark 4. I talked about the different types of soil that the seeds fell on. However, Jesus didn’t consider a metaphor that would fit most of the people in our world and even in the church today: people who don’t even put seed in their soil. If you remember the parable, Jesus explains that “The seed the farmer plants is God’s message.” In our world today it seems that each passing generation, there is less and less commitment to reading the Bible or studying it in groups.
It’s not unusual for me to be teaching a Bible class and have somebody say, “Somewhere in the Bible, I am not sure where, it says…” and then they quote a line from a song (usually a Christian song) that is found nowhere in scripture. If you look around the room, several people will be nodding and often somebody will add, “Oh yeah, I think that’s in the book of (insert their best guess here).”
There’s a strong desire among young generations in the church today to be genuine in their faith, to live our their faith in sacrificial and often radical ways. It’s a great push towards being fruitful. And yet, what fruit are they producing if they aren’t putting the seed of God’s word in their hearts and minds? I am afraid that Christianity, if it continues to practice the love of Christ without the word of God as the foundation, will become a community of people who won’t know who God is or who He is truly calling them to be in the world. Jesus ended his great Sermon on the Mountain by telling people that if you aren’t basing everything in your life on the teachings of Jesus then you are like a person whose house is built on shifting sands.
The word of God matters. It tells us who God is. It tells us what God has done. It introduces us to the person Jesus and an entire way of living that he both demonstrated and proclaimed. It calls us to a way of living in community that tears down barriers and provides ways for brothers and sisters in Christ to build one another up. It promises us eternal life and then challenges us to bring that life into this world today. But it doesn’t always happen the way we want it to or that we think it should. So if you don’t read God’s book then you will probably make some bad assumptions. You might make some bad decisions. We need God’s message. Its the seed that when planted in a soil that is ready can produce a crop one hundred times more than was planted.
Do you read your Bible and allow God to produce a crop in your life and in your world? Do you challenge others in their understanding of God’s word and allow them to challenge you in yours? I hope you do. Having spent the last 2 years reading daily and writing about it has helped me to grow tremendously in my own faith and relationship with God. And if you aren’t letting God’s word get planted in your heart and your mind, then you will end up a barren field.