Back To Basics By George Stroh, Senior Pastor July 28, 2009
The legendary coach of the Greenbay Packers, Vince Lombardi, understood that even professional football players need to be reminded to get back to basics, practicing blocking and tackling, to achieve success. No one ever questioned Coach Lombardi's drive to win football games. he once said, "Winning isn't everything... It's the only thing! At the frist practice of each new season, he would address his team, holding a football up and saying, "Gentlemen... This is a football!"
For Christians, getting back to basics requires reading, understanding and doing the Word of God. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16). The diligent and consistent reading, studying and application of God's Word produces Christian growth and maturity.
When I'm in God's Word, I find it helpful to ask these three basic questions:
1. What does it say? It is surprising how few people who say they are Christians actually take time each day just to read the Bible. A lot of folks can't even find their Bibles. Most Bibles are just collecting dust somewhere in the house or riding around in the back seat of a car until it's time for church on Sunday. You can't get to really know God, His marvelous Gospel, His will for your life and His amazing promises unless you take time to read His word.
2. What does it mean? The next step is to understand what it means. That may require some further study, meditation and prayer about what you have read and what it means to you personally. The Bible is not like any other book, "For the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.'' (Hebrews 4:12).
3. What should I do? Not only do we need to read and understand God's Word, we need to also, diligently and prayerfully, seek His wisdom regarding personal applications. What is the lesson learned? Is there a command to obey? Is there a sin to avoid? Is there a promise made? What would God have me do now in light of His Word that is truly "alive and active"? This process may be convicting and sometimes requires hard choices, but in the end, it is always very profitable. One of the many ministries of the Holy Spirit is to give us understanding and personal application of God's Word.
I encourage you to take time each day to read your Bible. Then prayerfully and thankfully seek greater understanding and personal application, always being careful to honor, glorify, trust, and obey the Lord in everything. The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 4: 1, "... walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called..." You can start by getting back to basics..."Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Bible!" Maranatha!