Posted by: pastortomvabeach | February 20, 2013

Thought for the Week February 24, 2013

Next week we will begin an expository preaching series through the book of James. I am excited about this new venture since I believe it will move our church to a new level in discipleship. In recent years many studies have shown that people in churches that regularly teach and preach through the books of the Bible experience a stronger rate of spiritual maturity and intimacy with the Lord. I’ve read that people in these churches become more versed in all of the Bible rather than in what the Word says about selected topics. Expository preaching allows the text each week to determine the topic of the message and covers a wider range of real life issues that relate to real spiritual growth. This is exciting to me!

Additionally, I expect that studying and preparing to teach this way will challenge me to better interpret and apply what God’s Word is saying since I will likely be teaching in areas that are less familiar to me and discussing subjects about which I’ll really need the Holy Spirit’s guidance and wisdom. I’m hoping that I grow a lot because if I’m not growing how can I expect the church to be growing? Did I say I’m excited about this?

Well, to get ready, I’ve been reading James a lot and I asked the congregation on Sunday to begin to read this little book along with me. So I wanted to give you some ideas (I’ll share most of these again on March 3) about how to benefit most from your reading and meditation on the Scripture.

First off, if you can access a good commentary (easy to find online) do some preliminary research into the background of the book of James. Most commentaries cover this in the introduction. You can learn things like: who was the author, who were the intended readers, when was it written and does that make a difference in what is written, why did the author write, and a possible outline of the book that helps as you read. This all gives you context for what you will read which is very important because proper interpretation begins with asking what did the writer intend for the people he was writing to?

After that you can then ask questions about how God wants you to apply the message of the book, or its many messages to your life. You can ask questions like: what does it say; what does that mean; how does that idea apply to me; is there a sin that I need to confess; is there a promise I can claim as mine; is there a command I should follow; is there a change God is leading me to make? There are likely a lot more questions you can ask that will help you as you read. The idea is to let God speak to you through His Word.

Well, that’s all I want to say this week. There’s a lot there, if you take it and do something with it. What might happen in your life, in our church, if we all get serious together about really digging into the Word with the idea of letting God mold and shape me into His idea of Christlikeness? That thought also excites me! What’s that thought do to you?


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