January 17th 2016

listen to last Sunday’s worship set.

BREATH OF HEAVEN: Pragmatic Wind  2 Tim. 3:16-17 & Luke 4:1-13

We’re in a series, started last week and over the next two weeks, and we’re exploring both the power and prominence of the Scriptures.  For millennia, this book….really, it’s a collection of writings….I think you should view it more as a library than a book…..it’s 66 different books, written by 40 different authors over the course of 1500 years….three different continents with one central message…whose name is Jesus.  We want to look at why the Bible is so significant.  Why has it transformed cultures, transformed lives, transformed cities for the last few thousand years?  What is it about this collection of writings that’s so significant?  Last week we said we don’t want to impose ON it, we want to receive from it.  We want the Bible to tell us why it’s such a big deal.

I did some research this week, though and I wanted to sorta answer the question and I want to pose it to you today also.  The Bible is……fill in the blank.  How would you answer that question?  So I googled that and anytime you google something Google thinks they’re smarter than you and so they’re like hey, we think we know what you’re going to say.  They want to just finish the sentence, so I just entered “the Bible is” and here’s what came up.  The Bible is……a lie.  The Bible is…..fake.   The Bible is…..bull(blank).  The Bible is…..the word of God.  How would YOU fill in the blank?  In a room this size with this many people, we come in with different perspectives and from different places on our journey of faith and different thoughts about who God is and at the onset, I just want to say regardless of how you walk in these doors, you’re welcome here.  However you would answer this question you’re welcome here.  Some of us would answer the statement “The Bible is……confusing.” And I would agree with you.   There’s parts of it that are very confusing.  The Bible is sorta difficult; it’s hard to know which parts of it we should still practice today and which parts of it did Jesus come and sorta redefine for us.  We’re going to talk about that next week.  The Bible, if you’ve read through it cover to cover, has a tendency to be fairly violent.  We’re going to ask that question over the next few weeks.  The Bible is….archaic.  It talks about a whole different world at a whole different time and not a lot of it is all that applicable to our situation today.  That one I tend to push back on a little bit and go I don’t know if you’ve read it well.  The Bible is….inconsistent.  I’ve heard that a lot.  Paulson, how can you take the Bible at face value when even in the resurrection accounts of Jesus there are differing accounts of the resurrection of Christ.  How do you interact with that?  How do you enter into that?   The Bible is………how would you fill in the blank? Throughout this series, I want to ask the question from the Scriptures….what do you say about yourself…..the Bible IS.

Last week we said one of the ways the Bible answered that question is by saying that it is “inspired.”  That it’s breathed out by God.  What we mean by that is that Scripture has its inception, not in the minds of men, but in the heart of God.  That God through his Holy Spirit speaks into the lives of people who write down what He wants them to communicate and then in the Bible we have exactly what God wants us to have.  But Paul writing to Timothy will expand on that.  He wouldn’t just fill in the blank the Bible is….inspired or the Bible is God-breathed, literally it’s the breath of heaven that gets in the sails of humanity and carries them to the destiny that God wants them to have.  It IS that!  But it’s MORE than that.

Listen to the way that Paul writes to his protégé Timothy to encourage him to continue to preach the Scriptures, to continue to live the Scriptures and to allow them to shape and form him.  He wants to tell us why they’re so significant.  He says this: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable {If you have an NIV translation, it says “useful.”} ..for teaching, for reproof, for correction…{So he’s going to say there’s an aspect to the Scriptures where we don’t only read the Scriptures, but the Scriptures read US.  Have you experienced this?  You dive into a passage and start reading it and although you’re the one reading, you feel like the Scripture’s reading you.  There’s something that shines on your heart, in your life, where God says that’s for you today, right now.  That’s the reproof and correction.  God, there’s some things that I need to repent of, some things that I need to change.  That’s the power of the Scriptures, the significance of the Scriptures.} ….and for training in righteousness….{The Scripture is useful for teaching us how to live in the way of Jesus.  How to walk with him.  Paul goes on to say…} ….that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.    What Paul writes to Timothy is that there’s a significant power in the pages of Scripture. Because it’s breathed by God (He breathed it into existence)….and as we said last week, He breathes through it into the lives of those who come to it by faith and filled with the Spirit….He breathes through it into the lives of believers, but he says in addition to that, the Bible has this unique ability to shape and transform by teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteous that we might walk into the world differently.  That we might be equipped for every single, good work.  Did you know the Bible has that type of power?   I started to wonder…has our neglect, or potential neglect, of the Scriptures blinded our eyes to the ways that we could make a difference in this world?  That’s what Paul’s writing to Timothy.  Don’t miss out on this wealth of beauty and transformative power and transformative knowledge that would get into your heart and life and allow you to see the world differently.  When you wake up in the morning and engage with God through his Scriptures, it’s not just a discipline and it’s not just delight, it’s a lens through which you enter into the rest of your day.  That’s huge.  That’s significant.

He says the Scripture is profitable.  If you have a NIV…..useful.   I was thinking of things in my life that are useful.  I do the dishes most nights in our house and my dishwasher is useful.  Especially if it’s loaded correctly!! I love the fact that we don’t have to wash everything by hand.  You know what else is useful in my life?  My coffee-maker!!!!  Very useful!!  I love the fact that I have a car in my garage.  I don’t have to ride my horse to work, right?!  My washing machine, our dryer…….useful!!  A lot of stuff in my life….useful!  I have NEVER put the Bible in that category!  Have you?  Useful.  Profitable.  For shaping us into the people that God would have us be for the glory of His name and for our joy as we walk with Him.  The Scriptures are useful, profitable for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness.  In fact, the psalmist says in Psalm 119:11–I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  Your Scripture is useful, God, for helping me walk in a way that would honor you and that would allow me to walk in joy.  This is pragmatic.  This is practical.  This isn’t some ethereal, supernatural type of knowledge.  This is feet on the ground, boots on the ground, how do we live in a way that would lead to our joy and God’s glory.  What Paul writes to Timothy is that the Scriptures are useful.

When I lived in California, we would go out to the desert occasionally.  As you would drive east from L.A. to Palm Springs, you would pass by these wind farms.  These wind turbines.  On it there were these HUGE windmills.  (Ryan pulls out a colorful pin-wheel.)  Here’s what happens.  The wind blows on the wind turbine, on the windmill.  It starts to turn.  There’s a shaft that’s attached to a generator and as the wind turns it, there’s an energy that’s created.  The energy’s then stored in a battery and they do all sorts of stuff like this.  The point is the wind blows on something and moves it and it creates an energy.  It creates a force.  As we said last week, not only is Scripture God-breathed, but it’s also God breathing!  It’s the breath of heaven.  It’s the wind of heaven, if you will.  When we position our lives under the Scriptures to receive the breath of heaven on our life, it doesn’t just leave us stagnant.  It actually moves us!  It creates an energy in our life.  It creates a vitality.  It creates an ability to be shaped and formed by the very person of God.  This isn’t some trivial thing we do when we come to the Scriptures.  When Paul writes to Timothy and says it’s practical, it’s profitable, it can change you, he’s extending an invitation, both to you and to me.  I love the way that Martin Luther put it: “The Enemy’s main objective is to lead us to ignore and utterly cast away God’s Word and his work.”  If he can get you to ignore the Scriptures, he can cut off your source of life.  As God says through the prophet Isaiah: Incline you ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live… (Isaiah 55:3)  That He might, by his very word that is his breath, breathe on you and create a life in you, an energy in you, a vitality in you that wasn’t there before.  It’s to our own peril that we neglect God’s word.  This isn’t about feeling guilty, it’s about positioning ourselves to receive life.  This is a hedonistic endeavor.

I want to show you from the Scriptures how Jesus uses the word of God in His life to walk in victory. Will you turn with me to Luke 4:1-2.  I want to apply the idea that Scripture is useful to the life of Christ.  I want to ask Him how.   And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.  And he ate nothing during those days.  And when they were ended, he was hungry.   I love it when the Bible tells us the obvious stuff.  Here’s what Luke wants to prevent you from doing: from thinking that Jesus is somehow different than you.  That he’s not fully human. That he could go forty days without eating and not be hungry.  Luke goes no, no, no, no, no, he’s fully divine, but he’s fully man and he was fully hungry.  Notice Jesus…full of the Spirit, led by the Spirit into the wilderness and directly into the teeth of temptation.  I’ve talked to a lot of followers of Christ who assume that Jesus would not want them to go through anything difficult or hard.  Their theology is built around this idea that God wants life to be (A) comfortable and (B) always goes according to plan.  When it doesn’t we’re like what the heck, God!  Where are you in this?!  Part of what Scripture does is invites us into a different way of looking at reality and saying God is as interested in your formation as He is in anything else.  Before He launches Jesus into his public ministry, He says alright, you’re going to be in a place where you need to rely on me, where you need to trust in me, where you need to grow and where you need to start to learn how to walk in my truth in a little bit different way.  {Look up at me for just a second.}  If it happened to Jesus, might He do the same thing in our life.  That maybe not every trial and every temptation means we’re outside of God’s will, but maybe it means we’re right in the center of it and God is inviting us to grow by applying His useful word to our real situations.  So we see this in the life of Christ.  He’s full of the Spirit, led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where it’s dry and desolate, into temptation where he needs to use the word of God to fend off the Enemy.    There’s two things I want to say at the onset before we jump in.  What you’ll see is that Jesus is attacked or tempted by the Enemy and he answers.  The Enemy’s going to come and say you should do this and Jesus is going to answer with Scripture.  Here’s why that’s so significant.  I think we often answer temptation by ignorance rather than by actually giving an answer.  We’ll typically run from something.  There’s a Biblical place and time for that, but not of ignorance, but this is actually how I’m fighting.  But we’ll often just try to ignore the things in our life that are attacking us—the thoughts that are swirling around—rather than giving a definitive answer.  Actually, this is what God’s word says about that, thank you very much, Devil, you can go away now, because I’m going to ground my life on the truth of the Scriptures.  Instead of just ignoring our desires, I think we need to speak into them with the truth that God’s given us in His word.

So that’s number one…you see Jesus answer rather than ignore.  The second thing is the Scriptures are going to give Jesus victory.  Here’s the thing.  He wants you to walk in victory, too.  This isn’t health, wealth and prosperity.  This is simply truth.  It happens to be God wants to bless you because He’s a good father and he wants to teach you how to walk in that.  That looks way different in everybody’s life, but that’s the truth of the matter.  Jesus walks in victory that God provides.  You know what the Scriptures say:  Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory. (1 Cor. 15:57)   Part of the reason we don’t walk in it is because we don’t use the Scriptures right.  In the book of Ephesians, Paul is writing to the church at Ephesus and he says:  …and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Eph. 6:17) 

Here’s the way I want to say it for us this morning:  Using the Bible correctly allows us to walk in victory consistently!  You’re going to see it in the life of Jesus and it’s available and possible for every single life in this room today.  Here’s the truth, friends.  We can’t just read the Scriptures; we need to use the Scriptures.  We can’t just know the Scriptures; we need to use the Scriptures.  We can’t just study the Scriptures; we have to use them!  There’s a difference, right?  There’s an application that starts to come in the life of the believer where we say I’m not just studying and this isn’t just information, God, this is you speaking into my life in a way that causes transformation.  I’m different because of it.  I’m going to speak into the lies the Enemy would love for me to believe with the truth of who you are and what you’ve done.  I’m NOT just going to ignore it, I’m going to answer it…..based on what you’ve said is true about yourself and about me.

Jesus was in the desert for forty days.  At the end of that time, he’s hungry…..and that’s where we pick up the story.  The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”  And Jesus answered him, “It is written… {Now this is going to be all throughout…..it is written…it is written…it is written.  He’s going to point back to Deuteronomy 8:3 and he’s going to say…..}  …..”It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'”  The passage in Deuteronomy goes on to say:  ….but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  Here’s what the Enemy would love to do.  He would love to see an unmet desire in the life of the Messiah and propose that He satisfy that desire in a way outside of the provision of His Father.  That’s what he wants to do.  He wants to say,  “Jesus, use your power in order to turn this stone into bread.  We all know you can do that, right?  So why don’t you just prove it?”  That emptiness that haunts your soul….why don’t you just satisfy it by going there and by doing that.  Here’s what Jesus does.  Jesus takes the Scriptures, the Old Testament, and applies them to his life and he realizes I know that I need that bread, but more than I need that bread I need your word, O God.  He uses the Scriptures to point back to the King of kings and the Lord of lords and his desires are satisfied.  He’s realigned with the heart of his Father.

I’ve learned that I’m not Mr. Fix-it at all, but most of the fixtures in our home were original 1978.  I’m convinced they were going to come back around into style, but I cut them off at the pass and I said no, I’m going to learn how to do this.  I did.  My friend tells me that replacing light fixtures is easy.  You gotta make sure that the switch is turned off.  That’s important!   And make sure your kids don’t come back and turn it back on.  Then all you have to do is take the old fixture off and you just have to connect the black one to the black one and the white one to the white one and you gotta ground it and then you’re good to go.  He goes if the wires are connected, you’ve got electricity and you’ll have light!

I think Jesus’ interaction with the Scriptures are the same way.  He’s like you’ve just gotta be connected and know that the Good Father meets every desire He places in your soul and in your heart and if He can’t meet it….you don’t need to carry it!  Jesus uses the Scriptures to remind himself that the deepest longings of his soul are met in his Father.  That’s what he does.  I live by every word that comes from your mouth, O God.  I love this passage in Jeremiah 15:16—-Your words were found, and I ate them.  {Don’t you love that picture?  God, I just need your truth.  I need your transformative power in my life.  I’m hungry for it, God!}  ….and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.   Here’s the two desires that the Father speaks into and meets in the life of Christ.  They’re the two things the enemy goes after in our life as well.  Number one, in Luke 4:3, he says:  If you really are the Son God.   What does the enemy want to do?  He wants to erode his confidence in his identity.  He knows if I can erode his confidence in his identity, I can displace his victory.  The same is true for you.  So he says prove it!   Prove that you’re the Son.  Prove that you’re a child of the Most High God.  If the devil can make you prove your adoption, he can make you doubt your salvation.  If you need to prove that you’re a child of God, based on the way you behave, eventually you’ll come to the point where your behavior will not match up with who God says you are.  So you’ll have a conversation in your head that goes a little bit like this (the Enemy planting thoughts in your mind): How can you claim to be a child of God when you’re struggling with such egregious sin?  How can you claim to be a child of God when you treat your kids like that?  How can you claim to be a son of the Most High God, adopted into his family, when your life is in such shambles?  Am I alone?  Have you been here?  Thought this?  That’s why we need the truth of the Scriptures over the things we often believe.  The truth of the Scripture is:  In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ.  {All this means is it doesn’t mean because you were awesome!  It’s because He’s awesome.  He chose you, he adopted you.}   …according to the purpose of His will. {So he answers the question: God, why me?  God: Because I wanted to!  That’s why!} …to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Eph. 1:5-6)    He’s going to try to attack your identity and when he does the truth of the Scriptures needs to wash over you.

Second thing, he’s going to try to get you to doubt His provision.  Jesus is wrestling with I’m starving, I’m hungry…God, are you going to come through?   It would be easier to just subvert your plan and your will and do a miracle that would cause this stone to turn to bread.  And God says, “Absolutely wait on me….wait on me….wait on me, I’m good.  My covenantal faithfulness lasts throughout every generation and yours is no different.”  Psalm 100:5—For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.  He will be faithful.  (The enemy) wants to cause doubt in our identity and our provision, but Jesus says my desires are satisfied because He’s met the deepest ones of them by calling me His own and providing for me like his son.  That’s how the word starts to be used in our life.  In the same way it’s used in the life of Jesus.

Continuing on in verse 5: And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.  If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.”  And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'”   So here’s the next attack by the Enemy. Jesus, why don’t you just do something for yourself?  I’ve got all of this, it’s all mine, but it could be yours.  So he plays to a very human and innate desire for power and authority and prominence.  Have you ever experienced this in your life?  Maybe I should take the shortcut so I could get the promotion.  Or maybe—I could tell this little lie…it’s going to make me look a little bit better.   So here’s what the Scriptures do.  They invite us back into the reality that we often lose sight of and it’s simply this:  We are NOT at the center of the universe.  But He is and Jesus is and He points back and says: You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.  He uses Scripture to remember my devotion is tied to my Messiah.  My devotion is tied to my God.  My devotion is tied, as followers of Jesus, to the one who gave His life for me.  It’s this scripturally informed devotion and worship that provides a pathway for victory in the life of the believer.  If our worship wanes, our lives go off track.  I always say this, mostly because it’s true…you always worship your way into sin and you worship your way out.  Jesus says no, I’m informed by the Scriptures, they are shaping my worship and it’s grounding my life and allowing me to walk in the way of my Father.

I’m going to give three reasons why a scripturally informed devotion is worth your hedonistic quest.  This is ultimately for your joy.  To keep God on the throne of your heart and of your life, because He sits on the throne of the universe and to use the Scriptures in order to do that.   First, relaxing our devotion leads to compromise in our conviction.  Every time.  Before you fall to temptation, you fail in devotion.  Dr. John Piper writes this: “The way to fight lust {the lust for power, lust sexually, lust in every shape and form} is to feed faith with the knowledge of an irresistible glorious God.”  How do we fight temptation in our soul?  By feasting on the glory of God.  Keeping our worship hot for our Savior.  Why?  Because we’re most susceptible to sin and we’re most susceptible to temptation when we’re in the position that Jesus was in.  When we’re hungry, when we’re alone and when we’re at the end of our rope.  It’s those times that we need the Spirit to dwell on the wells of truth that we’ve deposited over the course of time.  To bring them to the forefront and remind us this is not about me…this is about You and I need to repent of my desire for power and authority and prominence and remember You’re at the center of it all.  Can we be honest for a second?  If we were able to do that, how much hurt and heartache would that prevent?  Those conversations we just wish we could take back.  The reason we have some of those conversations is because we ARE on the throne of our life.  So, number one, relaxed devotion leads to compromised conviction.  Before you fall to temptation, you fail in devotion every time.

Two, misdirected worship leads to distrust in God’s timing.  When my worship for God starts to wane, my confidence in God starts to shake.  So I started to ask questions like well, God, I FEEL like you’ve promised me this and I FEEL like you spoke into this and God, I FEEL like you’re going to be good to us.  You promised it.  We have every spiritual blessing in Christ.  You know what’s interesting?  The devil tempts Jesus by saying, “Why don’t you take authority and get something that you’re going to get eventually!”  Listen to what the devil tempts him with:  To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.  It’s interesting that Paul writes to the church at Philippi, talking about Jesus, and says this: Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11)    So the Enemy wants to entice Jesus by saying why don’t you just subvert the Father’s plan for the cross and take what’s rightfully yours outside of the timing that God has provided.  This happens all the time, right?  We cut corners in our businesses because we believe that God has promised this.  We do things in relationships that we wouldn’t do if we were patient and confident in our Father.  Worship is the thing, a scripturally based worship, that stimulates the human soul to say back to God: God, you’re in charge here.  When my patience starts to break, what’s really happening underneath is my worship is starting to give way.  Jesus knows that.  He says no, my life is shaped and formed by my Father.  He has all of my worship and I’m going to serve Him.

The third thing is a fledgling worship always leads to failing service. It always does.  When my worship wanes I start to buy the lie of the American dream.  That’s just me.  That if I have a little bit more, I’ll be a little bit happier.  I met a lot of people that had some really crazy dreams about winning the lottery this week.  And I live in a glass house and I’m not casting stones.  It starts to shape and form us, but worship causes us to continue to serve our great God.  It’s Scripture that says hey, He sits enthroned at the universe.  {Look up at me for a second.}  Maybe, maybe He’s trustworthy on the throne of your life.

So it ends like this (Luke 4:9-13) —  And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God {Notice that he’s just going to wear away your identity.  That’s why almost every week I remind you that you’re a child of the Most High God.  That His blood has covered all of your sin.  You’ve been adopted into His family.  He’s placed His Spirit inside of you that cries out “Abba, Daddy, Father.”  Why?  Because one of the things the enemy wants to do is erode your identity.}  …throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you.’   {The devil breaks out the big guns here, because he starts to quote Scripture back to Jesus.  He’s like oh, you want to play that game?  Oh, I know some verses, too.  And there’s this verse in Psalm 91:11-12 that says well, angels will guard you when you fall.  So why don’t you climb up on top of the building and jump off and prove it!!}  ….and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”   {He’s quoting Psalm 91 directly. He’s proof texting directly. What the psalmist is writing about is God, you’re going to be faithful in the difficult seasons, even then your hand is going to come along side and it’s going to work and it’s going to move and it’s going to shape, so therefore we can have confidence in you.  Now, proof text is hey, why don’t you climb on top of South Fellowship church and swan dive off, because Psalm 91 says God’s going to catch you.  My hope is there’s something in your spirit that goes I don’t think that’s right.  And I want to affirm that!  Here’s the way Jesus responds.  He goes well, that’s interesting because I know not just some Scripture, but all Scripture and it also says….}  ….You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.      What’s he doing?  Good hermeneutics is what he’s doing.  He’s taking the whole of Scripture and using it to look at passages through that lens.  But on a bigger level, what’s he doing?  He’s taking the enemy’s desire to deceive and He’s washing it in the truth of who God is.  Scripture not only satisfies our desires, not only stimulates our devotions, but it also, when it gets inside of us, speaks into our deceit.  It starts to challenge some of the presuppositions and the things that we hold to be so true.  You know why that’s such a big deal, friends?  Because the things you believe will eventually determine the life that you live.  Jesus’ Scripture-shaped world leads him to a life of victory and the life of abundance and the life of joy.  Here’s what Paul writing to the church at Rome invites us to live into: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2)  

Can we be honest for a moment?  I think some of us believe some lies that are from the pit of hell.  The symbolism of Jesus standing on top of the temple and hearing Scripture misinterpreted and misapplied is not lost on me.  Some of the ways we’ve started to believe and had lies ingrained in us is by some bad teaching. Some teaching that would say:  You’ve gotta earn God’s love by the way that you behave and perform.  Come on now.  It’s by grace that I’ve been saved through faith and this is not of my own, it is a gift from God.  It’s not about my performance, it’s about Jesus’ performance, thank you very much!  I’ve heard it said that because of sin and sinful lives that people are worthless….that’s a lie from the pit of hell!  Jesus places great worth on humanity….it’s the crowning jewel of his creation and He loves it so much He died for it!  When we start believing these lies, we’ve got to wash them with the truth of the Scripture.  Some people in here believe the lie that a shady past has determined your future.  What I’ll say to that is who in the Scriptures DIDN’T have a shady past?!  One guy!!  His name is Jesus!  What the psalmist will say is: …as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)  Thank you, God!!  God loves me if I perform and produce.  Well, God loves me because JESUS performed and produced.  And so it’s in that we start to see and believe….the greatest lie you and I believe is that we either don’t need a Savior or that we can save ourselves.  When Scripture starts to get in us and starts to turn in us, we realize not only are we people in desperate need, but we’re people dearly loved by the King of kings and the Lord of lords by our Good Father. Scripture satisfies our desires, it stirs our devotion and it speaks into our deceit.

This week we’ve been walking through the book of Luke together.  I hope you’ve joined us.  If you haven’t, it’s not too late.  Join us.  Some of the ways that He satisfied and spoke these things into my life….I just want to share with you just out of our reading in the book of Luke this week.  He satisfied our desires:  I read about Jesus being baptized and the voice of God, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.”  I just heard God’s voice over me, too, saying Ryan, you’re my son, too.  It stimulates our devotion:  There’s a passage in Luke 11:34 that we read a few days ago.  It says if your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light and I’m going God, I want that!  I want every fiber of my being to be filled with your glorious light, so help me see you.  It was this turn-back-and-worship type of moment.  He speaks into my deceit:  I saw the kingdom of God coming with power throughout the first 14 chapters of Luke in a way that I’ve just never seen before.  I’m going God, you are living and active, alive today.  Holy Spirit, do a new work.  Blow in a new way.  MOVE in power because I believe your kingdom comes in power.

I want to encourage you…whether it’s in our little reading plan for the next 23 days or whether it’s in your own, invest time in the word because here’s God’s promise to you, friend:  It does NOT return void!  It will accomplish what He sets out for it to accomplish.  Allow it to satisfy you.  Allow Him to satisfy you through it.  Allow Him to stir your devotion as you see Jesus as glorious.  Allow it to speak into your deceit, because the things you believe will determine the life you live and the truth that God is FOR you will give you victory.  Using the Scriptures rightly allows us to walk in victory consistently.  Jesus wants it for you and He’s provided a way.  So let’s use His word to walk in his light.  Let’s pray.

Without any guilt, without any shame, without the thought that the enemy would love to plant in your mind…man, you should be doing more, you should be doing better or you’re such a failure and I’m so glad they’re teaching on the Scriptures because boy, you need it more than anybody else in this room.  Before you start going there, I just want you to PAUSE.  I just want you to hear the voice of your Father speaking over you that He loves you.  Inviting you to use this beautiful tool of His Word to walk in the victory He’s already provided.  So in a way devoid of guilt and shame, Jesus, we just want to say back to you, we love you and we’re so grateful that you’re for us.  And we admit that in many ways we’re learning what it looks like to use your Word in the way that you designed for it to be used.  This week would you speak into areas of our life.  Would you satisfy devotions, would you stir our worship, would you speak into the lies that we believe through your glorious Word, that we might walk more in the way of Jesus.  That we might be ready, prepared, for every good work that you bring into our life and we believe you’re bringing them.  Open our eyes to see them and step into them.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.