September 25, 2022 Bible Reading
September 25, 2022
Dietrick Bonhoeffer was a German pastor who openly opposed the Nazi government during World War 2. He was arrested for taking part in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler and was executed just before the end of the war.
Bonhoeffer was raised in the traditional Lutheran church, but experienced a personal revival as an adult. He became outspoken against compromise in the church. When the Nazi government began to deliberately influence church policy and practice, Bonhoeffer continued to be vocal about his objections.
In 1933, Bonhoeffer. was living in London and pastoring two German churches there. One of the reasons he had gone to London was to gain international support for his opposition to the Nazi influence over the German church. While in London, he wrote letters of opposition to national church leadership in Germany under which it continued to serve.
In a conversation with his German Bishop in London, Dietrick said the following:
“I mean that even in the evangelical Church we tend to think of Jesus’ commands as historical artifacts, as sayings to be admired rather than obeyed without question. Most importantly, we fail to recognize them as commands at the precise moment at which the command is applicable. If we miss that moment, we’ve also missed our opportunity to obey that command. It has become almost second nature for us as a Church to put things off, to study things to death, and then analyze the results of our indecision and disobedience. And all along we think that God is forgiving us. We are operating under a fallacy of cheap grace, thinking that we can bargain with God about our response.”
How long have you been a believer? Were you raised in church? Did you grow up going to Sunday school? Maybe you have only been a believer for a short while. If you have been a believer for any length of time, you have probably been taught that you should read the Bible daily. The combination of daily Bible reading and daily prayer is often referred to as “having devotions” or “personal devotions.” It is one of the first things that we learn when we accept Christ as our personal Savior. These are both good things.
James urges us in James 1:22-25 (NIV):
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
Dietrick accused believers of thinking of “Jesus’ commands as historical artifacts.” How often do we read right past the instruction of the Bible and don’t take it to heart and don’t put it into practice? It is well and good to read and study the Bible, but it is not beneficial unless we are DOING WHAT IT SAYS! When we read the Word, we should ask ourselves, “What is God telling me to do?” or “How do I obey God in this area?”.
Bonhoeffer personally applied the Scripture to his life as often as he could. He tried to live according to what the Scriptures teach. In the end, his uncompromising determination to be obedient to God in all things cost him his life.
Stop reading the Bible to simply learn what it says. As you read and as you study, be willing to live it, obey God, and put His Word into practice.
By: Pastor Ken Claflin, Hamlin Assembly of God
Today’s Scripture: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:22-25, NIV)
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