Next Steps: Week 2

Next Steps: Week 2 Day 4

Video Transcript

A woman went into her kitchen to find a robber loaded down with a bunch of stuff he was stealing from her. Not having any kind of weapon to scare him off, she raised her hand and said, "Acts 2:38," and proceeded to quote Scripture.

The robber froze in place and didn't move. The woman called 911. The police arrived and were amazed to find the robber still frozen where he stood. The officer asked her, "What did you say to him that kept him from moving?" She told them that she had simply said Acts 2:38 and quoted Scripture.

The police escorted the robber out to the patrol car. They asked the robber, "Why did the woman quoting scripture scare you so much?" The robber said, "Scripture!? I thought she said she had an ax and two 38's!"

Look at how the Bible describes itself in Hebrews 4:12.

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

A very wise person once said the Bible would keep us from sin or sin will keep us from the Bible. That is true. When we mess with stuff we shouldn't mess with, when we are blowing it, the last thing we will want to do is to read God's word because the word of God reveals the thoughts and intentions of the heart, so when you find yourself neglecting God's word, there may be a more significant reason why you haven't made time to spend with God.

I want you to understand that. I believe if we spend time in God's word every day, we will sin less, and we will start becoming a mighty force for God. And if we neglect the Bible in our day to day life, we will probably return to some stuff that messed us up in the past.

When you gave your life to Jesus, you entered into a spiritual war. Satan wants you to play the part of a fool, and the Bible is your only weapon against the powers of this dark world.

In Matthew 4, Jesus was tempted by Satan for 40 days. In that passage of Scripture, Jesus showed us how to defeat Satan and his temptations. Every time Satan would try to tempt Jesus to go the wrong way, Jesus would quote Scripture. He would say the phrase "It is written." And then he would quote the verses for that situation.

Our job is to get as much of what is in the Bible inside of us. Now Satan would love it if you and I didn't take the Bible very seriously. He would love it if we never read it or studied it or put any of the verses to memory. He would love it if you and I each day would walk out onto the battlefield of life with no weapon to protect ourselves with.

He would love it if our opinion were more important to us than what God's word says. He would love it if the phrases "I think" or "I heard" or "in my opinion" were more important to us than the words "God's word says."

Satan does not want us to base our life on the word of God because he knows if you decide to base your life on what God's word says, you will become a threat to his kingdom. If you decide to really make the foundation of your decisions on what God's word says, you will be a mighty force for God, and Satan wants to stop that at all costs. He wants you to be a sitting duck. He wants you to be easy prey.

How do we get the word of God in us? As we said yesterday, we have to commit to spending some time in the Bible every day, so what place and time are you going to meet with God? Have you determined when and where that will be? If you haven't done that yet, please do that before the sun goes down on this day.

Let me explain why your time alone with God each day is so important. A person can't find out God's plans and direction for their life if apart from God's word.

  • How should you handle the monies that God has entrusted to your care if you don't know what God's word says about the subject?
  • How should you handle yourself at your job? What should you do when you don't see eye to eye with your boss or another co-worker? You can figure that out on your own or maybe get some advice from your Uncle Bob, or you can find the answers to conflict management right here in the Bible.
  • How should you treat your spouse or your kids? You can try to navigate that one as well if you like, or you can seek what God's word says about loving your spouse and leading your family.

You say, "how do I find the answers to these questions?" You need to purchase a good study Bible (again, we talked about that yesterday, so make sure you buy one this weekend. It will be the best investment you have ever made in your life.

Then you need to learn how to use that study Bible. Most people don't know this, but there is a section in the back of your study Bible that breaks down what God's word says, topic after topic. The section is in the back, and it is called the Master Index.

Grab your study Bible and thumb to the back. On my study Bible, the master index starts on page 2,281. Thumb through those pages, and you will see that there is one topic after another, and under those topics, there are verses to look up. They even give you the page number of where you can find those verses. Let's look up the issue of money. In my study Bible, the section about money is found on page 2,338.

We see right off the bat that "Dishonest money dwindles away." And then we can look up that verse of Scripture in Job 20:5 to see what God has to say.

We see that whoever loves money never has money enough. (Ecclesiastes 5:10) According to God, the Bible warns that we would be foolish to make money the "be all end all" of our life.

 In Matthew 6:24, Jesus says we can't serve both God and money. We will either bow down before the Almighty God or the almighty dollar, so we have to ask ourselves which of these two things we want to bow down before.

It goes on and on. You can find information about marriage, gossip, jealousy, forgiveness, parenting.

As you look up each topic, I challenge you to actually apply what the Bible says about that subject.

  • Apply the Bible to your finances. Manage money the way the Bible says: tithe, save, provide for your family, give to the poor.
  • Apply God's Word on your job. Be honest. Be on time. Be efficient. You may get a promotion.
  • Apply the Bible in your relationships. Forgive others. Refuse to gossip. Do all you can to be at peace with everyone. Be quick to listen and slow to speak but most of all,
  • Apply the Bible to your soul. Learn about who God is and how much he loved you that he sent his son to die in your place so you might have an abundant life on this earth and eternal life in heaven.

As you read the Bible, ask God to give you a humble and teachable spirit. As you open up the Bible, pray a short prayer, and tell God than you want to hear from Him. Ask God to reveal His plan and purpose for your life today. Ask Him to reveal areas of your life that are out of sync with Him. Ask God to confront you, disturb you, and to lead you and guide you. Tell Him that all you want is to hear from Him today.

As you read the Bible, keep asking yourself two questions.

  1. What is happening in this passage?
  2. What I am going to do about it.

Pick a verse to think about and maybe even memorize for that week.

Dave Stone tells the story of a time when he was a boy. His dad was driving the car home, and the road was slick with rain, and the sky was dark. Dave said, "It happened in an instant. As the oncoming car maneuvered around the curve, its back end began to fishtail. The tires hydroplaned on the wet pavement, and the vehicle slid into the opposing lane. The head-on collision came with a sickening crash of shattering glass and crumpling steel. Then everything grew quiet, except for one quivering voice:

'The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want...'"

Dave said, "That voice belonged to my father, whose face had struck the steering wheel. He had twenty-one shards of glass in his eyes. Behind him in the back seat, my mother was bleeding out from a life-threatening skull fracture. In the distance, we heard the howl of sirens approaching through the rain. But above the wail of the ambulances, the words kept coming: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me."

Dave said, "It is one of the most vivid memories of my childhood."

Dave said, "This was no foxhole prayer, no panicked appeal in a time of crisis. It was his Dad's default position. Quoting Scripture was natural and normal for him, whether in the valley or on the mountaintop. Dave's father knew that the Bible offered words that help and heal, words that deepen joy and lessen sorrow. He found strength and connection with God in the Scriptures. Even in that moment of shock and pain and bewilderment, even when he thought his wife was dying, he instinctively turned to the promises of God.

Let me share with you some verses that I would encourage you to put to memory.

  •  Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."
  • 2 Timothy 1:7 says that "God did not give me a spirit of fear, but He gave me one of power and love and self-discipline."
  • 1 Peter 5:7 says, "I can cast all my anxiety upon God because He cares for me."
  • Hebrews 13:5, "I will never fail you. I will never forsake you."
  • Romans 8:37 says, "I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me."
  • 1 John 4:4, "The Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world."
  • 1 John 1:9. "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."

Write whatever verse you want to memorize down on a 3X5 card, or better yet, put the verse on your phone as your screen saver. We probably pick up our phones, I don't know, about 500 times a day. What if every time you opened your phone, you just read the verse of the week that you are memorizing. You and I would have that verse memorized in no time.

I love Psalms 119:11 that says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

Do you have a good study Bible? Are you in a small group? When and where are you going to meet with God each day?