The Word…I love the Word of God. When people ask me of my favorite hobbies, I do not spiritually over hype the fact that I absolutely love reading and studying God’s word! I will boast in the Word of God because it changed my life!
As a young preacher but also as a man who has been going to church for a long term, and as just a godly man who loves the Word, one thing has always stood out to me that is quite baffling: People are starting to neglect the beautiful practice of bringing their own bible to Church, a bible study, a conference, or to a simple devotion. We use the technology age as an excuse because why bother if it’s on my phone or on the screen? The more we increase in technology, the more excuses we foster. The less we grow in our faith, the more we are stagnant, and the more we use the way the world is going as a reason to neglect great practices of our faith, the less impact we will see.
So why am I passionate about this? Growing up in a christian household and going to church most of my life, the bible was the object that I assumed I was supposed to bring. The Bible is the very word of God, it is “Living and active, sharper than any double edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). The scriptures is “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). So yea, as a preacher of the Word, I want my flock or audience to be a student of God’s word! Why would we want to make excuses to why we don’t bring it to justify the reality that we may just not want too nor trust it is as powerful as we say it is? This is also something you need to evaluate: Are you growing in your relationship with Jesus because of the Word of God? If the Word of God is absolutely significant to your world, then the world should know it. All Saints are to be students of the Word of God. Let’s stop making excuses to why we don’t bring it or value the written book.
Excuses we make and the Objections to Those Excuses:
1. It’s on my phone: Yea and the Words are the most important part of the Bible. However, what will not pop up on your physical copy of the Word? A text message. A notification of your social media accounts. A phone call. Are you really turning your phone on Airplane mode to get away from distraction? Be honest, you may just don’t feel like bringing it. This is in no way taking away from the huge impact the You-version app has had in our world. Praise God for Life Church and their goal to reach the world with scripture. But don’t allow the accessibility of the Word on your phone from distracting you from diving into the physical book without the constant speed and distractions of the world.
2. It’s heavy, and get’s in the way: I get that, there are some heavy bibles out there. But there are also some lighter and ones you can carry. There are smaller compact bibles that you can use specifically for sermons, bibles studies, and note taking. If you cannot afford a small one, I don’t know of a pastor who wouldn’t be privileged to be asked to buy or give you one! Sometimes a sword needs to be heavy so you don’t forget it’s there!
3. I can see it on the screen at church: So how do you know if ‘IT’ is correct? Yea your Pastor is legit and you don’t see a lot of fault in his teaching, but while he is preaching, your eyes should be IN the Word. A pastor is not perfect. You may see something the Lord reveals in the text that the pastor didn’t say, just by looking at it. Think about the sports world: I’m sure most would agree, that they would rather see a live game, in action, right in front of their face than on a TV screen. I have seen grown men bring stacks of papers to a live fantasy draft ready to stack their team. But when it comes to the Word of God, “Man it’s on the screen.” I call it laziness. NO screen can replace the divine power of God’s word jumping off the page into your heart!
4. I was gone all day, so I couldn’t bring it and/or I just forgot it: My challenge to students to put it in their backpack. If your backpack is too heavy, carry the bible proudly. If you drive, put it in your car. Set a reminder on your phone, “Don’t forget the Word of God today!” Also, if you have a plan daily to dive into the Word, you will take time to get in the book anyways, so just bring it with you wherever! You know you wouldn’t forget your nice outfit to a wedding. You wouldn’t forget your fan gear to a sports outing. You wouldn’t go to a deer stand without a gun. So why be unprepared to go hear the Word?? You won’t forget what you value.
5. I didn’t know I was supposed to bring it: It’s hard for me to believe that in America, where Churches are pretty much on every street corner, and there is a nation wide truth that the Bible is the #1 selling book in America that anyone would say “I didn’t know I was supposed to bring my bible to Church where we are supposed to learn about it.” That’s one of my favorite excuses. I think sometimes we just think we look cooler without it. Some worship leaders do the same thing. They lead worship, come from back stage, sit in the back of the auditorium, listen to the sermon, and don’t even open the Word to be lead by their pastor through it. But, they expect the Pastor to participate in worship. So worship leader, you participate in the sermon! Open the word! That’s not a slam, that’s the truth.
However, there is one last reason that some don’t bring their bibles because maybe…
6. My Pastor doesn’t use the bible in his sermons: Let me keep it real with you: You need to find a new pastor then! There is no message without Scripture and the counsel of God being proclaimed.
One of the things we also need to realize is that bringing a bible is also being a witness. You are shouting “I value you the living, breathing, active word of God!” Sitting in a Church service with your arms folded at some level shouts to people around you, “This book is not that important to have in my hands. I just see it on the screen, and I believe my Pastor’s interpretation.” Yea you might be an auditory or visual learner. Great. But you can still look in the Word and look back at your pastor. I am not saying your Pastor is dangerous, nor am I saying he is not bringing a good message. But it is the Word that does the work, not the Pastor. Your authority is the very Word’s of God, not the authority of the Pastor.
So I challenge you: When you come to a Worship or Church Service Party, BYOB! Bring your own bible!