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Truth and Experience

October 11, 2011

I am a quote fanatic. I love quotes and finding quotes out of books I read, websites I visit, and blogs I read. I got this quote the other day from a site that I visit and get emails from. The quote is from A.W. Tozer‘s book The Knowledge of God.  It goes like this “Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. Without it no church can be a  New Testament church in any strict meaning of that term. But exposition may be carried on in such way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.”

As we lead our groups, Sunday schools and Bible studies we must remember that right teaching doesn’t just magically prompt right action.  James 1:22-25 says “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 a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.”

What’s amazing here is nothing we say can be more truthful than the Word, so if it is possible to hear the Word and not act on it, how much easier is it to not act on our teaching?  Our teaching is certainly not superior to the Word.  It’s our job to show, to show, to show, to show people how to apply the Word and gain that intimate experience with God where that veil between heaven and earth becomes very thin.  That experience only comes through obedience, theirs and ours as leaders.  “Teach them to obey” is the great commandment, don’t just teach them and fall short of the great commandment, but “teach them to obey”.

Lord forgive me for divorcing obedience from teaching.  Holy Spirit create opportunities for me to obey your Word and thus SHOW my hearers how to obey!  Amen

Lead with Love

Dave

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