Jani: Welcome, everyone. Thank you for listening. We have spent the last three weeks talking about meditating on God’s Word, on enjoying an extended quiet time with your king. I hope some of you have been able to do that. And last time, we talked about the three priorities we should base our lives on as followers of Jesus Christ. Remember those priorities? Christ, community, and mission.
A Prayer to Begin
Jani: Well, today, we want to talk about the value of God’s word. I want each of you listening to fall in love with God’s Word in a deeper, more real and intimate way. So before we begin today, let me just pray for us.
Jani: Father, thank you for each listener. I pray that you would set a guard over my mouth and a watch over my lips so that each word I say would be of you, would be helpful. Lord, I pray for each listener that you would open the ears of her heart, give her ears to hear what you want her to hear. Holy Spirit, we invite you into this wonderful medium called a podcast. Oh, it’s amazing. Father, we praise you, we thank you, we worship you. And we pray that you, as our kind king, would restore our souls as we seek to serve you. In the beautiful name of Jesus. Amen.
How to Start Our Group Today
Jani: Well, we’re going to start our group today with accountability. I wonder if I’ve given you this little tip that we use in my discipleship groups before I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this. When we begin, I have each member, write out her name on a little slip of paper, and fold it in half and we put those slips of paper in a little basket that I bring with me to each meeting. And I use that basket to draw names out when I’m asking different members to participate. Because that way, it’s more, shall I say, the luck of the draw, if you know what I mean, rather than me choosing. It’s just an easier way. I found it helped when I taught school and it’s an easier way for me to choose different members to participate. So leader, if you haven’t done that, you might pause the podcast and do it right now.
Jani: We’re going to begin with accountability. And I want each leader to pick two women to share one thing that they have gleaned from their quiet times this past week. Go ahead and pick two women to do that and pause the podcast to do this.
Sharing As A Group
Jani: Next, go around your group and have each woman shared the date she has chosen for her extended quiet time. And also her scripture meditation verse. If someone has already had her extended quiet time, make sure to ask her about it. When did she have it? How did it go? Are there any questions or suggestions you have for the group regarding your extended quiet times? Pause the podcast and discuss these things, versus of meditation and extended quiet times.
The Next Assignment
Jani: Finally, give your members their assignment, which is this: five quiet times this coming week, meditate on your verse three times each day, once in the morning, one time mid day, and once at night. And then choose prayer partners and connect with your prayer partner once during the week ahead. You will have a chance to share prayer requests at the end of this podcast. So that’s your assignment.
Worship As A Group
Jani: As far as worship goes, this week, we’re going to be talking about the final word in our chorus of redemption another week but for this lesson, I just want you to sing your chorus as you get ready to sing. Think about which attribute of Jesus Christ, wisdom righteousness, his power, or holiness, which attribute of Jesus you find yourself most in need of today. Let’s praise our savior for being that very thing. For each of us, Jesus Christ is made to me, wisdom, righteousness, power and holiness. Pause the podcast, share if you’d like, and then worship God by singing it together.
Teaching Time: Why I Value The Bible
Jani: Next, we’re going to go into teaching and I want to share with you why I value the Bible. That sacred and sometimes confusing book I’m challenging you to read this year, is a treasure we sometimes take for granted. But in the Bible are recorded the very words of God Almighty. Let’s be women who honor and cherish this treasure preserved for us, since the time of Moses on up through our very lives.
Jani: Why do I value the Bible so deeply? Well, for several reasons.
1. God Values The Bible
Jani: First of all, I value the Bible, because God does. He places a very high value on his word. He uses his word to give us life. Think of Deuteronomy 8:3, this is during the 40 years in the wilderness. It says,
“And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”Deuteronomy 8:3
Jani: You see, he uses his word to give us life. Or Hebrews 4:12 says this,
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”Hebrews 4:12
Jani: God uses his word to give us life.
Jani: He stands by his word. Proverbs 35 says,
“Every word of God proves true.”Proverbs 30:5
Jani: And Isaiah 55:11 says,
“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”Isaiah 55:11
Jani: God stands by his word, he values it.
Jani: God wants it to be revered and esteemed. 2 Timothy 2:15 says,
“Do your best to present yourself to God, as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”2 Timothy 2:15
Jani: And God will make sure that his word lasts forever. He values it that much. 1 Peter 1:24-25 says this,
“The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever. And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”1 Peter 1:24-25
Jani: His Word will last forever. I value the Bible because God does.
2. History Values The Bible
Jani: I also value the Bible because history values it. For millennia, these sacred words have guided individuals, groups of people, and even nations. Think of how many legal systems are based on the 10 commandments from Exodus 20. Think of all the people who though they don’t read the Bible, desire to live under the governance of the golden rule from Matthew 7:12. Or what about marriage? Who thought up this idea of one man and one woman becoming one flesh, as long as they both shall live? Who thought it up? Well God did! From Genesis 2 through Revelation 19. The Bible speaks of marriage, and it tells us that marriage is God’s glorious creation, showing the world a tiny picture of his sacrificial love for his bride and her joyful response to him. Throughout history, even nations that don’t believe the Bible have followed the basic tenants that God gave us through His Word about marriage.
3. Those Who I Respect Value The Bible
Jani: I value the Bible, because those who my most respect, treasure it and live by it. I think of some of my heroes, Sarah Edwards, Anne Judson, Amy Carmichael, Elizabeth Elliot. And my present day heroes, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, Anne Voskamp, Beth Moore, Jen Wilkin and my own mother-in-law, Anne Ortlund. I see the pattern of their lives and I want to imitate them as they imitate Christ. Think of how Jesus, when He was tempted by Satan, how he quotes scripture. We see that in Matthew 4. Or in 1 Corinthians 11:1 where Paul says,
“Imitate me as I imitate Christ.”1 Corinthians 11:1
Jani: Hebrews 13:7, puts it this way,
“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the Word of God, consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”Hebrews 13:7
Jani: Yes, I value the Bible because those whom I most respect, treasure it and try to live by it, and I want to imitate their faith.
4. The Bible Changed My Life
Jani: Finally, I value the Bible because through it, God has changed my life. God’s words have protected me, guided me, rescued me, comforted me. How would I have made it through the sorrows and confusion of life without his word speaking grace and peace into my restless soul. His Word has never proven false to me. It has been a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, Psalm 119:105.
Jani: Even today, as I hit a mental and spiritual block in my study for this podcast, I quoted 1 Corinthians 1:30, the song that we sing, and I thought about how Jesus Christ is made to me wisdom and power from God. And it lifted me as I asked Jesus to become more real to me, and grant me wisdom and power as I podcast today.
Jani: I think some Christians have lost their confidence in the Word of God today. Instead of studying the Word of God, they study books about the Word of God. Now, as an author myself and as a wife of an author and mother to three authors, at least so far, I don’t mean to discourage you from studying books about the Bible. But that is not a Bible study. That is a book study. Remember that. Don’t devote so much time to reading books about the Bible that you don’t have time to read the Bible itself.
Jani: There are many classes, teaching principles from the Bible. Classes on how to have a great marriage or how to raise godly children. These classes aren’t wrong. I sometimes teach them. We should take them, but don’t substitute them for your own personal daily Bible reading. My mother-in-law used to say that people would often ask her for book recommendations. They’d come and say, “Mrs. Ortlund, what book do you recommend for my friend who is in grief?” Her response? The Bible. Or “Mrs. Ortlund? What do you recommend for my sister who is going through a divorce?” Again, the Bible. Or “Mrs. Ortlund, what book do you recommend for my single friend or my newly married niece or for my teenager who is searching for God’s will for her life or…” you name the question, and you can guess mom’s response. The Bible.
Read Your Bible. Read it Daily.
Jani: For thousands of years this God-breathed book has taught and corrected and completed and equipped us. 2 Timothy 3:16. God speaks through the word to our every need, teaching, reproving, correcting, and training us in righteousness. Read the Bible. Read it daily, as the disciples in Berea did. Acts 17 says,
“They were more noble. They received the word daily with all eagerness.”Acts 17:11
Jani: Get to know your Bible. Otherwise, “you will be like a child,” Ephesians 4 says, “tossed to and fro by the waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” Oh, read your Bible, read it daily, accept it, believe it, receive it. Romans 15:4 says,
“For whatever was written in former days, was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures, we might have hope.”Romans 15:4
Jani: Do you need hope? I do. Go to the scriptures for that encouragement. Read it. Read your Bible, let it touch the gray areas of your heart. Think of the word as Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:19. Think of the word as a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star rises in your heart.
Jani: Oh, do you have a dark gray area in your heart today? Then go to the Word and let his word be a lamp shining into that dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises there. Read it, read it daily. Let it sink down deep, so deeply into your hearts, that it will flavor the atmosphere of your home and family. Deuteronomy 6:6-7, put it this way.
“These words [that is scripture, the Bible] shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit, when you walk, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Jani: As you read the Bible, day to day, month, after month, on through the years, you will come to value it as a treasure of incomparable matchless worth. So what shall we do with this book? Well, we’re going to talk about that in our next podcast, which will be after Thanksgiving. We’re giving our staff here at He Restores My Soul a Thanksgiving break.
Jani: So leader, I want you now to take time for a brief break in your discipleship group, and then have them come back together for each woman to share her prayer requests. Then spend time praying for each other, and you close your group with prayer. We hope you have a wonderful season of thanksgiving. May God restore your soul