All 3,500 of us kicked off the conference right away Saturday evening by receiving a word through Josh Harris, a man who is a few inches shorter in person than he sounds on CD…
“Ripping, Burning, Eating – A Right Response to Scripture” by Joshua Harris
Your words were found and I ate them,He started by asking us “How do we relate to the Bible as Christians? How do we relate to it personally?”
And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Your name,
O LORD God of hosts. - Jeremiah 15:16
These two questions are difficult to answer, and I would have to say that at the start of the conference I viewed the Bible more of a “road map” for Christians. Instead of seeing it as the story of God’s grace and what He has done in my life and for me, I accepted it first as a list of what I needed to do.
We claim a passion for the Word of God, but do our lives reflect it? Such a searching question which Josh asked. As Christians we say that we mold our lives around the Bible, but is that true? When people look at our lives, do they see God and the Bible? I certainly hope that this would be true of my life.
Josh contrasted the reactions of three men in the Bible as they responded to the word of God:
- King Josiah in 2 Kings 22:1-2,10-13
+ Josiah’s chief example of what a king should be was his grandfather, an ungodly king, yet at age 8 Josiah’s heart was set on the Lord
+ The law had been lost but it was found and brought to Josiah in v. 10
+ Josiah was moved with humility and repentance by the Word of God and tore his clothes as a symbol of the repentance of Israel
· Is this our response to Scripture when we “find” it? If not, what does move our hearts?
- King Jehoiakim in Jeremiah 36:30
+ The son of Josiah yet had an opposite attitude
+ When the word of the God was brought to him he burnt the scrolls
+ He did not fear God and his response was coldhearted rather than repentant
+ All of Jehoiakim’s aides supported him yet when we stand before God in heaven we must give an account for ourselves, our peers will not stand with us
· When we disobey God/Scripture we are in essence burning the word of God through our actions
- Jeremiah in Jeremiah 15:16
+ Jeremiah remembered how the scrolls were found during the reign of Josiah
+ He “ate” them – they became a joy and a delight to him in a time of struggle
God’s word meets us where we are, even in our weak moments for it has power when we are powerless.
Just as the word “became” a joy to Jeremiah we must fight to delight in the word.
· Scripture is not merely a “to do” list for the Christian detailing what we need to do- it is about the grace of God and what He has done for us. It is His story, not ours. We obey Him because of what He has done
The key point that stood out to me in Josh’s sermon was when he described Josiah’s reaction and then asked us what our reaction to Scripture was. I certainly do not rejoice over it as Josiah, nor do I hunger for it as Jeremiah. But if I don’t rejoice and hunger for it, what do I turn these emotions to? What do I value? Definitely something to consider as I begin to pour myself more into the word.
My prayer is that as I fight to hunger after the word my soul would desire it more and more!What an excellent start to an excellent conference!