Devoted to the Word The Francis Chan Conversation, part 8
By Jonathan Allen, Friday 19th July 2019 at 12:29pm
Chan moves on to talking about how seriously people are about reading the Bible and implementing it in their lives and the life of their congregation. He notes how in the book of Acts, the early disciples devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and wonders whether the same can be said for most modern churches and congregations.
How many of us have read, learned and been brought up on this verse: The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrew 4:12)? It has been a part of my life since the day I first encountered it – probably half a century ago! “We’ve heard it,” Chan asks, “but do we believe it?”
If we genuinely believed that the Word of God was this powerful, what would we do? We would read those words and expect them to have a life of their own … What if we spent more time publicly reading the Word and encouraging others to read it too? I suspect we would be able to sit back and watch in amazement as the Word of God accomplishes what it sets out to do.
Have you ever been part of one of those Bible readathons? Where people take it turns to read a whole gospel or the book of Isiah right through without stopping? Or the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation (three days round the clock in relays). Something amazing happens when we expose ourselves to the Bible without interruption, explanation, teaching; when we simply allow the words to soak in and the Spirit to work. Chan again:
What would it mean for to strip away the distractions and become a people who devoted ourselves to Scripture? I firmly believe that we would see a power in our churches like we’ve never experienced before.
Perhaps we should consider that one Shabbat morning. Instead of a few verses, read the whole of the Torah parasha for the week; then read the whole of the hatarah, a whole letter and then several chapters of gospel. Then we would be cleansed by being washed in the water of the word (Ephesians 5:26).