Let The Lion Out Of Its Cage

Recognizing The Importance Of Sharing The Word Of God.

Eric Estes
Oct 11, 2020    39m
As followers, we are called to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others. This message examines scripture that highlights both the truth of the Bible and the importance of sharing the Word of God with confidence. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

More From This Message

Eric Estes: 00:10 Father, we thank you for this time, we thank you that you've allowed us to gather together either here, or in our homes, and to worship you. I pray that you are glorified in this time, I pray that there's a sweet aroma. Lord, and now, as we turn to spending time in your word, Lord, I pray that we would glorify in that as well. I pray that you would speak to us, I pray that you would see things that maybe we haven't seen before, I pray that you would change our hearts in this and that we would see your word in a fresh new way. And I pray that you would give us confidence, confidence in you, confidence in your word, confidence in your son Jesus. It's in his name we pray. Amen.

Eric Estes: 00:54 Well, several years ago, my wife and I, and then several of my rugby buddies, this is before kids, we took a trip to South Africa, and we spent some time in Kruger National Park. And the big thing we wanted to see while we were there as lions, that's the kind of thing you want to, the big thing that people go there for. Well, towards the end of our trip, we were driving around. We'd seen all these different creatures and we come upon a bunch of cars that are stopped on the road. And we think, oh, this is probably it. So we stopped and sure enough, off to our right about 50 yards off the road was a pride of lions, and they were incredible. We got to see them, as a matter of fact, this is a picture we took from the car. We got to see them, and they were majestic and just incredible. And my wife, Kathy, she crawls out the car window to where she's kind of seated on the window sill. And she puts her camera on the roof of the car or the van, and she starts taking these pictures here. And it didn't take long before a park ranger drives by, and he was the most polite guy he says, pardon me, do you know, you're looking at lions? And we were like, yes, isn't that so cool. He goes, well, get in the car. You see, he lived with lions all the time, he understood how powerful and how fierce they were. We were tourists, we had no clue. When we think of lions, we think of what we see at the zoo, right? My kids were at the zoo the other day, that's what we think of when we think of lions, right? But in reality, they are incredibly powerful, incredibly fierce creatures.

Eric Estes: 02:26 And my fear is, is that we have kind of lost our understanding of the power of God's Word, in the same way that we don't appreciate a true lion. God's Word has incredible power, but sometimes we tend to think because we tend to be more tourists, we don't see that power. So my prayer for today is that as we go into Jeremiah 36, that we see God revealing his word to Jeremiah and we see how that plays out, that we develop a fresh passion for God's Word. That we develop a confidence in God's Word that allows us to not only to rest in God's Word, to stand firm in God's Word, but also to pass it on to others. We're going to be, like I said, in Jeremiah 36. And what I want to do, is I want to just kind of tell you what happens in Jeremiah 36, give you a big picture overview. And then we're going to circle back, and we're going to see four things in this text, to tell us about God's Word. We're going to see that God's Word reveals, that God's Word restores, that God's Word is often rejected, but the God's Word always prevails.

Eric Estes: 03:39 Before we talk about Jeremiah 36, I just want kind of show you where we are in the arc of history. If we think about history as a timeline, let's just say, this is history, okay, and here's the beginning. Let's say things up here, things are pretty good, and here things are kind of bad, right? So we start off with creation, things were great, right? We walked hand in hand with God, and then we chose to go our own way, we rebelled against God. So in the arc of human history, this what we call the fall, things were not so good, and then things continue to go down.

Eric Estes: 04:16 And then there was different times where God allow things to be better, right? He raised up Abraham, and then some of his descendants started to walk away from God, and we have this. Then God's people found themselves in slavery in Egypt, and things were bad there, but then he rose up Moses and things were better. Then we have this period of the judges where things were kind of good, but then they just kept kind of spiraling downward. And then we have the Kings, they asked for a King and sure enough, God raises up a King Saul, wasn't that great. But then David, and this is kind of what we call the golden period of Israel, David and Solomon. But once again, that didn't last long. We see we have the King started to take people, kind of lead people to follow other gods, to lead people away from God, and so we saw this incredible downward slope, so much so that God's people split into two.

Eric Estes: 05:08 We have the Northern kingdom first, they completely walked away from God. And because of that, the Assyrians came and wiped them out. And so this is the period where the prophets spoke. As things were declining, there were prophets like Jeremiah, who were trying to tell God's people to turn back to God otherwise things are not going to go so well, but they rejected him time and time again.

Eric Estes: 05:33 In the Southern kingdom, Judah, was a little bit better. We had a couple kings that had a little, a few where they brought God's people back, but overall, they kept taking people further away from God. And this is where Jeremiah is, after the Northern kingdom falls to a Assyria. Jeremiah is pleading with the Kings from Josiah all the way to King Jehoiakim that we'll see today, to turn back to God, but they continue to ignore him.

Eric Estes: 05:58 That's where we find ourselves in Jeremiah 36. And so what I want to do is, I want us to just kind of, here's a big picture of Jeremiah 36. See God reveals. God comes to Jeremiah and he tells him, he says, write down these words. And so Jeremiah hears the words from God, and he dictates them to his assistant, whose name is Baruch, it's kind of his understudy, his disciple. And so Baruch writes them all down on a scroll, and we have this massive scroll of God's revealed word. Then Jeremiah tells Baruch to go to Jerusalem, to go to the temple, and to read the scroll out loud. So he says, I would do it, I can't, I am canceled from the temple. Right? We don't know exactly why, but for some reason, Jeremiah was not allowed the template anymore. Probably most scholars think that it's because of the, what he said in chapter 7 of Jeremiah, where he delivered an address at the temple and it didn't go over so well. He was telling them the truth, but they didn't want to hear it. Or we learned last week in chapter 19 that he, even though after he was beaten and tortured, that he stood up to him and said, no, this is not right. And they didn't want to hear that, so they canceled him, they didn't let him in the temple anymore.

Eric Estes: 07:13 So he sends Baruch, Baruch goes to the temple, he reads the scroll. And as he's reading the scroll, a guy named Micaiah hears it. Micaiah goes, and then he takes that, God works within him and he says, okay, I need to go tell someone else. So he goes, and he tells the city officials, the city officials said, well, we need to hear this. So they, they call Baruch down and Baruch reads the scroll to them. And here's what the officials say, verse 16 says, "When they heard all these words, they looked at each other in fear and said to Baruch, “We must report all these words to the king.” So they took the scroll to the King, and the King, he had his assistant Jehudi read it. There's a lot of J names today. Jehudi read God's Word to them, and here's what happened, you can kind of just picture this scene. Jehudi would start to read the scroll, he'd say about three or four lines, and then all of a sudden King Jehoiakim would get up, walk over, take a knife, cut that part of the scroll, wad it up and throw it in the fire. Then he'd say, keep going. And he'd read a few more lines and he'd rip it, throw it in the fire, and say, go ahead, read some more. And this continued on and on and on and on, until the entire scroll was burned up.

Eric Estes: 08:29 Then the King said, I want Jeremiah and Baruch who are responsible for this scroll, I want them arrested. Well, Jeremiah and Baruch had been hiding out, because they knew how this was going to go. But you could see that there's probably just despair in them, because they'd spent all this time, they'd received words from God and they, one of the people to hear, and then it's now toast, right, it's been burned up, so you can kind of feel their despair. But God comes to them again and he says, he tells Jeremiah, write these words again. The same words I gave you, I'm going to give them to you again, and I want you to add this, I want you to add the judgment that's going to come upon King Jehoiakim for rejecting my word.

Eric Estes: 09:12 And here's what happens King Jehoiakim's sons will not inherit the throne, his family's done. Also when he dies, his body's going to be thrown in the streets, which was a big deal in Jewish culture not to receive a proper burial. And then because the King and all of his subjects had not turned back to God, there was judgment coming in the form of Babylon. This is the super power at the time that was knocking at their door, and they were going to be overrun by Babylon, and we know historically that that's exactly what happened. So when we hear that story, it's not exactly a happy ending, is it? But we need to ask the question, would things have been different if King Jehoiakim had received God's word instead of rejecting it? And before we get too down on old King Jehoiakim we need to ask ourselves the question, because there's times when we reject God's Word as well. We may not light the whole thing on fire, but we do pick and choose and reject certain pieces of it. So today my prayer is that we would, as we look at this passage, we would see these things about scripture and that it would ignite a passion within us, and a confidence in God's Word as we move forward.

Eric Estes: 10:30 So the first thing I want us to see, starting in verse 2, is that God's Word reveals. Jeremiah, he writes this, "Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah and all the other nations from the time I began speaking to you in the reign of Josiah till now." So what were the words that he's talking about? Well, the time period he gives us is from the days of Josiah until today, that kind of describes the span of Jeremiah's ministry up until this point. King Josiah was the first, that's when he started ministry, so a lot of what we have been reading in the Book of Jeremiah is what was contained in the scroll.

Eric Estes: 11:21 What were some of those things? We've been, for the last several weeks we've been walking through the Book of Jeremiah, what are some of the things that we've seen? We've seen that God's people were, that they were excelling in wickedness, they'd forsaken God and they were pursuing other gods. We also know that they were, the foolishness, that he called them out for their foolishness of worshiping these idols, and these idols were statues that they would worship. Now, while we don't worship statues today, we learned when we read that, that we sure have plenty of our own idols. It may not be a statue, but anything we put above God, even good things is an idol. Things like maybe our kids, if we put those above God, then it's idolizing them. Or if our career, or our politics, or whatever that is, if we put it above God, it's an idol. So God calls them out on that. He calls him out on their pride, right? All of these things, all of these things, they don't want to hear. He's saying, turn back to God, stop following these other things, turn back to God, and he's rejected constantly, over and over and over again. And he's telling him judgment is coming in the form of a foreign army sitting on your doorstep, but they refuse to listen, because they didn't want to hear. So scripture reveals things to us like this, see, scripture reveals things about God himself, who he is, his nature, his character, his beauty, what he's done for us. Scripture reveals these things to us, and we can learn to love God more and more when we see that.

Eric Estes: 13:04 Scripture also teaches us a lot about ourselves, a lot that we don't necessarily know about ourselves, it reveals things in our hearts. See, Jeremiah in chapter 17 tells us, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick. Who can understand it?" There's things in our hearts that we don't even realize, and we need God's Word to reveal those things in us. Katie and the girls who were up here earlier teaching us about God's Word, led us through the Discovery Bible Study. And in there there's five questions. Question number two was, what does this say about God? Question number three is, what does this say about humans, about people, right? When we ask that question, see, this is what we know about humanity, then we go, okay, is any of that true of me? And to start to shine a light on our hearts, and where we are.

Eric Estes: 14:09 Jeremiah 23 verse 29, he says this, “Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? " See our heart is hardened sometimes it's deceitful to us, and so sometimes we need it broken down, right? We need to be broken down so we can be built up in Christ to look more and more like him. Hebrews 4, the same verse that Katie and Peyton went through with us. Hebrews 4:12, "The Word of God is living and active, sharper than a two edged sword. It pierces our hearts." And it says, "It discerns the thoughts and intentions of our hearts." It's like it does heart surgery, it'd be like it does surgery in our hearts.

Eric Estes: 15:01 It's been said many times that we don't read scripture, scripture reads us. Probably my favorite picture of God's Word is in James, where he talks about God's Word as a mirror. Right? We all know what a mirror does, you walk up and you see your reflection. And sometimes we see things in the mirror that we don't really like do we? As I get older more, it happens more often, I see things that I don't like. As a matter of fact, my kids are always joking about it. They say, oh, dad, you're getting a lot of gray hair there. And I said, no, no, it's just blonde hair. Right. We can go to the mirror, and we can pretend like we don't see what's there, but the reality of the situation is I've got gray hair. Right? The reality of situation is that God's Word reveals things to us that maybe sometimes we don't want to see, and that's all part of it.

Eric Estes: 15:50 Often people reject God's Word, they see one thing that they don't like, or one thing they don't feel is right, and they reject the whole thing. But in reality, if God wrote this book, wouldn't we expect there to be some things, maybe some new things revealed to us. Wouldn't we expect there to be some things that maybe I don't really like, that maybe I don't feel are right. Whereas, if there wasn't anything, if it just completely agreed with everything I wanted it to say, then I would be a little suspect that maybe it was written by man. Right? The only thing I know that's like that is advertising, advertising tells me everything I want to hear. Right? But God's Word doesn't do that, God's Word tells us what we need to hear. It'd be like going to a doctor and receiving bad news and saying, yeah, no, I don't really think that's true, just because we don't want to hear it.

Eric Estes: 16:46 So the question is, are we ready for it to reveal things about us? We need to see those things, our sins, our faults, and failures. Because if we see them, whether we know it or not, those things are keeping us from a strong relationship with God. And it's only by dealing with those things that we can grow closer and closer to God. Those things are keeping us in bondage, whether we know it or not, and the Word of God reveals the chains. And when we see the chains, we can break them, we can find real freedom. And most importantly, it's only by seeing the bad news about what we've done, our sins, our failures, that we get to see the good news of what we call the gospel of Jesus.

Eric Estes: 17:29 And that's what we see next God's Word, not only reveals it also restores. Verse 3, he tells us, "It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the disaster that I intend to do to them, so that everyone may turn from his evil way, and that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.” There's a pattern here, as we just look at the verbs here that they will hear, they will turn, and then they will be forgiven. Hear, turn forgiven, that's the good news that when he reveals things to us, there's things that maybe we don't want to hear, that when we acknowledge the reality of those things, and acknowledge that I'm not perfect, I don't have it all together, that I have fallen short, that I have sinned against God. Romans 3:23 says, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." When we see that and we turn, right, which is just acknowledging what we have done and turning to who is good. It's acknowledging that, you know, look, I have tried to do this myself, I've been trusting in myself, and turning to trust in Christ. The biblical term for that is called repentance, it literally means change of mind. And it's saying the change from the mindset of the world to the mindset of Christ, and following him, that's what it looks like to turn. Mark 1:15 says, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” And when we do, we find forgiveness.

Eric Estes: 19:12 Romans 5:8 says, "That God shows his love for us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Second Corinthians 5:19 says, "That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation." We're restored when we turn from following our own ways, from following the ways that I want to do, from trusting in myself, and we turn and we trust in Christ, we're restored to God. That relationship is brought back anew. Jesus came, he lived a perfect life, he died a death to take on our sins. When we trust in him, we're one in him, and we receive, it's credited to our account, his right standing with God.

Eric Estes: 20:04 That's the gospel, that's the good news of Jesus that we are restored, and that's what scripture leads us to. Not only does it reveal, it restores. Many of us are floating around in the ocean, we're treading water and we're like, I've got this, this is no problem at all, but over time we start to get a little tired, don't we? And we start to realize and acknowledge the directness of the situation, things aren't so good maybe, we feel hopeless, right? We're striving and striving and striving, and it's not working, and then that piece of driftwood floats by, and we cling to it with our lives. Right? And what happens, all of a sudden now we've got hope, all of a sudden we've got freedom, all of a we've got rest. And that's what happens when we cling to Christ, we stop trying to do it ourselves, and we cling to Christ, trusting in him, following him, doing things his way. So have you been restored? Have you turned from trusting in yourself, from pursuing the ways of the world, and have you turned to Christ and been restored? And then if you have, after that, are you being restored daily? You see, we have a tendency to kind of start to turn back a little bit, don't we? Right, to turn back to trusting in myself, to turn back into the sin, to turn back into the failures. And it's God's Word that reveals those things to us so that we can turn back and be restored day in and day out. God's Word reveals, God's Word restores.

Eric Estes: 21:34 And then we also see that God's Word is often rejected. Verse 23 tells us that "Whenever Jehudi read three or four columns of the scroll, the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them into the fire in the fire pot, until the entire scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the fire pot." Let's go to the next verse too, "Yet neither the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words was afraid, nor did they tear their garments."

Eric Estes: 22:14 So there's a contrast happening here between King Jehoiakim and his dad, King Josiah. We haven't even met King Josiah yet. Right? But if we go back to Second Kings chapter 22, most Jewish readers of the Old Testament would have been really familiar with both these stories, and they would have seen the parallels here. If we look at the story of Josiah, Josiah was one of the good Kings of Israel, he actually brought Israel back. When he started at rule, they had lost God's Word. Here's the scariest part, they didn't even know they lost it. Right? And it'd be like us, you know, when we lose our Bible and we don't even realize it was lost. We know we've kind of drifted from our time with the Lord, haven't we? Well, that's where this whole country, that whole nation was.

Eric Estes: 22:59 And workers in the temple uncovered God's Word, they uncovered these scrolls and they took him to King Josiah, and they said, King look what we found, and they read them to him. And Josiah, when he heard God's Word ripped his clothes, he was distraught because they have not been following God. Now notice the contrast, Josiah ripped his clothes, King Jehoiakim ripped God's Word. It's the exact same Hebrew word, there's a really intentional parallel there, that we can either receive God's Word or we can reject it, there's no middle ground. We can either fear God's Word, or we can forget God's Word. D. L. Moody says this, he says, 'Either the Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible."

Eric Estes: 23:50 It's funny because King Jehoiakim, it's like, he thinks that if he just burns God's Word, that it's not going to happen. Right? He didn't want to hear it, so if he burns it, it goes away. Which is kind of silly, J. I. Packer says, It's like you're driving down the road and you see a sign that says bridge out. So you stop your car, you get out of the car, you grab the sign, you chunk it in the woods. Right. You get back in your car and you just keep driving, problem solved, right. That's what it would be like to just reject God's Word, and think, okay, I'm good. He ignored the danger that it was telling about.

Eric Estes: 24:25 So the world often rejects God's Word, this is nothing new. We've been talking a lot about the underground church, haven't we? If you're worshiping in person with us right now, if you walk in the lobby, we've got these jail cells set up and this kind of checkpoint and all these things, to kind of simulate a little bit of what it would be like to be in a country where God's Word is suppressed. We see that all across the world, God's Word is suppressed in different places. Throughout history, God's Word is suppressed, they try and stop it down. From Jehoiakim, to the Roman empire, to even in the middle ages, people were burned at the stake for trying to print God's Word. And now today, we see it all around the world.

Eric Estes: 25:06 China is one place we see it. Let me tell you a couple of things that are happening in China. The national religious affairs administration has passed the resolutions on religious groups. This is article 17, which states, "Religious organizations should publicize the guidelines and policies of the communist party of China, it's national laws, regulations, and rules to the clergy and religious citizens. In order to instruct and direct the clergy and religious citizens to support the rule of the communist party of China. To support the socialist system, to follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics." Right? That's what they think, the job of a pastor there is going to be to really support the communist Chinese agenda, not God's word. In fact, there's a project going on right now there, where they are re-translating the Bible, isn't that's a nice of them? So it's a five year plan to make the Chinese Bible translation more Chinese by adding elements of Buddhism, Confucianism, and communism. To find commonalities with socialism, and establish a correct understanding of the text, purging the passages that are incompatible with its core socialist values while retaining a measure of the original poetry. That's nice, they're going to keep the poetry. If you want to learn more about what's happening in China, next week we will have someone here with this. I can't even say his name, because he's facing persecution even here. But he's going to talk to us a little bit about what's happening in China, and what it's like there, what it's like to be a believer there. So we'll have a workshop next Sunday at 2 o'clock, we'd love for you to be there, to hear more about that from someone who's been in prison in China and now is over here with us.

Eric Estes: 26:51 So what does it look like for us then, to be persecuted in that way for God's Word to be stomped down? I was talking to a friend and he said this, it just stuck with me, that while it's not illegal here, what we face is intellectual persecution. That maybe people won't outright reject scripture, but they sure kind of try to make you feel silly for believing it sometimes. They say like, oh, that's cute. Or isn't that... I'm glad you believe that, right? Or do you really, I mean, that's like kind of myths and legends, that works for you? That's cool. Right? Trying to make you feel silly for believing a book that has withstood the test of time, that has prevailed throughout history, for believing in a book that contains the Power of God, for believing in a book that has changed more lives than anything other book that's ever been written. It's silly, to read it, that's the type of persecution we have, that's how the Bible is being stomped out in our country.

Eric Estes: 27:55 What I find interesting is that King Jehoiakim didn't even wait to hear the whole thing before he made any judgements. When he heard one thing he didn't like, he opened God's Word, read it, and there's one thing he didn't like, what did he do? Rip that out, threw it in the fire. Do you know anybody like that? Here's one thing that they don't like, and then they just discount the whole thing, that has happened over and over again for them, right?

Eric Estes: 28:30 For some it's a little bit different, for some they kind of pick and choose what they like, what they want to hear. Right? Thomas Jefferson is famous for this, he would cut out pieces of his Bible that he didn't agree with. So he had, you opened his Bible and it's all these different holes in it. Right? And he had a holy Bible, sorry, dad joke, I couldn't resist. But you know, before we give Thomas Jefferson and King Jehoiakim such a hard time, while we don't burn the whole Bible, we reject pieces of it as well, don't we? We come to the Bible sometimes, and we'll read and we'll go, oh yeah, Jesus said, "I have come to have life and life abundant.' Ah, I love that, yeah, let me put that on a coffee mug. And then we read the next page and we see, oh, "You're to suffer for my name." And what do we do? You know what, I think that really is for other people. But that's not really me, I'm not supposed to sacrifice anything or do that, that's for other people. And then we read, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.", we say, amen. And then we turn the page and it says, "Jesus tells us to go and make disciples.", well, you know, that's not really my personality. I don't like to talk about my faith, it's more of a private thing. We pick and choose, right? Or we bought into that consumer culture that we have where it's like, well, I can do a little bit of this, a little bit of that, I'm not really interested in that. That's where we find ourselves a lot of times, that's how we reject God's Word sometimes. And I hope that the visual of burning God's Word, it sticks in our minds. And it, I hope it offends you because that means you have a passion for God's Word, that it means something to you, and I love that. Because God's Word reveals, God's Word restores, God's Word is rejected, but it always, always, always prevails.

Eric Estes: 30:26 Verse 27, "Now after the king had burned the scroll with the words that Baruch wrote at Jeremiah’s dictation, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: “Take another scroll and write on it all the words that were in the first scroll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned up." See, Jehoiakim set out to destroy God's Word, we see that all the time, but he failed. From Jehoiakim, to the Roman empire, to medieval Europe, to today, the Chinese government, anywhere around, they try to destroy God's Word, but God's Word prevails over and over and over again.

Eric Estes: 31:06 Do you know that in 1950, when Mao was in control of China, they tried to squash out Christianity, they tried to destroy the Bible and get rid of it entirely. So Chinese Christians went underground, right, they hid what they were doing, that's why we call it the underground church. They had God's Word in their language, but they were so afraid they were going to get caught, and they were going to get taken away and destroyed, they would tear it up and each family would have a few pages, but they would hold onto those pages for dear life. They would pour over those pages, and those pages became a part of them, God's Word became a part of them. So much so that they couldn't just hold onto it, they had to pass it on to others, their friends, no matter what the danger. Over the years, they would pass it on over and over and over again. The government thought, you know, yeah, I think we've got this in kind of stomped out. Today, 70 years later in China, there is over 60 million Christians living in China. Isn't that incredible, that God's Word cannot be stomped out, God's Word prevails.

Eric Estes: 32:09 Do we have the confidence in God's Word like that? There's been a lot of talk about being on the wrong side of history, right? When we talk about slavery, or we talk about the crusades, those who supported those things ended up on the wrong side of history, right, that they were wrong in what they did. And we want to be on the right side of history. If we want to be on the right side of history, then let's live by this book, this is the book that has prevailed throughout history, over and over and over again. At the end, when it's all said and done, when all the pieces go back in the box, this is the book that's going to determine on the right side or the wrong side of history. Let's live confidently for God's Word, and be on the right side of history.

Eric Estes: 32:59 Jeremiah 20, he says this, he says, "His word is in my heart. Like a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in. Indeed. I cannot." What would that be like for us to feel that way? How do we get that way? How do we have that fire burning inside of us like that? Jeremiah 15 tells us that, "When your words came, I ate them." Kind of a weird phrase there, but "I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name." The idea there is that I've filled on them, I'm continuously going back to God's Word, I'm filling up and I'm saturated in God's Word. And when we become saturated in God's Word, it becomes part of us and it shapes who we are. And that's how we build a confidence in it, that's how it kindles a fire, and that fire just continues to grow until we have to let it out, God's Word reveals, God's Word restores, God's Word is often rejected, but it always prevails. Because of that, we can step forward in confidence and pass it on to others.

Eric Estes: 34:13 I'll take you one more place, verse 11. He says, "When Micaiah son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the Lord from the scroll, he went down to the secretary’s room in the royal palace, where all the officials were sitting. After Micaiah told them everything he had heard..." I'm sorry, I skipped all the names, "After Micaiah told them everything he had heard Baruch read to the people from the scroll." This guy Micaiah, we don't really even know who he is, we don't think he's a Bible scholar or a pastor or anything else. He's just a guy that was in the temple, and he heard God's Word. And what did he do? He took it then, and he passed it on to someone else. He wasn't worried about, you know, gosh, I have to defend it, maybe I have to make it a little bit more palatable for them, or whatever else, he just passed it on, and that's what we're called to do.

Eric Estes: 35:04 Charles Spurgeon is a 18th century pastor, an incredible influence on a lot of people. He says this about God's Word, he says, "There is no need for you to defend a lion when it's being attacked, all you need to do open the gate and let it out." We saw lions at the beginning of this, and what he's saying is that we tend to try and defend God's Word, we try to try and make it more palatable, rather than just passing it onto someone else. God's Word has power, incredible power, like a lion. We don't need to hide it, we don't need to be subtle, God's Word is has power, all we have to do is open the gate. What would it look like if we did that? What would it look like if we just opened God's Word every day, and that we wrestled with what he's saying to us, and then we passed one thing onto someone else.

Eric Estes: 35:58 When Peyton and Katie were talking, the fifth question, if you remember that, was what is in this book that I can pass on to someone else today? What if we did that every day? What if we just made it our intention to every day, to pass this book onto our kids? If we really believe this has power, we would do everything we could to make sure our kids understood this book and the power in it. If we just read God's Word to them every day when they're young, and then as they get older discuss it with them as they're reading it, what would that look like, generation after generation after generation? What would it look like if we were willing to just kind of look for those people and just be able to, hey, lead them in, what does it look like to study God's Word together? There are people, a lot of Christians, who just don't feel real comfortable engaging in God's Word. We're trying to equip everyone in this church in the eight ways to be able to then lead someone else, whether you're a brand new believer or whether you've been a believer for a long time, quick, easy ways to lead someone else.

Eric Estes: 37:02 Katie and Peyton showed us five questions we can ask. Anybody can do that, to just grab someone and say, hey, let's read the Bible together, and ask those five questions every time you read it. And watch, when we do that, especially when we invite somebody in that maybe doesn't believe, or doesn't really know much about the Bible, or isn't really sure where they stand. That when we do that, all we're doing is we're opening up the cage and we're letting the lion out. We're going to let the Holy Spirit do the heavy lifting, we're like, God, really work on their heart. All we're doing is inviting them into God's Word, having confidence in its power, and then we'll watch and let the lion do its work. See God's Word is not going anywhere, over and over again it's tried to be stomped out. But we can have confidence that there is power in God's Word, we can have confidence to rest in it, we can have confidence to stand firm on it, and we can have confidence to pass it on to someone else because God's Word reveals, God's Word restores, God's Word is sometimes rejected, but always, always, always, prevails.

Eric Estes: 38:19 Let's pray. Lord, we thank you. I thank you for who you are, I thank you for your word, that you have revealed yourself to us. And I pray that we would see how incredible that is, that we would spend time to really soak in what you have for us. Lord, I pray that it wouldn't be dry or boring to us, that it would be something that is powerful and life-giving. Lord, I pray that we would immerse ourselves in it, and we would find your strength, your power. Lord, I pray that you would work in each of our hearts right now, as we kind of seek you, to continue to conform us more and more to you. Let's just spend a minute, and just wrestle with whatever God is laying on your heart throughout our worship time for a few minutes,

Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
Read More

Next in this Series

View all in this series
121 Community Church
2701 Ira E Woods Ave.
Grapevine, Texas 76051