January 3, 2021

Drawing Near to God Through His Word

Pastor: Jeff Bedwell Series: Drawing Near to God Scripture: James 1:19–25

Series: Drawing Near To God
Message: Through His Word
Scripture: James 1:19-25

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

“Nothing has a greater impact on spiritual growth than reflection on Scripture. If churches do only one thing to help people at all levels of spiritual maturity grow in their relationship with Christ, their choice is clear. They would inspire, encourage, and equip their people to read the Bible—specifically, to reflect on Scripture for meaning in their lives. … The Bible’s power to advance spiritual growth is unrivaled by anything else we’ve discovered.” Greg Hawkins and Cally Parkinson

Drawing Near To God Through His Word

  1. Recieve it with my ears (19-21)

 Four Attitudes That Improve My Reception:

  • Be Quiet
  • Be Calm
  • Be Clean
  • Be Humble
  1. Read it with my eyes (22-25)

 Two Qualifiers:

  • “Looks intently” – Glance vs. Gaze
  • “Continues to do so” – Consistency/Perserverance

The mirror of God’s Word helps us to evaluate ourselves, to see what we look like on the inside

  1. Research it with my hands and mouth

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

Research is Bible Study

Two Vital Aids to Studying the Bible:

  • Write it down
  • Talk it over
  1. Review and Remember it with my mind
  • Memorization
  • Meditation

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)

  1. Respond to it with my actions (22 & 25)

I only believe those parts of the Bible I Actually Do!

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24–25)

A Practical Challenge

Join together in reading and journaling through the New Testament this year.

The H.E.A.R. journaling method promotes reading the Bible with a life-transforming purpose. Your focus will not be on just checking off the boxes on a daily reading schedule; your purpose will instead be to read in order to understand and respond to God’s Word.  To draw near to God through His Word!

  • Begin with Prayer

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18)

Note: Write the date and scripture passage at the top of the page

  • Highlight

After reading the passage of Scripture, Highlight each verse that speaks to you by highlighting it in your Bible and/or by copying key verses under the letter “H”.

  • Examine/Explain

Examine the text and write down your observations.  Why it was written, and what is the author trying to say to the original audience? Be sure to pay attention to the context (verses before and after) to help you understand the meaning.

Ask the foundational questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?                                    

Look for things that are: Emphasized, Repeated, Compared, Contrasted or True to life.

  • Apply

Now it is time to write down how this passage can apply to your life. How will this passage change the way you think about God or think about yourself?  How will this passage inform your practice as a Christian?

Is there a...

Sin to confess?
Promise to claim?
Attitude to change?
Command to obey?
Example to follow?
Prayer to pray?
Error to avoid?
Truth to believe?
Something to praise or thank God for?

  • Respond

Write down a prayer or an action as a result of what you have just learned. Be specific and carry it out.

But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”” (Luke 11:28)

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)

other sermons in this series

Jan 17


Drawing Near to God Through Fasting

Pastor: Jeff Bedwell Scripture: Matthew 6:16–18 Series: Drawing Near to God

Jan 10


Drawing Near to God Through Prayer

Pastor: Jeff Bedwell Scripture: Matthew 6:5–13 Series: Drawing Near to God