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During the Freshers Weekend last year, a survey was carried out on how much time was spent on average per week in reading the Bible. It averaged at 5 minutes a week - the "verse a day keeps the devil away" sort of approach.
To the follower of Jesus Christ, the Bible is the Word of God, which puts it above all the other books in the university library (for you freshers, the library is that big building that you might go into sometime in your final year). A Christian medical student was recently taken out of his car in South Africa and murdered. In his university days he had made an amazing commitment: to spend as much time with his Bible as he did in his medical studies. I am sure as he faced his death the words of Scripture meant a lot more to him than ever did his Grays Anatomy.
Will we be "radical"? Radical means to go back to the roots, back to what is fundamental. What else is more fundamental to the Christian than the words of Christ?
We all want to leave a mark in the world. One guy tried to beat the record of sitting up a tree - as we all know the way to fame is to get into the Guinness Book of World Records - he sat up there 35 days then discovered he had misread the record: it was actually 35 YEARS.
Thankfully we don't need to go to such lengths to find our mark in the world: the Word will equip us. The Word is the fuel for our fire, the score for our music. It dissects our motives, illuminates our path and brings wisdom and understanding. It is more valuable than gold.
May I challenge you to spend an hour a week with the Word of God, to study it?
Maybe we are frightened by the thought of STUDY.
Imagine getting a love letter. You open it but before you begin to read you gather together your Oxford English Dictionary, your Handbook of Contemporary Love Epithets, your Comparative Study of 20th century Love Writings and your Commentary on Love throughout History and then begin with your letter: "my dear..." and 15 minutes of searching later you discover 'my' is a... POSSESSIVE ADJECTIVE!!!!! Thats not how we'd read a love letter yet its often how we think we ought to read Gods Love Letter to the world.
Maybe we shouldn't think of Bible 'study' but instead speak of 'thoughtful reading' of the Scriptures
Don't make the mistake of the Pharisees: to search the Scriptures because you believe IN IT you will find life. Its not Scripture but encountering Jesus in the Scriptures that brings life. There are academics here in this university who specialise in studying the Bible yet they have never known the person that every inch of the Bible talks about. The only worth of coming to the Bible to study it is to encounter Jesus in its pages and get to know him better.
In John 6 Jesus had a crowd with him much larger than is here tonight at CU. They had been filled with bread and fish and were happy to follow this man who met their physical needs, who seemed to promise a life of comfort and ease. Yet Jesus turned to them and told them not to look to physical nourishment but spiritual nourishment and told them to "eat his flesh and drink his blood". Many found his teaching too hard and turned away. Jesus then turned to his twelve disciples and asked "Will you go away too?". If He had asked us that, what would we have said?
Can we answer with Simon Peter, "Lord, to whom shall we go FOR YOU HAVE THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE"?