January 20, 2019

Bible Anorexia

Passage: Psalm 19

Bible Text: Psalm 19 | Preacher: Adam J. Korenczuk | Text: Psalm 19 “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony
of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and
righteous altogether.”

 Introduction: Why is it that some people seem to grow more, spiritually, than others?
Why is it that some move forward and accomplish great things for God’s glory and others just
fall away from the faith? Do you want to grow spiritually? Growing spiritually is a
combination of doing the right thing and not doing the wrong thing. If you want to be a
growing Christian, you must read, study, and love the Word of God, and you need to read the
Bible as if your life depended on it because it does.

Our souls can starve, just like our bodies. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Our souls require regular
meals from the Scriptures. And notice the word “every” in Matthew 4:4. We need all of
God’s Word to keep us healthy, not just verses here and there. A W. Tozer was right:
“Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.”
Anorexia is a disease that ravages some women, causing extreme weight loss from a
refusal to eat. This leads to abnormal blood counts, fatigue, thinning hair, irregular heart rhythm,
and low blood pressure. The scary thing is that girls and women with anorexia
can’t see how thin they are. When they look in the mirror, they don’t notice the bones
protruding. In fact, they may even think they see fat.
Christians can have Bible anorexia. At one of the churches, there was a women’s Bible
study that had a workbook with quite a bit of homework in it. They would do the homework
and then meet together to talk about it. One lady said she was frustrated with the study. “I
like coming to Bible study, being with other women, and opening my Bible. But then I like to
shut my Bible and go home.”
This woman was busy with much serving in the church. She was part of the music team
and helped in the children’s ministry, but she didn’t realize she needed the Scriptures for
regular and personal spiritual nourishment at home. To her, Bibles were for church
meetings. She thought a meal here and there would sustain her. She was unhappy in life
and couldn’t see that she was thinning out spiritually, even in the midst of all her serving.
She had Bible anorexia.
I. Personal Growth.
God calls his Word bread, milk and honey. He has graciously given it to us to keep us
alive and enable growth. 2 Peter 1:3 “(God’s) divine power has granted to us all things that
pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to His own glory
and excellence.” Notice that God’s divine power works through knowledge of Christ. This is
why the Bible is the main course on our spiritual menu.
Paul also repeatedly exhorts his readers to grow in their knowledge of Christ. In his
letters, he teaches about Christ and encourages others to teach about Christ. He prays in
Philippians 1:9 “that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all
discernment..” In the modern world, we think of love as simply a feeling, but God wants our
love to abound in knowledge. As our knowledge and discernment grow, our love is purified
and we bear fruit that redounds to the Glory of God. Just as we eat to fuel every cell in our
bodies, we read and hear to power our hearts and souls.
 II. Church’s Growth.
Just as individual Christians can have Bible anorexia, churches can starve too. Cutting-
edge music, artistic videos and clever illustrations can build a crowd, but God’s Word is
what the Holy Spirit uses to build a church. Sadly, the Bible is being sidelined today in
many church gatherings. Even “Bible-believing” churches no longer read substantial
portions of the Bible when they gather. Perhaps because they consider it too boring.
Biblical truths in hymns and songs have given way to more emotive expressions of how
we feel about Jesus, or how he makes us feel. As for the sermon, too often it has been
relegated to 20 minutes of moving stories and cultural commentary to break up the
monotony of the “preaching.” After all, we now live in a digital age and our attention spans,
we’re told, are shorter than those of goldfish.
In some churches, cute Lessons are turning children and youth into atheists. America’s
spiritual slide has been happening for decades. Each succeeding generation has seen
more and more people who identify themselves as “nones.” “Nones” are people who say
they have no religious affiliation. The latest findings from Barnes and Noble College,
reveal that Gen Z is continuing this downward spiral. (Gen Z is today’s youth—born
between 1999 and 2015). What is causing the next generation to turn to atheism? Surveys
among Gen Z reveals the big reasons. Here are some statistics.

 29 percent – I have a hard time believing that a good God would allow so much evil
and suffering in the world.
37 percent believe it is not possible to know for sure if God is real.
 58 percent believe many religions can lead to eternal life.
46 percent say they need factual evidence to support their beliefs.
49 percent says the church seems to reject much of what science tells us about the world.

While Gen Z children and youth desperately need to know why the Bible is true, some are teaching
them character traits. Cute lessons won’t enable the youth’s faith to survive the science
class in their freshman year of college. Cute lessons won’t empower them to be a
difference maker in their workplace one day. Cute lessons won’t give the youth the answers
they need to the hard questions they are pondering, nor help them live for God in a
world that says He doesn’t exist. If we are going to see Gen Z grow up to love Jesus,
then we’ve got to…Help them discover the true nature and character of God. When children
and youth understand the heart of God and know Him personally, they will trust Him.

In contrast, to cute lessons, here’s what Paul tells the church: “Let the word of Christ dwell
in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and
hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16). God’s
Word reverberates through a church which gathers to read, pray, sing and hear the Word of
God. That Word dwells deeply and spreads inside and out. The church grows strong,
truly becoming “a pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). If only more churches reverberated with open statements of the truth to produce Christians who are growing and mature.

The Bible alone, empowered by God’s Spirit, is sufficient. For 2019, my earnest desire
for our church: “But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse
to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, [no clever tricks, no dishonest
manipulation of the Word of God], but by the open statement of the truth we would
commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Cor. 4:2).

Conclusion: A banquet of Christ awaits us. Let us not starve but enjoy the feast!

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