Hunger for the Word of God

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Salty, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Salty

    Salty
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    Mat 5:6 tells us "Blessed they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."

    I'm sure we all agree we will receive a blessing when we hunger for the Word of God.

    Here is my question - How can we as Christians, esp pastors encourage church members to hunger for the Word?
     
  2. gb93433

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    Make disciples. That teaches them to be doers of the Word for life.
     
  3. David Lamb

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    But Salty's question was about church members - in other words, people who already are Christians, that is, they are already disciples/followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
     
  4. HAMel

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    Salty, in my humble opinion I don't think there is anything anyone can do to cause another to hunger for the Word. The Lord can cause this to happen though.

    Consider your question. "How can we as Christians, esp pastors encourage..."

    Perhaps a good place to start would be by removing the "me", the "we", the "I", the "us", the "church", etc., from the equation. None of "us" would care one iota about the Lord..., if it wasn't for the Lord to begin with. What can we possibly do for Him?
     
  5. Bro. James

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    Preach The Word. Reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

    Some will leave, some will stay. Some need to leave. Some will return.

    The Lord is not slack in His promise as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. There are still some lost sheep not yet called to the fold.

    He is still coming soon. Are we ready? Is our all on the altar?

    Preach it! The Holy Spirit will take care of the revival.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  6. Baptist Believer

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    I think we do agree that God uses scripture mightily in our lives. However, in my understanding, the teaching of Jesus you quote is about hungering for practical righteousness - that is, everyday righteousness in the way that we live that comes from obedience to the teachings of Christ - not about hungering for scripture.

    Teach the word of God compellingly by demonstrating how your congregation can obey all of the teachings of Jesus in their everyday lives. This is called spiritual formation or discipleship.
     
  7. Ternera

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    I think people may lose interest in reading the Bible because they don't understand something or because they think "I already read it, why should I read it again". IMO, encouraging discussions and offering video materials will help.
     
  8. Baptist Believer

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    In the U.S., church members often ARE NOT disciples. A couple of reasons:

    1.) The emphasis on in gospel presentations is on getting to heaven, not following Jesus and becoming part of the Kingdom of God. Certainly heaven and eternal life is a part of that, but it is not all of it. In essence, most pastors preach an incomplete gospel to their people... largely because that's what they have been taught.

    2.) Fear of appearing to support works-based salvation. If pastors talk about expending effort in the Christian life (like Jesus and Paul did), they are afraid that someone nullifies grsce. However grace is not opposed to effort, but to earning. If your attitude is that you are earning favor with God, you are undermining His grace.If you attitude is that you want to serve God and glorify Him in obedience to His commands, you please God and are transformed in the process.

    3.) There is a fear of recognizing Jesus as a teacher. Instead the emphasis is almost exclusively on the fact that Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. probably the main reason for the fear is that liberal teachers in the early days of the fundamentalist-modernist controversies liked to paint Jesus as merely a great teacher, but rejected Him as the Son of God. As a result, Christians who believed Jesus was the Son of God avoided recognizing Jesus as a teacher. Yet Jesus explicitly calls Hos followers to put His teachings into practice so that our lives may be "built on a rock" of stability. Those who (once informed of the need for obedience) do not put His teachings into practice may not belong to Christ in the first place - "Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?"

    4.) Becoming a disciple of Christ and teaching others to do the same invites criticism from the religious world. We see that from time-to-time here among people who claim to believe the scriptures. It is even worse with some of the mainstream denominations. Those who are disciples of Jesus often find themselves serving the poor and taking positions unpopular with mainstream Christian "culture" and get attacked for it as people obsessed with the "social gospel" or even as "liberal" when it comes to modern day obsessions with "separation" from sinners and "conservative" political movements. It is so bad, that in the U.S. many church member confuse conservative politics with Christian teachings. While there is certainly some overlap, they are very different things.
     
  9. David Lamb

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    Sorry, I have read the whole of your post, and thank you for it, but for the moment I'm just asking a question on the portion above.

    Are you saying that in the U.S. a person can be a Christian without being a disciple of Christ?
     
  10. gb93433

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    Are you saying that the meet the qualification laid out in Lk. 14:26-27, "26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple."

    Lk 14:33, "In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple."

    Mt. 5:19, "Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

    Mt. 28:19, 20, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

    James 1:22, "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves."

    I do not know of one person who is a doer of the Word who does not also have a hunger for the Word.
     
  11. Baptist Believer

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    Yes that is often what is taught, implicitly and sometimes explicitly, in many churches.

    That was the way I was raised. Being a disciple was considered a good thing that people should probably do, but getting "saved" (going to heaven) was the important part. Being a disciple was for "more spiritual" people, although since there was no real discipleship training, it tended to veer toward a religious legalism. Drinking, smoking (in some parts of the country), and dancing were forbidden, as well as other things such as playing games with dice or "face cards" (a standard deck of playing cards).
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    I find that this is absolutely true.

    If you are going to obey the teaching of scripture, you find you need its nourishment. The scripture comes alive in your life and you find you can't go long without it.
     
  13. Rippon

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    Amos 8:11,12 (NIV)

    The days are coming,declares the Sovereign Lord,when I will send a famine through the land --not a famine of food or a thirst for water,but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east,searching for the word of the Lord,but they will not find it.
     
  14. David Lamb

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    No, I didn't mean that at all. I think this might be one of those cases where "a common language divides us", as someone said. :)

    Here, although "The disciples" is usually taken to mean the Twelve, the word "disciple" and the word "Christian" can be used interchangeably.

    Everyone who is a Christian, a disciple, "in Christ", is justified. But individual disciples are at different stages as far as sanctification is concerned. The first disciples were still called disciples when they disobeyed God - when they argued among themselves about who would be the greatest, when they were indignant at the sight of a woman pouring a jar of expensive perfume on the Saviour's head, and when they all forsook their Master and fled, for example.

    Christians/disciples should strive with God's help to become better Christians/disciples (they/we should have a hunger for God's Word, as you said), but the idea of a Christian becoming a disciple seems strange.
     
  15. Luke2427

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    I'm going to agree and disagree with this all at the same time.

    I agree that God alone can create hunger for himself and his word.

    At the same time there are certain circumstances where it is clear that people are more hungry for God than in other circumstances.

    For example: many liberal university campuses and classrooms display a total lack of appetite for the things of God and rather show a seemingly insatiable hunger for the things against God.

    Whereas, there are many youth in this country experiencing revival where young people are flocking into Christian meetings by the thousands. I'll attend one of those in a few weeks- The Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. Hundreds and hundreds of young people will pour into that place to hear Piper and Sproul, etc... expound the Scriptures.


    God gives people great appetites for Himself where he is exalted in holiness and power and grace.


    Preach Christ as high as you can preach him. Do it without frills and gimmicks and without shallow entertainments. Just lift Jesus as high as God enables you to lift him in the hearts of those you are privileged to speak to- God usually moves in those atmospheres.
     
  16. Amy.G

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    The LORD inhabits the praises of His people.

    Psalms 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
     
  17. freeatlast

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    That passage does not say they hunger for the word of God. It says they hunger and thirst for righteousness. Many people seek diligently to be able to exposit the word of God and yet have no particular desire for personal righteousness (holiness). Yes they want a form of Godliness, but the total surender that is required in this is lacking in most.
    The best way to get a church to hunger for righteousness is to pray for them, fast over them, be sure that the one leading is totally set apart unto righteousness (holiness) and preach on how to live in this present age instead of sermonettes for Christianettes full of excuses as to why we cannot live holy lives and God will do the filling if these are done.
    I might add if someone is hungering and thirsting for righteousness they will be suffering persecution. Not some but all who seek such a life, persecution will come and many times from others who claim to be Christians.
    2Tim 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
    May I point out this desire will be a burning of preoccupation in their life and will bring to everyone who has it persecution because of their dedication and lifestyle as it sheds light on those who seek to live at a lower level of light. To get people in the church to this level it takes a man leading with the same heart desire instead of one with a wishbook mind set.
    I gave this link in another post, but it does speak to this and what it takes.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8QVmkCyFsk

     

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