My next door neighbor is the program director for WVYN 90.9FM. This is a fairly young Christian radio station known as THE VINE. The station is named after the verses in John which state, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:1-5)
Despite how young this station is, it has grown very quickly and has been used by God in wonderful ways. The staff has prayerfully done their best to step back and let God take control and they have definitely seen the fruits of their obedience and reliance on Him. The station has gotten heavily involved in the surrounding communities and been successful in communicating with and promoting many contemporary christian artists.
Wednesday evening I was out in my front yard talking with Kevin (known as DT to his radio listeners), and he asked me if I was free the next day. Once I told him I had no plans, he invited me to come be on the morning show at the station. Anyone who knows me personally knows how much I love to hear myself talk, so the opportunity to bless hundreds of other people with the pleasure of my voice could not be refused.
|Can you tell I was enjoying this?|
In the middle of the show it was time for me to do what I had been invited there for. Kevin had asked me to share a message on the show. I shared a topic that is often on my heart and I am always teaching to new Christians. It is a very simple concept. We need to be in the Word.
READ YOUR BIBLE!!!
In Yellowstone National Park there are signs all over the place reminding tourists not to feed the bears. There are a variety of reasons for these signs. One of the hopefully obvious reasons is the fact that bears are very large animals and can be extremely dangerous when they want to be. Feeding bears is not a safe activity for tourists. This also causes bears to start associating people with food and may endanger future tourists to the area. However, there is another reason that many do not consider. Feeding food to bears that was intended for people is not good for the bears. Bears are designed to eat berries, fish and various other bear-type food. It is very important that they eat the right foods as they are building up fat for the winter months. As bears hibernate, their bodies burn off the excess fat that they have accumulated over the course of the year. However, a bear that has gorged itself on Twinkies, Big Macs and cupcakes has built up a layer of sugar-based fat that will burn off too quickly during the harsh winter months. Because they ate junk food and not the solid food they were designed to eat, there is a highly increased chance that the bear will not survive the winter.
Likewise, there are many of us out there who go to church, listen to christian music, hang out with other christians, wear christian t-shirts and read great christian books, but are still (often unknowingly) starving spiritually. We do not recognize that we are only consuming Christian "junk food." Unless we are regularly taking in the solid food of the Bible, then when the struggles of life inevitably come along we are "like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." (James 1:6) The best way to know Jesus and be grounded in what he teaches is to be familiar with the love letter God gave to us.
"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope."
"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads."
Listening to sermons is a good thing, but should not be our only tie to Scripture. In Acts 17:11 the Bereans were commended for checking the Scriptures to see if what they had been taught was true. Surrounding ourselves with praise music is a wonderful practice and often helps to keeps us focused, however, it should never take the place of the depth of maturity and learning gleaned from personal devotion time in the Word. It is these kinds of practices that caused Paul to chastise the church in Hebrews 5:12 about still feeding on milk like babies, rather than on solid food as they should be. God wants us to know him and that is one of the reasons he gave us the Bible. We need to spend time in it.
I have absolutely no idea how many people got to hear that message Thursday morning or if it really touched anyone, but I had a great time sharing it. Kevin (or DT) even invited us to come back despite the fact that I said that christian radio was 'junk food' on the air.