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The Missing Ingredient in Christian Ministries

By Justin Johnson

Sometimes it is hard to study my Bible, because of all the noise. Can you hear it? It’s a continuous drone across the country.

“The sky is falling! Our nation is on the moral and spiritual decline!”

Even the postmillennialists admit that now is a bad time (don’t worry, they say, it will get better later).

So, how do we fix it?

Solutions are legion and they pull you in a hundred different directions. From Christians you might here, “We need to fight against secular education in our schools!”

In come the apologetics ministries, Christian lobbyists, and prayer warriors. “Read Genesis 1:1! We need a Biblical worldview!”

If people cannot believe the first verse in the Bible, then it seems the problem goes a little deeper than college classes on biology and politics. Why should we require schools and governments to do what churches should be doing all along?

I thought it was the church’s job to be the pillar and ground of the truth, not the universities (1 Tim 3:15).

So the choir sings, “We need stronger churches!”

So in come the church consultants and experts in authenticity. “If churches have better evangelistic efforts and discipleship programs we can turn this thing around.”

Another says, “Churches can’t go forward if families are backward. Strong families make strong churches! We need better fathers and mothers!”

In come the family forums, parenting books, and bumper stickers – family first!

Next, someone realizes that the source of healthy families is a healthy marriage. “Broken marriages equal broken homes!”

Now come the marriage counselors, men’s breakfasts, women’s ministries, and make your marriage better conferences. “We need more manly men, and more womanly women. Love your wives; submit to your husband!”

All of this sounds right, and seems needful, but is it treating the symptoms and not the real problem?

What is the missing ingredient? What is the real disease? What truly produces godly people?

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable… that the man of God may be perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” – 2 Tim 3:16

Personal Bible study will make godly men and women, healthy marriages, stronger families, and solid Bible churches.

Time spent in prayer and study of God’s word cannot be pushed onto anyone else. It is each man’s responsibility. There are many personal responsibilities that we can pay other people to do for us, but personal time spent with God and his words is not one of them.

When we neglect personal Bible study, we reap dire consequences.

Shame follows Christians who want to do the Lord’s will without personal, rightly-divided Bible study.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workmen that needeth not to be ashamed…” – 2 Tim 2:15

Marriages, families, and churches do not produce change except by individual saints in those institutions doing personal Bible study and letting God’s word be true to work in them (1 Thess 2:13).

When people stop personally praying, studying, and rightly dividing God’s word, it reflects in their marriages, families, and churches.

“But you are retreating from the culture!” the critics cry.

Not so. We do not retreat from the culture; we retreat to do personal Bible study. This is what God approves (2 Tim 2:15).

Sometimes it is hard to study my Bible, because of all the noise made by Christian ministries, but it must be done.

Before your church, before your family, before your marriage, spiritual growth happens in you when you’re alone with God and His words.

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. ” – 1 Timothy 4:16

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To learn how to study the Bible start here and here.

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Published: June 14, 2014
Last Modified: April 14, 2018
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