In my first post, I discussed how listening to others serves our brother and sister but also trains us to be quiet and listen to God. How does God primarily speak? I believe that if you want to listen to the voice of God you need to develop a love for the Word of God. The reason many people struggle with hearing God’s voice is that many Christians don’t read God’s word. The primary way that God communicates to us is through the Bible. Almost every Christian would agree with this statement. The problem is a gap between what we believe and what we practice is massive. Al Mohler on his blog says “Researchers George Gallup and Jim Castelli put the problem squarely: “Americans revere the Bible–but, by and large, they don’t read it. And because they don’t read it, they have become a nation of biblical illiterates.”
When you have conversations with Christian teenagers their basis for the decisions they make are based on personal experience and personal feelings rather than an external standard of truth. According to Lifeway research, 53% of Americans have only read a few verses of the Bible. How can you recognize a voice that you have never heard? Many Christians think they hear God’s voice but if you don’t know God’s word how will you be able to tell the difference between the noise around you and the voice within you?
How do we move from reverence for the Bible to actually reading the Bible? It happens through decisive action at home and at church and with our kids.
- Read the Bible yourself. – Don’t think about it, agree that it’s good, actually do it. Let your kids see you read your Bible.
- Read the Bible to your kids. Don’t just tell them to read the Bible show them how.
- Do Family Worship – Read a chapter in the Bible, Sing one hymn and pray together. It takes 10 minutes.
- Have conversations about the Bible.
- As a Pastor read the Bible yourself. The reason people don’t read their Bibles is that pastors don’t read their Bibles.
- Preach from a Bible, not a phone.
- Preach messages that are saturated with scriptures rather than relevant quotes.
- Commit to an ongoing plan of discipleship in small groups or classroom settings.
- Preach exegetically – People need a systematic understanding of scripture not a sprinkling of verses from around the Bible.
How do we help kids love the Bible?
- Read the Bible ourselves.
- Answer questions they have about the Bible. Someone recently said that if your kids are not asking questions about the Bible they aren’t reading it.
- Be one Bible ahead of your kids.
- Read the Bible to them, then with them, then around them.
- Teach your kids to meditate on scripture not just speed read it.
One of the questions kids ask me most is why they don’t hear God’s voice and how do they hear God’s voice. The first thing you must do is to model for them the love of God’s word, find a church that preaches God’s word.
Does God speak audibly? Yes. Many people have personally experienced this and you see it occur in scripture. Does God speak that way most often? No way! How God primarily speaks to me is through the scriptures. Training your kids to love the Bible is something that is formed by a love for Christ and seeing that loved walked out by their parents.
I read the Bible I am challenged, strengthened, and encouraged. If you want your kids to hear the voice of God teach them what God’s voice sounds like if you want your kids to know the voice of God they need to know the person of God revealed in scripture. This is not something that is a good idea we should start doing it is essential for their spiritual wellbeing. If our kids don’t learn from a young age to honor, love, and, respect the Word of God the future of Christianity will contain some very choppy waters. We must I repeat we must help our kids develop a lifelong love of God’s word. Dear parent and dear pastor that love for God’s word starts with you. Read it, love it, pass it on.
Understand the Big Picture of the Bible – Wayne Grudem
How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth – Gordon Fee
Like Ice Cream: The Scoop on Helping the Next Generation Fall in Love with God’s Word – Keith Ferrin –
A Peculiar Glory: How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness – John Piper
Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture – John Piper