One of the very main reasons the Church does not anticipate nor is prepared for what is about to happen when our Savior returns, and that we are not headed to a Retirement Center in the sky but rather to serve the King in His kingdom on the earth, is that, in aggregate, the process of "verse-by-verse" exposition of the Word of God is a starvation diet of dire effect. We desperately need the Meta-story, the over-arching framework of the whole story on which to hang, in proper relationship to one another, the individual verses, the data points of our faith. Otherwise, without the form of the meta-story, we will end up with a distorted caricature that misleads us and defrauds us of our inheritance. It's the difference between "how would you prepare yourself to go to Walmart" or "how would you prepare yourself to go on the mission field to a remote tribe in South America."
Verse-be-verse is not fateful in and of itself, of course. Only in the absence of the voracious, self-feeding of the living Words of God.
The Whole Counsel of God?
Or, Starving Verse by Verse!
You’ll never get the gist;
Verse by verse is such a tease.
The forest doesn’t exist
You cannot see it for the trees.
“Every word” is now passe’
As we flit from flower to flower.
Are we fed or are we prey
And have no joy and little power?
“God-breathed” is how He’s spoken;
Life comes from every Breath.
We’ll take a little token
Then entertain ourselves to death.
“Depart from Me you lawless ones” –
The Masters woeful cry.
Oh, we’ll pay to have ‘em preach
But, “feed myself?” will never fly.
The Body’s weak and oft asleep
But we tell ourselves we’re fine!
What we sow is what we’ll reap,
It all depends on how we dine.
Man lives by every word
Ever spoken by our God!
Our approach is quite absurd;
It will deceive and then defraud.
A weekly sip is a mistake –
We do so little seeding.
A snack is all we take and
Cannot be considered feeding.
Until we drink in all He gives,
Take in all the words of life,
We will stumble as we live,
Ill-prepared to be His wife.
... and now, to close the sermon, let's sing number 329 in the blue hymnal Have Thine Own Way, LORD.
Have thine own way, Lord.
Have thine own way.
I have a minute
To hear what You say.
Let’s see if I’m walking
In Your own Way,
If You can squeeze it
Into my day.