Many dedicated school teachers have a vision to teach children how to read but with that comes various challenges in educating them. Children are from different cultures and speak many different languages. Poverty, as one example, can affect a child’s ability to learn and read. However, one of the greatest challenges for teachers is a child’s attention span. These days, it is very short. Why? Recent articles have stated that most kids are watching too much television, playing too many video games or they are on their phones for hours on end. Long periods of wasted time in front of these attention grabbing screens have numbed our children’s brains. They have become amusement zombies.
Entertainment has a place in our society, in moderation, but kids are affixed. These forms of amusement are like a tempting carrot dangling in front of a stubborn donkey––our kids are captivated! Entertainment has played a huge part in distracting their lives. They cannot stay focused long enough to read a simple book. Therefore, our children’s ability to learn has been greatly hindered. Many enter into Middle School unable to read well. According to statistics, 22% are basically illiterate and score below basic reading levels.
What about Christians these days, have we become illiterate and distracted? Have the many TVs, computers, IPads and telephone screens become a major distraction to spending quality time studying the Bible? Let us take an honest examination. How many of us know the books of the Bible? Can we readily quote Scriptures that we have taken time to memorize? Are we able to find key passages on marriage, training up children or even to share with someone the Gospel by quoting from God’s Word? Can we defend our faith by using the Scriptures? How about your personal Christian growth? Do you read through the Bible on a daily basis? Are you knowledgeable on the doctrines taught in the Bible?
Have we really forgotten how to grow and mature? We shouldn’t need to be reminded to read the Bible, fellowship, pray or share our faith (no more than an adult should be told to make his bed, brush his teeth, comb his hair and get dressed). These four basic essentials should come naturally. They are the healthy habits of a Christian moved by the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
Pastors are shepherds who feed the flock and those of us who attend church are likened to sheep. Psalm 95:7 says: For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand… In John 27:17, Jesus told Peter, “Feed My sheep”. Our pastors, here at Calvary Chapel Golden Springs, are dedicated teachers of God’s Word; they are devoted to study. They listen to the Lord for each message to give the body of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. But what about us, are we not responsible to read the Bible on our own?
Many Christians want to be spoon fed the Scriptures like babies, instead of developing their own ear to hear God’s voice speaking to them through the Scriptures. The Word of God should be the main driving force in coming to church. We should desire to hear from God through the inspired messages given by pastors. Believers need to seek confirmation regarding what God has already spoken to them about as they have read the Bible on our own during the week.
Have Christians become lazy couch potatoes? Where is the fire that burned within a believer’s heart when they heard the Scriptures expounded to them? It has gone out. Where is the thirst for God’s Word? It was a voracious thirst like a dear that panted for the water brooks––our thirst has dried up. Where are the zealous conversations we have with each other about the Lord? There is dead silence. We have stopped talking about Jesus Christ. In the past, new Christians were never quiet; they could not stop talking about Jesus. Where are the new believers today? There seems to be no new growth. Is it because we have stopped inviting the lost to church?
Surely these are the results of our illiteracy; if we do not know or desire the Word then we cannot share the Word! The Word of God is precious; it should be sought after like a treasure (Proverbs 2:4), found on our lips, like honey, sweet to the taste (Psalm 119:103); eagerly shared amongst each other. Where are the teams of unstoppable Christians who evangelized in the streets? What about missionaries who left all and took the message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth? Is anybody still being sent?
If we are not students of the Word we shall not hear when the Lord calls us to serve Him; new opportunities will be missed. Sadly, the Church has become no different than our distracted children who spend hours at play in front of moving screens showing their special effects to entertain them. The world of entertainment has infiltrated our lives and the church. The priority of the Word of God is gone––it has been replaced with entertainment.
Most, today, are illiterate Christians and completely distracted while the lost are going to hell. Pray for a new move of the Holy Spirit to bring back the thirst and fire for God’s Word in the heart of believers today. Perhaps persecution will make us less distracted and we shall once again reach the lost with God’s Holy Word?
Colossians 3:16 says: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom…