Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Using God's Word

The Word of God is not just words on a page, but comes with His power attached. That does not mean we can quote it as some magic formula, without considering its real meaning. But it does mean we can turn to it for appropriate help. It has an essential place in many aspects of the Christian life. It is involved in salvation (Romans 10:17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; James 1:18). It can reveal to us the things we need to change in our lives (James 1:22-24; Hebrews 4:12,13; Jeremiah 23:29). It can enable us to change and be the people we should be (2 Timothy 3:16,17; John 17:17; Psalms 119:9). It can assist us in resisting temptation (Matthew 4:1-11; Psalms 119:11; 19:11-14). And finally, we can come to rejoice and delight in God’s Word (Psalms 19:7-10; 119:103; 40:8).   

Now the power is not some magic in the words themselves, but in the Holy Spirit working through the words (2 Corinthians 3:1-6; 1 Corinthians 2:12-16; John 6:63). And the fundamental heart of God’s truth is the gospel which saves us (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Galatians 1:8,9). It is this gospel that unleashes God’s power into our lives through His Spirit, through the Word, to transform us (2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 1:29; Ephesians 2:10). How, then, can we appropriate for ourselves this Word?

First,we need to know it (Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 5:11-14; Acts 17:11) and meditate on it (Psalms 1:2; 119:15; Joshua 1:8). Now meditation does not mean sitting in a lotus position and emptying your mind of all thought. Rather it means thinking about and trying to understand God’s word. This can involve reading, studying, and memorizing God’s Word. Now this should result in, not just knowing God’s word, but doing it (James 1:25; 4:17; Matthew 5:19). While the Word has power to change us, we have to let it do its work in us. It is as we let God’s Word work in us that we can make His promises and commands more clearly a part of our daily lives. This is not some magic talisman. It involves carefully understanding what the Scripture means in context. But it is in the process of this study that we come to understand who God is and what He has done and what He requires of us. Now we each have to do this in our own way, using the methods and approaches that work for us. I do not want to force people into a legalistic straitjacket, but I do want to encourage us to make God’s Word, and knowing, understanding, and doing it, a priority in our lives. Because it is only as we discipline ourselves to do this that the Word becomes part of our lives that its power might change us.

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