Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
It’s not enough to just hear the Word. Showing up to listen to a sermon each Sunday is only the beginning of Bible study because you can never get everything you need from a one hour (or less) message.
So while you listen, take notes. Write down the things that strike you, the passages that grab your attention. Throughout the week, take another look at what was taught. Take the time to actually think about the Scripture and the application you can make into your own life. How can you live out this message?
This is so important because merely hearing something does not mean it’s going to stick. Understanding begins with hearing, but it’s got to be meaningful beyond the moment you hear it. God’s Word is so powerful it’s for all times. In any and every circumstance you face, it’s good to think about what God has to say. Move beyond hearing and begin thinking, pondering. Take the time to meditate on all God has revealed of himself.
Look for this and other devotions like it in Matt’s newest Devotions for Disciples book, available soon!
Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
It all starts with hearing. No matter where you’re at in your faith journey, you likely began by hearing the Word of God. Maybe it was a friend sharing a Bible verse. Maybe it was a biblical truth that you weren’t even aware came from the Bible. You could have even just overheard something that spoke to you.
God’s Word does something powerful in our lives when we hear it being spoken. Sermons, podcasts, even songs are so effective at moving us when we experience the Word of God. Faith begins here as the Holy Spirit stirs our souls up and we move toward responding to His calling.
God’s Word is so powerful that He says it will never return empty; it will always accomplish His purpose. That’s something when you think about how misused and misquoted Scripture is. Even when we mess it up, God uses His Word to bring about His purpose. It should help us feel a little less intimidated to share the gospel because whether or not we get it right, God works out what He wants worked out.
John 8:31-32 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The Bible, God’s Holy Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105). It is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). The Word is from God to man; His will, His plan, His love, all contained between those two covers. It is not merely words on pages.
The Gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believers (Romans 1:16). It is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit (Hebrews 4:12). Within the Scriptures are the words of life. Apart from God and His Word, there is no life.
Jesus said if we abide in His Word we are truly His disciples. By it we will know the truth and the truth shall set us free (John 8:31-32). Apart from God there is no truth, for He is truth. There is no greater way to know the will of God than to know His Word.
God’s Word stands alone. It is divinely inspired, containing no error. All of the self-help books in the world could never compare to the Book that tells us we can’t help ourselves and offers hope to all mankind.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
What directs the steps of a true follower of Christ? To know God’s will, a disciple must know God. And to know God, the disciple must read His Word. But the way we view the Word has a huge impact on what we get from it.
If we simply view the Bible as stories, suggestions, or even as a rule book, we miss the full impact of God’s self-revelation to us. But if we view it as the very words of God spoken to man, as inerrant, as infallible, as sufficient, we have everything to gain.
God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet, it directs our path. When we seek God in the Scriptures, we find Him there. He speaks to us from the pages, from the Word that’s living and active, hitting us right in the heart with His message. A disciple loves God and so he/she loves God’s Word with a passion. It’s our spiritual nourishment so we should feed on it every single day.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
If you fully surrender your life to Christ, how do you know that what comes next is His will? How can you even know His will? What if you think God’s telling you to do something but you are wrong? Step 1 – Start with the Word.
An essential truth for any believer, but especially new believers, is that God reveals Himself in His Word, the Bible. There is, within the pages of Scripture, sufficient information about God. We can know His character, His love, His plan for salvation, His power, and His glory. Everything we need to know right now in this moment has been revealed through the God-inspired words of the Holy Bible. Start there when you’re searching for truth or for direction. Not sure what God would want you to do in a particular situation? What does the Bible say of His character as it pertains to this?
Following God is not all about feelings or signs. Knowing what God wants you to do is very much about knowing who God is. He’ll never ask you to do anything that contradicts who He is. He won’t ask you to sin, He won’t tell you to give into a temptation. That would go against His nature. But to know His nature you have to study His Word.
The Bible isn’t some rule book handed down from on high. It isn’t a collection of fictitious stories. It’s God’s story of redemption for mankind through Jesus Christ. All of it. Old Testament, New Testament, every word is part of the overall story. We WANTS you to know Him.
How do you live for God? Fully surrender to Him and constantly be transformed by the renewal of your mind. By knowing God more and more.