“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
The other day we began to look at the importance of spending time with God and in His Word. Today I’d like to continue that journey.
We need to study and know God’s Word because it is our weapon against the enemy (Ephesians 6). In Matthew 4 Jesus uses the Word of God to defeat Satan when the enemy was trying to tempt him. In Ezekiel 37 a valley of dry bones came to life because Ezekiel spoke the Word of God over them. When we speak God’s Word we speak Truth and life into people’s lives and into hopeless situations. Learn your weapon well so you can wield it powerfully!
Next, we read God’s Word because we need to have sound doctrine to live by. Without sound doctrine we cannot disciple others well, nor will we be able to tell when someone is teaching us a bunch of biblical baloney. In Acts 17 Paul commended the Bereans for examining the scriptures after receiving his message to ascertain whether Paul spoke the truth or not. We will not be able to reject false messages taught to us about the Bible if we do not know what the Bible says.
Finally, we spend time with God and in His Word because the Spirit of God living within us desires for us to grow more deeply in love with God and abide by His precepts. In Deuteronomy 6 the Israelites were commanded to write the law of God upon their hearts and speak about them with their children and the community. The church has become God’s people with His Word written upon our hearts and further revealed in His Word. I encourage you to dig deep into the treasures of His Truth!
Photo Credit: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/bible-and-cross-1417509
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”
John 6:63 (NIV)
The terms devotion and devotional are linked with the verb “to devote.” Webster’s dictionary defines this verb as “a solemn act of dedication involving the giving of oneself wholly, as the focus of one’s attention is centered completely on the other.” When we have our devotional time with the Lord, we should be focusing our attention completely on God and giving ourselves wholly to Him and to the time we’ve dedicated to Him.
I’d like to look at why it’s important to spend time with God and study His Word. The first reason is because we are in covenant with Him and His Word is the primary way He has revealed Himself to us and therefore the primary way in which we get to know Him.
The Bible describes the church as the bride of Christ. Unfortunately, in today’s society, many see marriages simply as a legal contract. A contract is when two people enter into a legal agreement whereby if one person does not live up to what they agreed to in the contract, legal actions can be taken against them. Fortunately for us, God has not entered into a contract with His people, but a covenant. A covenant is an unconditional promise based on steadfast love. When we are unfaithful to God, He does not take legal action against us. The blood of His Son has already atoned for our unfaithfulness. Being in covenant with God is an honor and privilege we have received due to the sacrifice of His Son. Honor it by spending time with God and His Word.
We also need to spend time in God’s Word because it is to our souls what breathing, eating and drinking are to our physical bodies. Jesus tells us that man should not live by bread alone, but on every word that has been spoken by God (Matthew 4:4). Just as we need multiple meals throughout the day to nourish our physical bodies, so too we need multiple meals of God’s Word throughout the day to nourish our souls.
Next time we’ll look at a couple more reasons why it’s important to spend time with God and in His Word.
Photo Credit: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/bible-1622576
“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
Ephesians 3:12 NIV
When I was younger, one of my best friends had connections to the music group Hansen (one of the heart throb boy bands of the 90’s).
One summer when I was visiting my friend for a week, her aunt surprised us with tickets to one of Hansen’s concerts. We were ecstatic! With squeals of girlish excitement we went to the concert, bought T-shirts and sang along to the music. About half-way through the concert my friend looked over at me and exclaimed, “Noree, I am such a fool! If had let them (Hansen) know we were coming beforehand, we could have gotten back stage passes.” (Believe it or not, this was before most people owned cell phones to let them know we were at the concert.) Needless to say, that put a bit of a damper on the rest of the concert: thinking of what might have been… but my friend and I still enjoyed it.
How many of us know in our heads we have full access to the throne of God, but forget to live it out? We have access to the King of kings and Lord of lords! The Israelites lived with a veil over their hearts, but through the blood of Jesus we who believe have had that veil torn away and now live reflecting the glory of God with His Spirit living inside us (2 Corinthians 3:13-18).
In Hebrews 10:19-22 Paul encourages believers to draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. We need to live each day taking full advantage of our access to the King of kings! His power knows no equal; His might no limit. And we have His incomparably great power living in us to live each day victoriously and for the glory of our God (Ephesians 1:18-20).
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Free Images: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/vip-1549961