“Humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” (James 1:21 NLT)
No Christian can live his or her life outside of and apart from the Word. I’m not talking about skimming through the pages of Scripture or the two-minute Bible study. I’m talking about deep, meditative, slooooooooow reading to the point where you’re no longer reading the Word, but it begins to read YOU. Jesus Himself said “Man shall not live on bread alone but on every word that come from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). We need God’s Word for it sustains us even better than food!
Let’s quickly take a look at the logic here:
- Jesus said if we love Him we must keep His commandments (John 14:15).
- How can we keep His commandments if we don’t know what they are?
- And how can know what His commandments are unless we study His Word?
Okay, but what do I mean “Let the Word read you?”
“For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” (James 1:23-25 NLT)
Everyone at some point has to take a long hard look in the mirror and make an honest, humble assessment of themselves to see if what they think of themselves is the same as who they really are. This is a defining moment for that person. Those who are able to make the adjustment will achieve much growth and maturity. Those who are unable or unwilling to do this will never be able to move past this point and will forever be disillusioned. The Bible does just that. It tells us who we really are.
Through the unfolding of life, like peeling back the layers of an onion, Scripture that you have read before begins to take on a new and deeper meaning. It becomes more colorful, weightier — it becomes a personal bedrock of truth. That is the point where Scripture sustains your life!
Job’s words, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21) are poetic and catchy, but they don’t mean much more until you’ve been stripped of something very important to you — your wealth, your job, your family, your health. And through that loss you come to realize that the Lord’s sustaining grace and love is all you really need. Now Job 1:21 means a whole lot more to you, and you’ve learned something in your heart (not just in your head) about who God is, who you are, and how the two are interconnected. Now His Word has become life, a part of you, integrated into your living and active vocabulary. Amazing!
If you are a Christian, make REAL Bible study a regular part of your life, and then humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.