Read, Study, Memorise or Listen
How does God work in us?
It is as his gracious love, which is both free, unearned and undeserved, moves into our person transforming us into the likeness of Jesus.
This movement comes as we place ourselves, through various spiritual disciplines, ready to receive God’s gracious love. Reading God’s word is one of these disciplines. It should become part of our daily routine. Pause to reflect on the importance of God’s word in the following passages from the Common English Bible.
Never stop speaking about this Instruction scroll. Recite it day and night so you can carefully obey everything written in it. Then you will accomplish your objectives and you will succeed. Jos. 1:8;
… these persons love the LORD’s Instruction, and they recite God’s Instruction day and night! Pss. 1:2;
The LORD’s Instruction is perfect, reviving one’s very being. The LORD’s laws are faithful, making naive people wise. The LORD’s regulations are right, gladdening the heart. The LORD’s commands are pure, giving light to the eyes. Honoring the LORD is correct, lasting forever. The LORD’s judgments are true. All of these are righteous! They are more desirable than gold— than tons of pure gold! They are sweeter than honey— even dripping off the honeycomb! No doubt about it: your servant is enlightened by them; there is great reward in keeping them. Psalm 19:7-11;
Those whose way is blameless— who walk in the LORD’s Instruction—are truly happy! Those who guard God’s laws are truly happy! They seek God with all their hearts. They don’t even do anything wrong! They walk in God’s ways. God, you have ordered that your decrees should be kept most carefully. How I wish my ways were strong when it comes to keeping your statutes! Then I wouldn’t be ashamed when I examine all your commandments. I will give thanks to you with a heart that does right as I learn your righteous rules. I will keep your statutes. Please don’t leave me all alone! Psalm 119 1-8 (and the rest);
Examine the scriptures, since you think that in them you have eternal life. They also testify about me, yet you don’t want to come to me so that you can have life. Jn. 5:39;
The Beroean Jews were more honorable than those in Thessalonica. This was evident in the great eagerness with which they accepted the word and examined the scriptures each day to see whether Paul and Silas’ teaching was true. Acts 17:11;
But you must continue with the things you have learned and found convincing. You know who taught you. Since childhood you have known the holy scriptures that help you to be wise in a way that leads to salvation through faith that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim. 3:14, 15.
As we consciously commit to following and becoming like Jesus, accepting his new life, the Holy Spirit works in us helping us understand and encounter God as we read through the Bible. This simple action takes on a new importance and dignity.
TC Hammond says: The Bible is the medium through which God makes himself known when it is read either privately or publicly; In Christian preaching it is the instrument God normally uses to produce conviction of sin, saving faith and sanctification; It is connected closely with all the other means of grace. Compare the use of prayer. (from his handbook of Christian doctrine ‘In understanding be men’)
Michael J Wilkins says “Discipleship ministries help their people to adopt a radical commitment to the authority of the Word of God as the absolute truth about reality. This is not simply the acquisition of truth, but the internalization of truth so that it expresses our worldview, characterizes our values, and conveys our entire lifestyle. As we teach our people to know the Word of God, we equip them to compare God's Word with the values of the world, so that they can follow Jesus obediently in all of their circumstances (Matt. 28:20). (Twenty-First Century Discipleship - A Biblical Theology for Changing Times)