Everyone seems to agree regarding the necessity of the Word and prayer and also in admitting personal neglect in both. Of all my years in ministry, I have never known of a dying believer who lamented that they had spent too much time in the Scriptures or on their knees.
Indeed, the Bible is the standard for spiritual growth. The grass withers, flowers fall, life's a vapor, beauty's fleeting, we get old and die, our emotions change, the world gets crazier, but the Word of our Lord stands forever and our triune God is immutable.
So, today, as I (Darin) have reflected on this topic, here is a basic overview of the Word in the life of a believer. While the bullet points are short, I would encourage you independently to look up each verse and ask God to direct you by his Spirit in the truths you read.
We are to stand firm in the Word’s teaching:
· Having a reverence for God’s Word (Pro. 13:13; Acts 17:11).
· Not going “to the right or to the left” (Deut. 5:32; 17:20; Jos. 1:7).
· Treasuring that we have the Bible (Pro. 7:1).
· Not forgetting about the Word (Pro. 3:1).
· Not abandoning the Word (Pro. 4:2).
When we do heed the Word's teachings, the results are:
· Brings spiritual growth (1 Pet. 2:2).
· Brings blessing (Rev. 1:3; Pro. 8:32-34).
· Renders the Christian adequate and equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 Tim. 4:6).
As a result, God encourages a routine, regular diet of his Word:
· Should be part of our regular rhythm of life (Deut. 8:3; Matt. 4:4).
· Through daily reading (Deut. 17:19-20; Prov. 8:34).
· Through memorizing the Word (Psa. 119:11; Prov. 22:18).
· Through constant meditation and application of its teaching (Jos. 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3).
When we do this, we will see that God:
· God Word’s keeps us from sin (Psalm 17:4; 119:9).
· Cleanses our heart (John 15:3; 17:17).
· Sustains us(Psalm 119:116).
· Transforms us (1 Thess. 2:13).
· Cleanses our soul (John 15:3; Eph. 5:26).
· Supplies our faith with his strength (Psalm 119:28; 130:5).
· Comforts us (Psalm 119:52).
· Revives the afflicted soul (Psalm 107:20; 119:50).
· Heals those who cry out to him (Psalm 107:19-20).
· Chastens us to be more like him (Psalm 94:12).
· Keeps us from sin (Psalm 17:4).
· Formulates our singing toward him (Psalm 119:54, 172).
How will we know when we are not following God and his Word? We will….
· Forget (Deut. 4:9, 23).
· Wander (Psalm 119:10, 21, 118).
· Disbelieve (Psalm 106:24).
· Not listen to God’s voice (Psalm 106:25).
· Refuse to listen (Jer. 13:10).
· Turn aside (Pro. 28:9).
· Forsake the Lord (Deut. 31:16-17; Psalm 89:30-34).
· Rebel and spurn the Word (Psalm 107:11).
· Despise the instructions (Prov. 13:13).
· Hate the Word (Psalm 50:17).
So, how do we maintain life in the Word?
· We put faith in God that he will be true to his Word (Rom. 10:17; Psalm 105:19).
· We must give attention to the Word (Pro. 2:1, 16:20).
· We must listen to the Word (Ezekiel 3:10).
· We must observe God’s Word (Psalm 119:56).
· We must take God’s Word to heart (Ezekiel 3:10).
· We must abide in the Word (John 8:31, 15:7).
· We must remember God’s Word (Psalm 119:52).
· We must let our minds dwell on the Word (Col. 3:16).