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Living on the Word

It is essential to your spiritual growth that you learn to receive God’s Word into your life daily. You can read a whole long book of the Bible and still not actually digest what it says. You can know lots of Bible stories, and not receive the Word.

How do you receive the Word? You must have a daily practice of reading the Bible. I don’t recommend long passages, such as the One-Year Bible, for your devotional reading. I’m not saying that it is bad to read long passages of Scripture at a time, but it is too much to fully take in what God has for you that day. If you would like to read a lot of passages from the Bible, you need to also take time to read slowly and make less headway so that you actually digest the Word.

I recommend that you start in 1 Corinthians, or choose a book of the Bible that you particularly like and begin reading until there is a word or phrase that seems to catch your attention. That is the Holy Spirit trying to get you to tune in to that particular passage. Write that word or phrase in your journal, then write your thoughts about what God might be trying to say to you by stopping you at that place.

Here’s an example from my devotional reading today. I began reading from 1 John 4:20 and felt stopped in verse 21. This phrase from that verse stood out to me, Whoever loves God must also love his brother. I knew that God wanted to show me something deeper about loving my brother. I wrote in my journal, Somehow loving our brother is about seeing that in each human person there is a glimpse of God—image. It’s that part that God breathed into us at our creation. We each are God-like, made in His image. I need to respect and love the God part of every human. I knew that God was speaking to me about loving a particular person that I was really struggling to forgive. God’s word for today is an encouragement and deeper perspective of love.

If you find yourself reading the Word daily, but not remembering what you read, or not finding personal applications to your life, slow down and read until you do. Jesus did not rely on His experiences to live in this world. Before He was tempted in the wilderness, He had just experienced a wondrous encounter with God at His baptism. Part of that encounter was hearing the words from God in heaven, This is My Son in Whom I am Well Pleased. However when Satan came to him and tempted him by saying, If you are the Son of God, then turn this stone into bread, Jesus spoke God’s Word back to Him. He didn’t remind Satan of that recent spiritual experience. The power to overcome temptation is in the Word.

You need to discipline yourself so that you are truly living in the Word. Don’t just learn Bible stories, or rely on personal spiritual experiences. Use the Word of God as your daily Spiritual nourishment. Remember the Word He gave you for that day. Share its nourishment with someone else. In all these ways, you will be truly living in the Word.



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