Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Living Word of God

The living Word of God! I'm amazed at how this works. The bible truly is alive, and each time we read it, depending on where we are in our walk with the Lord will greatly depend on how we discern and apply what we read. That's why it's alive, even though the words are the same the application can be different each time we read it. How is it alive? I mean after all it's just words is it not? It's a book like any other, right? NO, it is not! There is no other book like it. This book is different , because it was written by men inspired and filled with the Holy Spirit of God. God said it, and they wrote it. They experienced God and then God had them write what they experienced. They were inspired and lead by the Holy Spirit and it's by the Holy Spirit that this book is even understood or interpreted. So this is no ordinary book.

Hebrews 4:12 says... "For the word of God is living and active..... NIV
Hebrews 4:12 says... "For the word of God is living and powerful..... NKJ

The bible teaches us that much of what is read in the bible will seem foolish to those that do not have the Holy Spirit indwelling in them. They can't discern or understand God's word. His word is for God's people to know and follow and this is only done by the Leading of the Holy Spirit as we read and comprehend what we read with the help of the Spirit. Without the Spirit's help, it's just great stories, but with the Spirits help, it's alive, active and powerful!

Today as I was reading my bible I was studying in Luke Chapter 8. If you've ever read this chapter in Luke you know it's about the "Parable of the Sower." Jesus tells a parable about a farmer that sows seed and the seed falls upon four different kinds of soil. Depending upon which soil the seed falls, determines the outcome of growth of each seed. Keep in mind that Jesus often taught in parables. He'd take something known or familiar to the people in the form of a short story or description and give it a whole new twist. By taking something known and sharing it with the unknown this would force people to listen and think. Jesus's parables would most always have a Spiritual truth hidden within them and the listener would be required to think for themselves and discover the truth in the message. It's the same today as we read the bible for ourselves. If we truly want to see the bible alive and active as it's intended to be, then we must read it for ourselves and discover it's truths. What's amazing to me is that as I read a familiar passage of scripture like this one for example (The parable of the Sower) Each time I do God speaks to me a little differently each time. It's like He reveals more truth and understanding each time I read it. It's alive! It's always fresh and new! Unlike a movie or a novel that I've read before and I know what's coming next... with the bible as I read it through again and again, I see things that I didn't before. I understand things differently than I did before.

Last time I read these verses in Luke chapter 8, The Holy Spirit revealed to me that I needed to be a sower. That no matter if the seed fell on poor soil or good soil, I was to throw out the seeds. (preach the good news, tell others about Jesus). I was to know and understand that some seed would not take. Some people won't listen to or accept the word of God, but that some would. We have to be faithful and do the work and God will reap the harvest and get the increase. Basically this was what I felt the holy Spirit telling was me to do the last time I read this.

Today as I read this, the Holy Spirit revealed something different to me. This time I was challenged as a follower of Christ to be more productive and obedient with what God has entrusted me with. This time the 4 different soils had a different meaning, or better said, application for me as I read.

Luke 8:15 says... "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who will hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop."

What God was telling me is that I need to be more obedient and fruitful. I need to listen carefully to what the Holy Spirit is telling me and retain, remember what I've heard, and through perseverance and staying the course, I'll be more fruitful and hopefully help produce a crop that God can harvest.

All week long I've been challenged over and over again as I read my bible to practice more and more memorization of scripture. Several times throughout the week I've thought I've needed to memorize my scripture better than I am. As I woud study I'd be convicted of this. I even had a discussion this week with a pastor at the store and he brought up the subject of scripture memorization and how it has helped him so much to be effective when speaking to others and preaching God's word. I'm not even sure how this all got started, but one thing for sure, I felt God telling me again I needed to memorize more scripture. All week long God has been telling me in more ways than one to learn and memorize more scripture. (I better get with it!)

I say all this to show just how alive the word of God is. If we'll just allow the Spirit to speak to us as we read, He'll teach us great and unsearchable things we do not know. He'll reveal more and more truth to us as we mature in our walk. Even though the words never change, the Holy Spirit is always at work in our lives, changing us, teaching us, and shaping us into His likeness through the reading and application of His word.

I love the fact that the meaning of the parable never changes, even though God may speak to us differently about issues as individuals. I also love the fact that only the Spirit discerns for us the things of the Spirit (the word of God). Without the Spirit there is no meaning or real understanding.

Read these verses for yourself and ask yourself... "God, what is it you are telling me through these verses?" Then act upon it! Allow God to use you and change you and then you need to apply His word for His service in your life.

Luke 8:11-15

Luk 8:11
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.
Luk 8:12
Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.
Luk 8:13
Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.
Luk 8:14
The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
Luk 8:15
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Which type of soil are you?

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I pray that we would all strive to be the soil you mentioned in Luke 8:15. I thank you for this parable and I pray that wherever we are within these verses that we recognize where we are and where we need to be. May Your Spirit convict our hearts and motivate us to perservere and bear fruit for You! We ask this in Your name, Amen.

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