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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Hungry for the Word

Date published: 01/26/2017
Ephesians 5:13-14 “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.  This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’” (NIV) 

   A trend I have seen in the last twenty years is to inadvertently diminish Scripture while elevating man’s teaching above the Word of God. You see this frequently by a presenter merely quoting a Scripture reference and not the Scripture itself. Subjectively what is happening is the written Word is given less importance than what the author/speaker has to say. In other words the author/speaker thinks he can speak truth better than God through His Word. The rise of technology and social media has further accelerated this process. Spiritual material with tidbits of truth through social media, the internet, podcasts, and devotions have replaced a focused time with God including Bible reading and prayer. There is nothing wrong with these in themselves, but making these your primary nourishment from God could be defaulting to receiving God’s Word and truths second hand.  

   Another way of diminishing God’s Word is when the author/speaker quotes other authors/speakers to communicate and clarify truth. Inadvertently by the author/speaker quoting other authors/speakers to communicate and clarify truth. In most cases these quotes are better said from actual Bible verses. This potentially elevates today’s spiritual icons above the Word of God by replacing Truth with their words. Quoting another is not bad, but letting the Word of God speak is “sharper than any double-edged sword.” All writings, sermons, and talks are usually inspired out of what God is impressing in that person’s life. The focus of these inspirations should be to keep driving the reader back into the Word of God and its teachings. This allows the reader to be personally touched by God’s Word while being drawn deeper into the truths of God.  (Growing in Christ Bible studies and devotions are written to be long on Scripture and short on opinions.   “Growing in Christ” attempts to impart the actual Word instead of something God has imparted to another.) 

   Today’s passage illustrates the importance of exposing yourself to the light. Light represents Truth, which is expressed best in God’s Word. 2 Corinthians 4:4 emphasizes the light as truth: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (NIV) As a follower of Christ, you should be constantly feeding on the Word of God. God’s Word is His primary way of speaking to you. Hebrews 4:12-13 powerfully describes what the Word can do:  “For the Word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (NIV)  

   Knowing that the Word “makes everything visible” as well as allowing “Christ to shine on you” should be a strong motivator for getting into the Word in multiple formats. Vigorously engaging the Word sets up God’s light to prepare your life for planting the seeds of truth, so as to help you experience more of the glory of God in 2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”  (NIV) When you read Deuteronomy 6:6-9 you see many ways to get into the Word: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children.  Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”  

   Getting into the Word of God is vital for Christian growth, experiencing God’s promises, and experiencing God’s work in your life. Not getting into the Word exposes you to the spiritual principle of gravity. Satan, the flesh, and the world will constantly be working to pull you down into sin. Conversely the constant nourishment of God’s Word places you on the brink of experiencing more of the living Christ! 

Job 23:12 “I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.” (NIV) 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Satisfaction” and “Discipleship.” 

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