Thanks for joining me! I plan to write here often about life and faith from a Christian perspective. Today I begin with something very basic, but oh so critical for life.
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 NIV
Jesus is called the “Word” because He was God’s heart and thoughts made audible. He became human so he could form into words the love and grace that was in God’s heart for us and describe the truths that life is really built on.
Every word Jesus spoke, every truth He taught was crafted for us from the Father. These words are designed to prepare us for life and eternity. When we take them into our hearts and minds, we are built up into God’s likeness.
When tempted by Satan to turn stones to bread, Jesus said, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 NIV.
“Every word.” Jesus is saying that every word in Scripture is necessary for our spiritual nourishment, for building us up–every promise, every teaching, every story, every command, every word of grace; each in its proper context, of course.
Some diseases come to us because of a missing nutritional ingredient. Scurvy from a deficiency of vitamin C. Fatigue, bone loss, recurring infections from too little vitamin D. When Jesus said, “I am the bread of life,” (John 6:35) He meant, among other things, that His words are designed to give balanced spiritual nutrition and good health. Neglect them at our peril.
In our busy lives, we often try to live without eating in a spiritual sense. And we struggle with all kinds of spiritual deficiencies as a result: lack of patience and love, anger, lust, etc. Thinking about Jesus’ words and applying them, creates calmer, truer qualities of heart.
Using another metaphor, Jesus said that people who don’t listen to His words and put them into practice are like people trying to build a house on sand. When the waves come, the house collapses. But those who dig deep and build their house on a rock stand strong when the pounding swells hit. (Luke 6:46-49).
So, what are you doing to listen to God’s words and take them in? This month I started a yearly Bible reading plan. Ten chapters a day; some from the Old Testament, some of the New. But you might choose something different like reading through the Gospels or Psalms or subscribing to a verse a day on your mobile device. The important thing is to hear God’s heart by listening to His word, spend time meditating on them, and applying them to your life.
When I was a campus minister, I met a former submarine officer who was doing a graduate degree in engineering. He told me life in the confined quarters of a sub was hard. But one day the thought came to him, “You call yourself a Christian, but you’ve never read His book.” He decided to start, and he told me that practice had made a big difference in his life. His life was really changed. The same has been true for me.
In coming days, I’ll share a few practices that have helped me and others be blessed by reading and meditating on Scripture.