If you want to hear God speak out loud, pick up His Word and read it out loud! He will be speaking to you. God’s Word is living and active!
1 Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? (4) “To you, O people, I call out; I raise my voice to all mankind. (5) You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, set your hearts on it. (6) “Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;”
Day 19 of 21 Days of Deep
Jesus made a monumental statement in His recorded prayer in John 17. He said, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” John 17:17.
- Jesus said it. It’s important.
- Sanctify- to purify; to free from sin; to set apart; to consecrate; to make a priority.
- Truth- anything God or Jesus said in the Word is true. Take it to the bank.
- Chapter 17, verse 17; easy to remember.
According to this verse, we can be set free from sin through listening to and applying God’s words. God uses His written words to speak to our hearts and then acts on them. Since He is outside of time, He can actually speak to us at the same time He is having them written down so many years ago!
Why is it so important to read the Word everyday? Let’s look at some statistics:
While those surveyed hold to a high view of Scripture, not all are acting like it. Only “a third of Americans who attend a Protestant church regularly (32 percent) say they read the Bible personally every day. Around a quarter (27 percent) say they read it a few times a week. Fewer say they only read it once a week (12 percent), a few times a month (11 percent) or once a month (5 percent). Close to 1 in 8 (12 percent) admit they rarely or never read the Bible.”
But wait, there’s more! Keep reading:
What does this mean for the church? If you look at research from the Center for Bible Engagement, the implications are enormous. In fact, according to the Center, time spent in the Word of God is the single best indicator of bad and good behavior among Christians…
The writer of Hebrews was very plain in his letter concerning the Word of God and its impact on our lives. Here’s what he said,
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword [a scalpel], it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 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.
Lest someone get the wrong idea about giving an account to God, we do this every time we make a decision. The Spirit convicts us when we are wrong and commends us when we are right. So, it’s not as scary as it seems. He’s Daddy! He wants us to be like Him, so He gently corrects us. How? According to His Spirit and according to His Word, which is why knowing His words is vital to us. It’s His vocabulary.
In his article, Brian Hobbs reports this revealing fact:
What the Center found, through extensive research, was that “Christians who read or listen to the Bible at least four days a week” were more likely to engage in good behaviors like evangelism and church attendance and were less likely to participate in negative behaviors, like gambling and consumption of pornography.
What’s even more interesting about “the power of 4” is that there was “no statistical difference between Christians who read or listen to the Bible two to three days a week and those who do not engage (with) Scripture at all or only once a week.” In other words, until you take in God’s Word four times per week, you won’t start to see results.
So, here’s an assignment: Read these passages over the next few days and let’s study them together. It may extend our 21 Days of Deep, but we’ll just change the number!
- Romans 12:10-21
- James 1:19-21
- 2 Cor. 10:2-5
- Eph. 1-3, 4:22-24, 29-32
Remember these three things:
- We don’t read to finish. We read to hear Him speak to us.
- We don’t read for God to bless us. We read in order to be changed.
- Contempt is the devil’s own attitude. To ignore God’s Word is to treat it with contempt. Let’s have Christ’s attitude (see John 17:17).
Scripture-Read again John 17:17. Ask the Spirit to speak to you as you read.
Observe– Did you notice anything in particular? Did the Spirit highlight anything?
Apply– How does this passage apply to you? Is your overall desire to please Jesus and to look like Him?
Pray– Ask the Lord to help you understand-even deeper-what it means to have Christ in you. Ask Him the what, where, when, why and how concerning this passage.
For an in-depth look at this passage, see the following lesson below.