"Fruitfulness coming forth from a close relationship with God is at the heart of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ." This is the "core" understanding that forms the basis for all involvement with Scripture. In addition there are three key perspectives concerning the nature of God's Word that help us to interact with Scripture in such a way that God is able to move in our lives so that fruit comes forth from our relationship with Him. We are considering three questions to help us gain these all important perspectives. Yesterday we considered the question, "God's Word: Means or End?" to help us gain our first needed perspective (It would be helpful to go back and review it). Today we consider the question, "God's Word: Content or Change?" to help us gain our second needed perspective. Tomorrow we will consider the question, "God's Word: Obligations or Descriptions?" to help us gain the third needed perspective.
REMEMBER: the SPECS acronym from Sunday's message helps us see the Scriptural applications we are being called to respond to and live out in our daily lives. If you scroll down to the Sunday Devotional spot you will see an overview of the "Deep Six Study" and the "Daily Devotional." Just after this (for this week) you will find an overview of the SPECS acronym. We encourage you to use the Scripture passages in Today's Devotional materials as an opportunity for trying out the SPECS approach to applying and living out God's Word.
GOD'S WORD: CONTENT OR CHANGE
The second perspective about God's Word that helps us interact with Scripture in a more complete way concerns pursuing the transformation of our lives and not merely expanding the understanding of our minds. While we can understand, accept, and even desire this, it is a very difficult perspective to master.
This is because we are content oriented because of our inner nature, from past
conditioning, and through the demands of existing educational structures. We must overcome this orientation if God's Word is going to be to us all it was intended to be. Certainly God's Word enlightens the understanding of our minds, but God's Word is also designed for Him to use in changing the condition of our hearts and the way we live our lives.
"For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe." 1 Thessalonians 2:13
The Word of God always has a work to perform in the lives of those who are believers. This means that God's Word always has an intended response that we are invited to make in regard to our hearts and lives being changed. Therefore, whenever you are in God's Word, seek to interact with the text in such a way that you look for God to speak to you about how He wants to change you.
When the pattern of our interaction with God's Word primarily has been one of educating the mind, it is likely to be true that we are bound to this pattern and stand in need of an extra special touch from God for deliverence. The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 1:18, that in praying for the Ephesian believers he asked that the "eyes for their hearts might be enlightened." This is what we need. This is what perspective # 2 is all about. When the Word of God brings change to your heart and life, you are interacting with it in a more complete way.
"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16
This is a splendid overall statement about the work God's Word is to perform in us. When we interact with Scripture in this way, we develop a mind that is rightly connected with truth, a heart that is rightly attuned to righteousness, and a life that is rightly prepared for every good work (behavior).
"Let the Word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and
admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." Colossians 3:16
You are to let the Word of Christ richly dwell in you. If you consistently seek to interact with God's Word in ways that regularly move beyond content to experiencing the change that content invites, the Word of Christ will richly dwell in you.
Lord, I do pray that the eyes of my heart will be enlightened. I am so prone to letting the truth of your word stay in my head and not letting it get down to my heart. I know that overcoming this is the key to my becoming a true "doer" of your word. Lord, change my heart and my life. Amen!
Posted on Tue, August 25, 2015
by Alan Porter