I want to encourage you to cultivate a hunger and thirst for God’s Word. Many of us tried reading the Bible while we were unsaved and found it to be impossible to read, understand or retain. There is a reason for that. We must be born again. It takes the indwelling Holy Spirit to comprehend or perceive the scriptures.
2 Corinthians 3:13-18 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
I want to encourage you to read God’s word again…your future depends upon it! We live in perilous times. God has promised to take care of us, protect us, comfort us and be with us. If we don’t have a strong word foundation, how will we stand with bold faith as the storms of life approach?
Luke 6:46-49 46 “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? 47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”
Psalm 91 (Please see the entire chapter) 14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
Hebrews 13:5-6 5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say:
“ The LORD is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”
A friend of mine told me that she used to have the hardest time reading the Bible. She said her husband would read it and come to her all excited about things that just jumped out at him. She would get frustrated and ask the Lord why she didn’t see things like that when she read the same passages. She finally prayed and asked the Lord to make the scriptures come alive to her, like a movie. She said that soon after she prayed that prayer, she read the book of Esther and it was so real she felt like she had been there! From then on she couldn’t wait to read the Bible because it was full of such rich stories of adventures with God! When we ask the Holy Spirit to help us, He will. That’s what this article is all about.
Lu 24:45 then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures
John 16:13 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
When we realize that God is good and that He has a good plan for our lives, the Word of God comes alive with all of His promises.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart
Deuteronomy 28:2 (Please see the entire chapter)2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:
Joshua 1:7-8 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Psalm 37:4 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
John 10:10 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
2 Corinthians 1:20-22 20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
If we are to walk in God’s blessings and promises, the key is that we need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us a heart that cherishes the Word as the precious treasure that it is!
Psalm 119:160-162 160 The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever… 161 … my heart stands in awe of Your word. 162 I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.
Proverbs 9:10 10 “ The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
Proverbs 3:13-18 (see entire chapters 2-3)13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; 14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. 15 She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. 16 Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.
It needs to be mentioned that we can’t just blindly follow what other people are doing, or what we were raised to do, when it comes to our eternal destiny. People all over the planet are blindly following the religion or atheism or whatever philosophy their parents taught them…enough said! That is why it is imperative that we know the Word. We need to devour the Word of God. Take notes and research, study the scriptures in depth, truly intending to put them into practice.
2 Tim. 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Tim. 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works
King David knew that our heart could be divided and distracted from the things of God, so he asked the Lord to help him keep his heart right and to teach him the ways of God. If we want to walk in God’s will and His blessings, this must become our fervent cry in the midst of all the things that tug at our hearts!
Psalm 86:11 11 Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.
Psalm 119:33-38 33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies, and not to covetousness.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.
38 Establish Your word to Your servant, who is devoted to fearing You.
Many times we have developed hard hearts because of hurts and disappointments. God wants to take out the stony heart and give us a heart after Him. So, it is only by His Spirit that we understand the scriptures, and only by His Spirit can we can live according to His word.
Ez. 36:26-27 a new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
As we read the scriptures, we will see our lives transform before our eyes. As long as we are doers of the Word, it will set us free and we will never be the same!
Acts 17:11 these were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
12 Therefore many of them believed;
Ps 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
35 And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever.
36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Heb. 4:12 for the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Psalm 119:132-133 132 Look upon me and be merciful to me, As Your custom is toward those who love Your name. 133 Direct my steps by Your Word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me.
James 1:21-25 21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
We must ask the Lord to give us a hunger and thirst for His Word. A teacher in my life taught me that secret. When I prayed for God to give me a hunger for His Word, He answered that prayer and I all of a sudden had an insatiable hunger! I read through the Bible cover-to-cover over and over and over! I’ve prayed that prayer over people coming out of religious, traditional backgrounds who had never developed an interest in the Word. The next time I spoke with them, they would tell me they can’t get enough time in the scriptures and they are involved in all kinds of Bible studies. If we ask in sincerity, God will answer!
Jer. 31:33 but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jer. 24:7 And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
The flesh and the enemy of our souls will come up with all kinds of excuses to keep us out of the Word of God. We need to set aside a time to spend intimate time with the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the best time. When I first learned this, I prayed and asked the Lord to give me the best window out of my day. I found myself wide awake every morning at 4:00 am, on the dot! I would toss and turn unsuccessfully trying to get back to sleep. Then I realized that it was the Holy Spirit answering my prayer. The Lord knows our busy schedules. He knows when our cell phones are going to start ringing, and when family members and bosses are going to want our undivided attention. During your intimate times with the Lord, I would encourage you to stay away from all technology that will tend to be a distraction! Trust me, the temptation to check the emails, tweets, face book, etc. will be unbearable! I still leave my computer off and use my leather bound written Bible. I still like to read them from cover to cover, mark them up, witness to someone and then bless that person with that well-read, well-cherished, already marked Bible. Then I get to start all over down-loading the scriptures again. What a great way to continually be sure that you are renewing your mind with God’s Word!
Romans 12:1-2 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
When I began to get out of bed, go to a private study, and spend time in His presence and in His Word, I had awesome times with my Savior! Then, I was able to go back to bed and awake completely rested and refreshed! God has caused me to treasure those intimate times. He has shared His heart and His ways, and it has completely changed my life. I crave my daily manna!
Matthew 4:4 4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
I have learned that each day the Lord gives us precisely what we need for that day, if we truly are seeking Him first. Then we can hold on to that fresh word and our faith is sufficient for that day. We can feel confident that we are walking in His will and He will provide all that we need!
Matthew 6:31-34 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
We need to ask the Lord to help us find a good church home, where we can be instructed, encouraged, equipped, involved and accountable. God wants to use you to impact this generation by being a light in this dark world as your life is impacted by the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Ephesians 4:11-13 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
By Gloria Garner