HOW TO APPROACH GOD’S WORD IN 2017

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A man in Kansas City was severely injured in an explosion. The victim’s face was badly disfigured, and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands.

He was just a new Christian, and one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible.

Then, he heard about a lady in England who read braille with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the Bible in braille. Much to his dismay, however, he discovered that the nerve endings in his lips had been destroyed by the explosion.

One day, as he brought one of the braille pages to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. Like a flash he thought, I can read the Bible using my tongue.It wasn’t real long before the man had “read” through the entire Bible four times.

We have 2017 before us and we cannot go back to 2016. How will we respond to God’s Word in the New Year?

James tells us how we are to respond:

“in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21b).

Notice, first of all, the inner attitude we should have toward the Word.

We are to be humble and teachable, so we can receive insights into His Word. The Holy Spirit teaches us as we humbly receive His Word.

Next, we see that the Word needs to be “implanted” to do its full work in us.

The idea is that we need to not only have it in our conscious minds, but also in the deep, inner recesses of our subconscious minds.

This comes through memorization and mediation on the Word.

May we make a commitment in 2017 to spend more time memorizing and mediating on God’s Word!

Notice the result of implanting God’s Word into the recesses of our minds, “which is able to save your souls.”

This phrase is not talking salvation from sin’s penalty or hell. It is talking about being saved from sin’s power to control us.

It is the delivering of the believer from the destructiveness of sin to the Spirit’s work of growing and maturing us spiritually.

Our souls (mind, emotions, and will) are delivered from sin’s power as we welcome eagerly the implanted Word and appropriate it by faith to our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is the key to victory!

When their son left for his freshman year at Duke University, his parents gave him a Bible, assuring him it would be a great help.

Later, as he began sending them letters asking for money, they would write back telling him to read his Bible, citing chapter and verse.

He would reply that he was reading the Bible–but he still needed money.

When he came home for a semester break, his parents told him they knew he had not been reading his Bible.

How? They had tucked $10 and $20 bills by the verses they had cited in their letters.

Is this like our commitment to reading and studying the Word?

2017 is before us and we cannot go back to 2016.

How will we respond to God’s Word in the New Year?

Blessings!

Pastor Ken Keeler, Director of Church Ministries

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