A pastor named Charles Spurgeon was talking about a man of faith named John Bunyan. John Bunyan was the author of the Pilgrim's Progress and this was a man that loved the word of God to the point where people would say that if you cut him anywhere, that he would bleed bibline, meaning, he bleeds scripture! Our words have power because we take after our maker who by His very word brought into existence everything and if you don’t believe me than think about the last time someone made fun of or insulted you. If you’re feeling some type of way than you are still experiencing the power of those words even though they have been said a long time ago. Now think about the time someone congratulated or encouraged you. Feeling some type of way? That is because words have the power to affect us in the moment and well into the future and thus to have the very words of God in our lives is crucial for our walk with Him as it leads and empowers us for holy living. Today we explore how to set ourselves up to have His words lead us, empower us, encourage us, and keep us continuously in the blessing of His presence.
NOTES ON THE TEXT
18 “You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 20 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.
There are three things that I want to highlight in terms of this passage when it comes to having the word of God be every part of our lives.
That we are to lay the word of God in our hearts and soul
The heart and soul of a person is the unseen inner world where the thoughts, emotions, and desires are. We have to first assume a posture where the word of God has access to change the way we think, feel, and even change our desires that reflect God’s goodness. So how do we do this? Whenever we read the word of God and learn about who God is, we then have to take the lessons we learned and ask ourselves how this will change the way we think, act, or feel. The easy part is getting a revelation from God, the harder part is having that revelation actually change the way we live our lives.
For example, if we learned that God loves and has forgiven us through Jesus Christ, a possible application is the following:
Think: I am forgiven because God loves me so therefore I will not entertain thoughts that God doesn’t love me but gladly approach His presence in worship.
Act: Because I am forgiven, I now have the task and opportunity to forgive the people in my life so as to walk in the footsteps of my savior.
Feel: If I feel sad or unwanted, I know that I am accepted by Him and will shift my heart towards finding joy in that truth.
If the first dealt with an inward posture, the second has to do with outward action. The Israelites and later the Jews had the word of God physically present with them. They would have scripture written down all over their lives so that they are reminded of it wherever they go. In rabbinic Jewish times that Jesus was alive in, had people write scriptures on a piece of paper to the point where they put the word in a box that was then strapped around their wrist like a watch! They literally had the word bound to their wrists!
How can we apply this? I’ve seen people write out scripture on paper and decorate their rooms with it. It may seem silly but there is something powerful and comforting in being able to readily see scripture in your everyday surroundings and what the written word does is set up an atmosphere where His words can shield and guide you. Another thing you can do is also have worship music playing in the background as it helps in building an atmosphere for the Holy Spirit to work in your life.
The Israelites were told to teach the word to their children and discuss it in every waking moment of their lives. The word of God was not an accessory but a core aspect of their lives. When it comes to the word, we are to not only to cherish it for ourselves but with any good thing, we must be willing to share it with people. Like a good meal that can be enjoyed alone, it will be better when shared with friends and others in fellowship. Yes alone time with God is good but reading the word in a group not only keeps the motivation going when it is lacking but the opportunity to share revelations excites and encourages a deeper hunger for the word.
The word of God must start in an inward desire for it to lead our lives rather than just give us nice thoughts
From the inward desire of being led, we must physically act in such a way to surround ourselves in His word.
The word of God enriches and individuals life but explodes in life when done in community.