Friday, May 9, 2008

Time In God's Word

I love those fist-pumping; emotion charged, faith building, pep-rallying, evangelistic messages. And I need them. We all do… to encourage us and prompt us to do those things God has called us to do. But what I like better is the day to day sitting at Jesus feet reality of it all; first of all because I love the Lord, but also because I know that this is where we become equipped for the battle. It is at Jesus feet where we learn to hear from God, where plans are birthed, where direction, timing and provision is given for the reaching of our goals.

The emotion charged corporate messages we hear are like the rallying, high powered motivational speeches a good coach gives their team at half-time. But these action producing talks can only be as effective as that which has been built into the players during the day to day grind of practice. When the coach urges his team to “dig down deep,” there has to be something deep down to dig into.

Remember the story of Martha and Mary, the two sisters who had received Jesus into their home? The bible says that while Jesus was in their home that, “Martha was “cumbered” about with much serving, but Mary sat at Jesus feet and heard his word.” This troubled Martha who said to Jesus, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things; But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Lk. 10:38-42) Imagine that… Jesus said that “One thing is needful.” Wow! That should give us pause to think.

Jesus said this because it is his word that is the one thing needed to prepare us to accomplish all that he calls us to do. It is at Jesus feet, and in his word, that we hear from God, are directed by him, filled up and built up and developed into all we need to be. After all, where does life come from, where does wisdom come from, where does encouragement and ability and insight come from but from God himself. And it is a daily, consistent feeding in his word that will do the trick, like a garden that grows from regular watering and care… once in a while will just not work.

Paul commanded that we “study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2Tim. 2:15)

It is not that our study is needed for God to approve of us. We are already approved of God because we have accepted his Son and become his children. What this is saying is that our study will show to the world that we are approved of God because it will produce understanding, wisdom, character, blessings, and successful ways of doing things. This will be like a stamp of “approval,” a validation to the world that we are of God and that we indeed know the “truth.”

Going back to Martha; it is not that her serving was wrong. It’s just that she had not put first things first. Instead of putting God’s word first, she put her serving first, not realizing that Jesus had taught, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt. 6:33) It is simply a matter of practicality. Putting God and his word first is what is necessary to make things work.

It is amazing how much easier things are accomplished when we are filled with God and his word, and how much more time we have to do it. And it is amazing how some things just happen supernaturally… Did Martha not realize that it was Jesus who was in her home, and that he just fed 5000 people on his own, without her help?

Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:32-33) This is true discipleship, and it is the lifestyle where we will come to know the truth and the truth will free us to do what we need to do. Without it, we will be limited to our own understanding, and our own power. We may know God and even know what his will is for us, but we won’t have what we need to fulfill it.

Even Jesus lived like this. He used to get up early in the morning and go hide in the hills in order to spend time with God. He knew that he too must be filled with God in order to successfully triumph over every situation that faced him. And you may also remember that he spent the whole night in prayer preparing to choose the twelve apostles the next day. He knew what task he was to perform and he knew where to get what he needed to perform it.

I am not suggesting that we spend full nights in prayer, but that we simply put God and his word first in our lives; to sensibly and consistently prioritize; spending regular time in his word, growing and learning to recognize truth, and obtaining all that we need from the source of all things.

One of my favorite scriptures says this,

“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. (Pr. 4:20-23)

That is Hugh! The word of God is life and health to “those that find it!”

The word of God is one of the few tangible things we have of God’s existence and is the key to all life, knowledge, wisdom, health and growth. It is time in God’s word where we can absorb the substance and building blocks of life itself.

The bible says, “The worlds were framed by the word of God,” “all things are upheld by the word of God,” and “we are born again by the word of God.” God has even magnified his word above his name and of course, Jesus name is the Word of God. (Heb. 11:3; 1:3, 1Pet. 1:23, Ps. 138:2, Jn. 1:1)

And just as a consistently good diet will produce a healthy body, it will be consistent time spent in God’s word that the rest of our lives will increase and flourish and produce all kinds of excellent fruit. This is what the psalmist meant when he said, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (Ps. 1:3 NIV)

It is time in God’s word that will cause us to prosper in all that we do, and it will make us “a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2Tim. 2:15 NIV)

Submitted by John B. Agati
Author of : “Suffering, (God’s Will?)”

More information about this and an upcoming book “Suffering, Unanswered Prayer, (And How to Fix the Whole Thing),” along with a short bio may be found at: www.

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