Let God’s Word Sink Deep Into Your Heart
I’ve heard God’s Word interpreted and described in so many ways. For instance, it is food for the soul, good fruit, a how-to manual, a guidebook, good seed, and a lamp unto our feet. Whatever name you give it, we must read, reflect on, and gain guidance from God’s Word every day.
All of us are called to be disciples of His Word. However, before we set out to speak and educate wherever and however God directs, we must first commit to learning, comprehending, and believing the truth of His Word.
“Son of man, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. Then go to your people in exile and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says!’ Do this whether they listen to you or not” (Ezekiel 3:10-11).
I didn’t commit my life to the Lord and start reading the Bible until I was in my mid-20s. At first, reading the Bible was really intimidating. Initially, I was under the assumption that I had to read it all at once and commit it to memory. I was relieved to discover from my newfound Bible study friends that the Bible is best absorbed in small, manageable portions. If I wanted to truly comprehend God’s Word, I needed to take my time, not rush through it.
Since I started my journey as a Christian 23 years ago, I have devoted a significant amount of time to reading and studying the Bible every day. Ezekiel shared these words from God: “Let all my words sink deep into your own heart… Listen to them carefully…” and I have experienced the wisdom in doing that. Over the years, I have found great comfort and peace in His Word, and I have committed numerous passages and stories from the Bible to memory.
Because of this, I am better able to fulfill God’s calling on my life and share His love, grace, and truth with others. One of God’s many blessings to me is the desire to put pen to paper. It brings me great joy to use this gift to inspire others to strengthen their faith, become aware of God’s promises, and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
So, in obedience to God, I will continue reaching out to God’s children who are still in “exile,” distanced from Him and His truths, regardless of whether they listen or not. One simple gesture or prayer can lead a lost soul into God’s loving embrace!
Prayer: As we comb through Your Holy Word seeking Your truth and having Your words sink deep into our hearts, help us share Your truths and love with others, regardless of the outcome. Lead us, oh Lord our God. Amen.
Wages That Last
“You have sown much, only to harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk … the one who earns … wages to put into a money bag full of holes.” – Haggai 1:6 NASB
Imagine a person who works hard and earns a decent wage. Then, imagine this person storing these wages in a purse filled with holes. As a result, everything that had been earned would be lost. All the work was for naught.
Haggai provided this powerful picture in a passage that focused on putting God first. The example was building His house before building our own. This principle applies to every area. Focusing first on God is a key to receiving His blessing.
Jesus made this clear when He taught that if we seek first His Kingdom, “All these things will be provided to you” (Matthew 6:33). The Bible also consistently teaches the principle of tithing. This means giving God the first fruits of our labor (Exodus 23:19). If we give to God first, He promises to bless all our activities and to bless us.
Many people go through life with holes in their pockets. They work hard yet never seem to get ahead. They always seem to fall short. But when God has first place, He can plug the leaks and make our lives more efficient and effective. He can make our testimonies more fruitful.
The Bible teaches that God wants you to experience abundance. You unleash this abundance when you give Him first place, seek first His Kingdom, and sow into good soil the seeds He has given you.
Reflection Question: How are you practically seeking first God’s Kingdom this week?
God’s barriers against man’s sin
By: Charles Spurgeon
“Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it: and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? But this people hath a revolting and rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.” Jeremiah 5:22-23
Suggested Further Reading: Isaiah 1:1-4
God here contrasts the obedience of the strong, the mighty, the untamed sea, with the rebellious character of his own people. “The sea,” saith he, “obeys me; it never breaks its boundary; it never leaps from its channel; it obeys me in all its movements. But man, poor puny man, the little creature whom I could crush as the moth, will not be obedient to me. The sea obeys me from shore to shore, without reluctance, and its ebbing floods, as they retire from its bed, each of them says to me, in the voices of the pebbles, ‘O Lord, we are obedient to thee, for thou art our master.’ But my people”, says God, “are a revolting and a rebellious people; they go astray from me.” And is it not, my brethren, a marvellous thing, that the whole earth is obedient to God, save man? Even the mighty leviathan, who maketh the deep to be hoary, sinneth not against God, but his course is ordered according to his Almighty Master’s decree. Stars, those wondrous masses of light, are easily directed by the very wish of God; clouds, though they seem erratic in their movement, have God for their pilot; “he maketh the clouds his chariot;” and the winds, though they seem restive beyond control, yet do they blow, or cease to blow just as God wills. In heaven, on earth, even in the lower regions, we could scarcely find such a disobedience as that which is practised by man; at least, in heaven, there is a cheerful obedience; and in hell there is constrained submission to God, while on earth man makes the base exception, he is continually revolting and rebelling against his Maker.
For meditation: Jonah, a great wind, a great fish, a plant, a worm, an east wind (Jonah 1:3,4,17; 2:10; 4:6-8)—which is the odd one out?
Streams in the Desert
But they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. (Rev 12:11)
When James and John came to Christ with their mother, asking Him to give them the best place in the kingdom, He did not refuse their request, but told them it would be given to them if they could do His work, drink His cup, and be baptized with His baptism.
Do we want the competition? The greatest things are always hedged about by the hardest things, and we, too, shall find mountains and forests and chariots of iron. Hardship is the price of coronation. Triumphal arches are not woven out of rose blossoms and silken cords, but of hard blows and bloody scars. The very hardships that you are enduring in your life today are given by the Master for the explicit purpose of enabling you to win your crown.
Do not wait for some ideal situation, some romantic difficulty, some far-away emergency; but rise to meet the actual conditions which the Providence of God has placed around you today. Your crown of glory lies embedded in the very heart of these things—those hardships and trials that are pressing you this very hour, week and month of your life. The hardest things are not those that the world knows of. Down in your secret soul unseen and unknown by any but Jesus, there is a little trial that you would not dare to mention that is harder for you to bear than martyrdom.
There, beloved, lies your crown. God help you to overcome, and sometime wear it.
“It matters not how the battle goes,
The day how long;
Faint not! Fight on!
Tomorrow comes the song.”