Sunday, September 1, 2019

Unwrapping God's Word for Ourselves

"Listen carefully, my dear child, to everything that I teach you,
and pay attention to all that I have to say.
Fill your thoughts with my words until they penetrate deep into your spirit.
Then, as you unwrap my words, 
they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being.
So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are.
Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, 
for from there flows the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:20-23 TPT

I love to listen to inspirational podcasts. Just today as I went on my walk and did some chores I listened to some of my favorites. I also love to read good Bible based books. I have two large bookshelves filled with mostly non-fiction Christian books in my home office. I love good, biblical preaching, teaching and Bible study. Ephesians 4:11 says that God gave to the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to bring us as believers into maturity and equip us to do the work of the ministry. These gifts, operating through human servants, are essential gifts to us as part of Christ's church. But, even if we listen to God's Word in and through all of these ways, as good and even as essential as they may be, we will not have a renewed mind and a strong and healthy spirit until we learn to listen to God through His Word for ourselves. When was the last time you opened your Bible and said, "Here I am God, I'm listening. What do you want to teach me today?" 

Just look at all of the benefits listed in Proverbs 4:20-23 when we listen to God, let Him teach us and pay attention to what He says. It says that we will have true life and radiant health in the very core of our being. That, my friend, means wholeness on the inside. Who doesn't long for that? 

God's Word is a gift to us, a limitless treasure of divine wisdom, insight, correction, instruction, guidance and encouragement. But, we have to be willing to unwrap it for ourselves instead of always expecting others to unwrap it for us. Self-care is a concept you hear a lot about lately. You can prioritize getting enough sleep, exercising and eating right, but are you paying attention to the welfare of your innermost being? When our innermost being is well nourished on God's life giving Word, then what flows out of us will be life giving to those around us. 

God's mercies are new every morning. Don't waste time beating yourself up for the time you haven't spent in God's Word. The enemy loves to get us so stuck in a cycle of regretting and repenting that we never move forward to responding. Repent. Press delete. Move on. Today's a new day. Crack open that Bible. "Here I am God. I'm listening. What do you want to teach me today?" God has some amazing things to show you.

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