Lesson 2 (part 2)
Why Is It Imperative That I Read God's Word?:
7. I am commanded to "do" what the Word teaches - (thus, I must learn "what" it teaches):
So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls. But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]. James 1:21-22 (Amplified Bible).
The verses we just read, instruct us to be "doers" of God's Word (we must read God's Word, that we might know just what it is that God instructs us to do), however, it doesn't stop there. The same verses also disclose that God's word (in our hearts) is able to save our soul. There's more yet:
(For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. Rom.2:13 (KJV).
Most of us have heard the term (in regards to the biblical account of the word "justified") in this way: Just if I'd (just-if-ied) not sinned, regarding our salvation in Christ. While it is true, His blood cleanses us from sin, and through Him we are justified, we also see in this verse, those that are scripturally justified, are they that are doers of His truth.
Again, the same verse from the Amplified Bible:
No question about it, God desires that we pay attention to His Word:
You have commanded us to keep Your precepts, that we should observe them diligently. Ps 119:4 (Amplified Bible).
And, if I donít heed His commands, He says "I donít love Him":
If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands. The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.] Judas, not Iscariot, asked Him, Lord, how is it that You will reveal Yourself [make Yourself real] to us and not to the world? Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him. Anyone who does not [really] love Me does not observe and obey My teaching. And the teaching which you hear and heed is not Mine, but [comes] from the Father Who sent Me. Jn 14:15,21-24 Amplified Bible.
Also, if I donít keep His Word, He says Iím not really His friend:
You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do. Jn 15.14 (Amplified Bible).
For those of you that would argue, that we are not bound by Old Testament Laws, please note that all but one verse in this Lesson, thus far, have been taken from the New Testament.
8. It is imperative that I read God's Word, that I might "know" Him:
And this is how we may discern [daily, by experience] that we are coming to know Him [to perceive, recognize, understand, and become better acquainted with Him]: if we keep (bear in mind, observe, practice) His teachings (precepts, commandments). Whoever says, I know Him [I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [of the Gospel] is not in him. But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety], truly in him has the love of and for God been perfected (completed, reached maturity). By this we may perceive (know, recognize, and be sure) that we are in Him: Whoever says he abides in Him ought [as a personal debt] to walk and conduct himself in the same way in which He walked and conducted Himself. I John 2:3-6 (Amplified Bible)
[So] if we say we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him when we live and move and are walking about in darkness, we are [both] speaking falsely and do not live and practice the Truth [which the Gospel presents]. I John 1:6 (Amplified Bible).
According to the above verses, we decieve ourselves if we think we are in rightful communion with Jesus, or that we know Him personally, if we live in darkness and do not practice the Truth of His Word. To know Him, is to know His Word, for, once again, He is the Word.
9. I must know God's Word, in order to teach and preach it to others:
And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. Mark 16:15 (Amplified Bible)
Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be). Matt.28:19-20 (Amplifed Bible).
This is a discipleship course. Consider what Jesus did, in the training of His 12 disciples. He prepared them to go forth, that they might bring healing, and truth, to the people (the truth of His teachings). Yes, Jesus disciples were sent out to teach. It is no different for His disciples today. You, as a disciple are being prepared of the Lord to teach His Word to others. Thus, once again, you yourself must know God's Word in your own heart, to be effective in preparing the heart of another. You can impart to others no more than you yourself have received, so if you desire to give much in the way of God's truth to others, then your own heart must first be filled with much. It's God's "living truth" that we need to impart to others ... the living reality of God's Word. And, what are we to teach others to observe? Everything that the Lord has commanded. Where do we find those commands? Again, in His Word. Remember, it was Jesus who said: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Well, let's apply that same verse, taking it even a step further: You shall know the truth, and the truth you know, shall set (or make) others free. Know His truth!
I CHARGE [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by (in the light of) His coming and His kingdom: Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching. For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, and will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions. 2 Tim 4:2-4 (Amplified Bible).
Such a day has arrived. Deception is rampant, everywhere! We, as Christ's servants, are responsible to give His truth (not our own ideas) to those He places in our lives. Mans (own ideas) is what has caused so much deception in the first place! Can you imagine applying for a job, which in order to do that job correctly, requires lots of learning, and studying the responsibilities of? If you were to not first learn all the responsibilites of that position, and were to get hired for, in no time, you'd make a very big mess of things. Now, consider what I just said, and apply it to serving God ... without knowing His manual. Again, deception would go forth.
I realize that I seem to go on and on (saying it again and again) regarding my statement: "know God's Word", but ... I can't say it enough. In fact, neither could God. He said it again, and again, and again, in His word. God's Word is our very life source.
Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts. Col.3:16 (Amplified Bible).
BUT [as for] you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine [the character and right living that identify true Christians]. Titus 2:1 (Amplified Bible).
My tongue shall sing [praise for the fulfillment] of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteous. Ps.119:172 (Amplified Bible).
The fulfillment of God's word, whether it be in our own life, or in the lives of others, should cause us to "sing praises", and the reason the Psalmist gives is ... "God's commandments are righteous!"
10. God's word is imperative in my life, that I might know His will:
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. Rom.12:2 (Amplified Bible).
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is]. Eph.5:15-17 (KJV).
And, where do we find "God's will". Need I say more? (in His word, of course)!
11. It's imperative that I know God's word, to have His grace and peace:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (2 Pe 1:2-3 KJV)
Again, from the Amplified Bible:
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Ps 119: 165 (KJV)
How can I love His truth, if I don't get to know it? The following verses give even more reason (with promise), to know God's word:
My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Prov.3:1-2 (KJV).
Now, check out this same verse in the Amplified Bible:
MY SON, forget not my law or teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of a life [worth living] and tranquility [inward and outward and continuing through old age till death], these shall they add to you.
What a promise! One word comes to mind, in response to such a promise: WOW!
12. God's truth will set me free:
And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. Psalms 119:45, 93 (KJV).
And, from the Amplified Bible:
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32 (KJV)
13. To be His disciple, I must know His word:
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed; (John 8:31 KJV).
And, in the Amplified Bible:
A key word in this verse is "if". If you want to be His disciple, follow that keyword ... "if". Abide in His word, and allow His word (His teachings) to abide in your heart, and "then" (Jesus says), you are His disciple.
14. The very life of God's word will set my heart on "fire":
Since each day is a new day in the Lord, then, each day we ought to seek Him anew!
But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. Psalm 1:2 (Amplified Bible).
Is God's word our delight, our desire? Do we love His word? If we can't answer "yes" to that question, then we need only ask Him to give us a love for His word. He will be most faithful to answer such a prayer request, as He desires that we love fellowshipping with Him, through His word.
Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. Psalm 119:18, 27 (KJV)
There are many prayers in Psalm 119. Learn to pray them in accordance to your needs, or regarding the needs of others you are praying for. God's word promises, when we pray in accordance to His word (actually pray His word), it will not return void (empty, or unanswered) to Him:
From the mouth of the Lord God:
To such a promise, I say ... AMEN and AMEN!
Next Lesson: "ABIDING". Read: I John, Chapter 2, and list reasons we are to "abide".
Walk in His blessings, as you grow in His truth!
In His love ... Marcia