We must live our lives continually reading, thinking about and meditating on the Word of God. We must always give of our time and energy to study it and know what it says about the different aspects of life, learning how to live by it.
But in this we must be warned, carefully seeing to it that we do not fool ourselves by being only hearers of the Word and not doers, as James 1:22 warns us.
There are many Bible students today studying all different facets of theology, but many are deceiving themselves because they are not acting upon the Word. You can study the Word of God for four hours every morning, but if you are not allowing the Spirit of God to use the Word to change and shape your heart, all study is useless.
The Spirit and the Word of God Working Together
Some Christian circles emphasize the importance of the Spirit of God. Others place the emphasis on the Word of God. But it is both working together in our lives that cause good fruit to bear.
The Spirit of God must never be separated from the Word of God. Together they must be able to do their good work within us. If this does not happen, if they are separated, we can have a lot of head knowledge about the Bible, but our lives will bear no witness to its transforming power.
And those whose lives do not match what they preach are unfit to minister God’s Word. If they have squabbles and disunity in their homes while trying to preach on love and unity and grace and forgiveness, their message is diluted by their duplicity. This is the kind of workman God does not approve of.
We Are Being Made Like Jesus
God did not give us the Bible to make us smart or so we could argue about it. He gave us His Word to change our lives. When that happens—when it becomes part of our lives—then we are handling it correctly when we preach.
You see, the Word of God is our contact with God the Father and His contact with us. As we study and live in it, it becomes a mirror for us to see the face of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit works inside us, taking the words, images, examples, commandments, exhortations, admonitions and warnings in God’s Word and by it transforming us into the image of Christ.
This is why Scripture tells us, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another” (Colossians 3:16). By it we gain the wisdom needed to carry out the ministry given to us by the Lord Jesus.
Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). As we go forth in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, proclaiming His Word to the world, it is important that we become like Jesus so we can do the ministry of Jesus. The Word of God is the medium the Holy Spirit uses to convert us from the inside out and to make us like Jesus.
When we follow this path—committing time to the Word and allowing it to change our lives—we can be sure that the good seed of God’s Word will produce a good crop within us.
Dr. KP Yohannan, founder and director of Gospel for Asia, has written more than 200 books, including Revolution in World Missions, an international bestseller with more than 4 million copies in print. He and his wife, Gisela, have two grown children, Daniel and Sarah, who both serve the Lord with their families.
Gospel for Asia has been serving the “least of these” in Asia since its beginning in 1979, often in places where no one else is serving. Gospel for Asia supports national workers who are serving as the hands and feet of Christ by ministering to people’s needs so they can understand the love of God for them for the first time. Gospel for Asia is engaged in dozens of projects, such as caring for poor children, slum dwellers and widows and orphans; providing clean water by funding wells; supporting medical missions; and meeting the needs of those in leprosy colonies. Through Gospel for Asia’s Bridge of Hope Program, tens of thousands of children are being rescued from the generational curses of poverty and hopelessness.
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