On Wednesday nights at Grace, we are working through the book of Nehemiah. Last night, Brother Billy preached from Nehemiah 8: 13-18. Short synopsis: the Israelites heard the word of God, they studied it, and they responded to it with obedience and rejoicing.
In my notes, I have this question circled and starred: "How is the Word of God working in my life to change me?" What an excellent question, not only for me to ask myself, but for us to ask one another in the Body of Christ!
In order for God's Word to impact my life, I must first encounter God's Word. I need to read and meditate on Scripture, and to approach the Bible prayerfully and with a sincere desire to be transformed by it.
Sometimes, the Word of God transforms my life in ways that are fairly easy to identify: inexplicable calm in a crisis, brokenness over sin, hope and courage in a dark place. But other times, the change is not so obvious, as when God's Word effects a very gradual change or a deeply internal transformation.
And then there are the times when I delude myself, when I believe I have been "transformed" when I have not. Perhaps I imagine that I have a greater capacity for forgiveness, when in all actuality, I have mastered the art of repressed bitterness instead.
This is why I think it is important for us to ask the above question of one another: How is the Word of God working in my life to change me? How is the Word of God working in your life?
The input of another believer gives us greater perspective. Perhaps I am discouraged because I feel like I am making so little progress toward developing greater patience...and yet Sally, watching from the sidelines, sees a significant change in me. She is able to affirm the impact of God's Word in my life.
Or, perhaps I think I have completely conquered my short fuse...and yet Sally, watching from the sidelines, hears my biting remarks, sees my gargoyle posturing, witnesses my control-freak manipulations.
In both of these situations, I NEED Sally's input.
So, really, I think there are three questions I need to be asking regularly:
1. I need to ask myself: How is the Word of God working in my life to change me?
2. I need to ask my sisters and brothers in Christ: Do you see evidence of the Word of God working in my life to change me? - and -
3. I need to ask my sisters and brothers: How is the Word of God working in your life?
I need to invite others to speak into my life, and I need be willing to speak into theirs.
2 days ago