Day 5, New Testament Reading Plan: John 9-21, Acts 1-6
Devotional: "Cherish the Word of God"
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7, NKJV
The Word of God is the bedrock, basis, and fabric of Christianity; spoken in the beginning and framing the world in which creation lives, the Word is the manna from heaven that became flesh and dwelled amongst man, written on tablets of stone and transferred to man’s heart so that all would be warned and find great reward, the Word was given to one, Adam, and defied by two, Adam and Eve; a covenant to be kept by a nation astray in heart but upheld by the Savior who would be faithful and true. Established as the one thing that will never pass away, neither return to God void, the Word of God is the Truth that endures forever, and that must abide in every believer, as imitators of Christ, that prayers may be answered, faith can be seen, and fruit is produced.
Prayers can be answered because God watches over His Word to perform it, and we who diligently keep His Word in our mind and write it on the tablet of our heart, meditating on it day and night while feeding oniIt as the bread of life, find that its entrance does indeed bring light. Light that breaks the darkness and opens the eyes of understanding. And because the Word is alive and active, the lamp to our feet and light to our path, the guide for a smooth journey in this world as it purifies the soul and causes joy to be full. It also assures that those who love life and desire good days need only be faithful as doers and not hearers alone, believers and not doubters so that the incorruptible, ever-living seed can offer the peace that overrides fear. It can combat doubt with knowledge and nurture a posture of faithfulness within the heart that is seen by the God who honors those who honor Him and shows Himself strong in the lives of those found loyal amidst a world in conflict with Truth, because He is committed to the established covenant so much so that He has elevated His Word above His very name.
You see, with every commitment, there is an expected loyalty. A decision to trust and believe that intentions are pure, and a bond that assumes, even contends for agreement and oneness. This is true for party contracts, the building of friendship, and marriage vows because within each kind of relationship, and to varying degrees, is an unspoken but demonstrated allegiance; an exchange of self; and a rapport not easily broken as perspectives are aligned and integrity valued; thus, the Word of God abiding within the believer represents the same loyalty, trust, and pureness of heart towards the Father that makes for a visible faith.
When the Word dwells richly within, we are removed from the fruitless deeds of darkness and renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created us for the sake of oneness in Him; thus, the Word that abides is verbalized and demonstrated with wholehearted devotion and willingness of mind, consistently; that is, despite cultural persuasion, or questionable downturns in life, or the lure of temptation to adapt or compromise alliance of heart. Instead, the Word abides as a catalyst for perseverance and character and a constancy that fortifies the heart against the storms of life, anchors the soul in the hope that does not disappoint and drives the faith that promises overcoming victory for this world.
This is the fruit produced that the world will see in your eyes because the light of Christ has depth when the Word abides within; those who come into contact with you become partakers of your fruits of righteousness because the Word of God changes you from the inside out; while those closest to you benefit from the fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control–all because the Word is abiding within, certifying Jesus’ Lordship, securing freedom, transforming the mind, producing change–working powerfully in your life for His praise and glory.
Therefore, I urge every believer to take seriously the need to read the Bible daily, to meditate on it day and night, to be a workman by studying it, to memorize the law of liberty, and respond to the Word with a living faith, that you may abide in the Word of God and that the Word of God may truly abide within you!
Father, may I cherish Your Word as apples of gold in settings of silver and honor what is written by living steadfast and faithful to the covenant You have made with me. I lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted Word, which saves my soul. I choose today to honor You by holding fast to my confession of hope at all times because You can be trusted. You are faithful. My earnest desire is to be found pure in heart because I do believe You and my loyalty belongs solely and completely to You, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Ministry Fellow, CU Nova at Princeton University
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