Friday, October 31, 2014

We must live the scriptures

Our knowledge and understanding of the scriptures mean little if that knowledge and understanding is not converted into change; change in our thinking, change in our speaking, and change in our acting. It is the goal of scripture to change us. Paul wrote to Timothy, "But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." (1 Timothy 1:5) Paul taught, not for the purpose of information and education, but for transformation; to change the inner man, or woman, of the listener. He used his words, and the message he had received from Christ, to effect real and lasting change in his hearers. His goal was the production of love in those whom he taught, and he did this by addressing the needs of the heart, the conscience, and their faith. By affecting these things he hoped to see love as the fruit of their transformation.

If we are to grow in the scriptures, we must let them change us. James wrote,
"But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does." (James 1:22-25)
When we look into the scriptures, we not only see God and His love, plan, and will for our lives, but we also see ourselves; who we are, how we relate to God, and how we relate to others. However, most of us prefer a form a self-deception; preferring to believe what we think about ourselves rather than what God declares about ourselves, We read the word, see what it has to say, then leave unchanged, deceiving ourselves that all is well. We must allow the scriptures to change us if they are ever to produce any fruit in our lives. We must not simply "look into the scriptures," we must incorporate them into our lives; to make them an active part of our life, to let them change how we think and act.

Therefore, James says, "Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls." (James 1:21) Very few seeds will germinate if left on top of the soil. We must take the scriptures and plant them deep inside our hearts. We must let them germinate and take root in our soul. Only them will they furnish and bare much fruit in our lives. This process of implantation is more than just learning or memorizing the scriptures; it is the incorporation of the scriptures into our daily lives. To take them and allow them to change how we live. To begin to live according to their instruction rather than the instruction of the world. To being, by faith, to live as if its message is true; putting every exhortation, promise, and command into practice. To take seriously what Jesus said, "But go and learn what this means..." (Matthew 9:13) It's only by doing the scriptures that we will really come to know them and to experience their benefits in our lives.

David Robison

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