What Is Your Response To The Word Of God?
Was reflecting on a certain passage of Scripture, and thought how much I strived to be like the Bereans of old. I hope that is your desire also.
Consider how believers during Bible times regarded the Word of God:
1) Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Received the Word with all readiness of mind.
This implies a willingness to hear, a willingness to listen attentively when the Word of God is being preached or taught.
Searched the Scriptures daily.
Searched is Strong’s #350, and means “properly, to scrutinize, i.e. (by implication) investigate, interrogate, determine:--ask, question, discern, examine, judge, search.” In other words, these Bereans took all that was presented to them and put it under the searchlight of the Scriptures. They were discerning of all that was taught; accepted what was clearly in alignment with God’s Word, and rejected what contradicted it. This is in accordance with the following passages: 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 (prophesying here means preaching); Romans 12:9; 1 Corinthians 14:29; 1 John 4:1-3.
2) 1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
Received the Word of God as God’s Word, and not man’s.
The first word for received here is Strong’s #3880, which means “to receive near, i.e. associate with oneself (in any familiar or intimate act or relation); by analogy, to assume an office; figuratively, to learn:--receive, take (unto, with).” In other words, these believers in Thessalonica embraced the Word of God whenever it was preached. They believed it was God’s very own Word – not man’s – given from Him to them. As such, they received it personally and held it close to their hearts. To get an idea of the intimacy involved in these believers receiving of the Word of God, consider that this is the same Greek word that Jesus used in John 14:3, when He said He would come again to receive us unto Himself.
When we value the Word as much as these early Christians did, then it can do the effectual work the Lord intended it to do in our hearts and lives.
3) Ezra 7:6 This Ezra went up from Babylon; and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the LORD God of Israel had given: and the king granted him all his request, according to the hand of the LORD his God upon him.
Was a ready scribe in the Scriptures.
The word ready is Strong’s #4106, and means “quick; hence, skilful:--diligent, hasty, ready.” Ezra was a mature (perfect) believer who diligently studied the Scriptures. He spent time in the Word of God, and knew it. Unfortunately, the average professing believer today does not. Are you more like Ezra or like some of the Hebrew and Corinthian believers? See Hebrews 5:11-14 and 1 Corinthians 3:1-3.
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
4) Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments.
Prepared his heart to seek God’s Word.
What Ezra learned from God, he passed on to others. Notice this verse says he prepared his heart. That means he took the time necessary to maintain his walk with the Lord, and that he was looking to see what God would teach him from His Word. The word seek is #1875, which means “properly, to tread or frequent; usually to follow (for pursuit or search); by implication, to seek or ask; specifically to worship.” He frequently pursued the Word of God, diligently, fervently, reverently read and studied it – not like many of us do today when we quickly strive to read our three (or however many) chapters as quickly as we can. Ezra came to God’s Word, in a worshipful manner, expecting to get something from the Lord. Do we do the same? Do we come to God’s Word in a reverent spirit, expecting the Holy Spirit to teach us, to show us something of Christ in each passage we read? Or are we just marking our chapters as read and then moving on to other things?
Is your heart prepared to seek the Lord and His Word? Contrast Ezra’s attitude with that of King Rehoboam’s:
2 Chronicles 12:14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD.
Matthew 13:52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
5) James 1:22-25 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Be ye doers of the Word.
Do you come to the Word of God with a heart that is determined to obey what the Holy Spirit teaches you? If not, over time, you will lose what you have learned and find that you are not getting much out of the Scriptures.
Mark 4:24-25 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
If you come to the Scriptures and find that they are dry and boring – the problem is with your heart and life, not His Word. Sin will hinder God’s Word in our lives, but repenting and forsaking those sins will quicken us and cause the Word to become a source of rest and refreshing to us again.
If you read and study the Bible with an attitude of submission, you will learn and be taught of God, your faith will grow and your walk will be strengthened.
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Matthew 11:29-30 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
What is your attitude to the Word of God? Do you reverently read it and study it, with an intent to obey and pass on what you have learned to others – or do you flippantly or casually read your allotted portion without much thought or consideration? When you hear the Scriptures being taught or preached, do you willingly focus on the message and consider how it fits in with the rest of the Word of God, do you carefully discern what is being taught? What is your response to the Bible, the Word of God?
February 17th, 2005
The Christian Counter