For the past two days, I have been deeply convicted about my love for God's Word.
I have been reading out of duty - not passion - and the difference is evident.
Last night I listened to a sermon on Romans 7 to understand the importance of "the law" and the truth that we are not slaves to it, but we are free to obey it.
The pastor said, And the heart of it all is in John 17:17 where Jesus said, "Sanctify them by Thy truth, Thy Word is truth." Sanctification is separation from sin. There is an initial separation at salvation and then there's an ongoing increasing separation through all of our Christian experience. This is the work of the Word of God. It is the Word that sanctifies. The psalmist said, "Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin." It is the Word that purifies.
Yes! I believe this! God's Word is the foundation for EVERYthing.
No problem there!
He continued, For us then to grow spiritually, for us to progress in our sanctification, we have to bring our lives into complete conformity to the will of God which is revealed in the Word of God.
Again, I would say, "AMEN, Pastor! AMEN!"
It was when he began quoting verse after verse about the deep, passionate love of Scripture we see David express in the Psalms that my "amens" began to diminish because I knew my passion did not match his. And I was bothered. Uncomfortable. Embarrassed. And unable to deny the conviction of the Spirit as God's Word pierced through my soul.
That is who I want to be.
A woman who ...
loves God's Word
longs for it
delights in it
and weeps over those who do not love know it.
Oh, Lord - make me into this woman! Please. I want the same words that describe David's love for Your Word to describe my own!
If I am honest, I can say I do these things. But I do not do them consistently. I am not defined by them. And that is a choice. If my greatest desire is to obey the first command: You shall love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, then I would be seeking Him passionately and faithfully in the only place He can be found - in the pages of Scripture.
If I do not love God, I will not love His Word.
If I do not love His Word, I will not know His Word.
If I do not know it, I cannot obey it.
If I do not obey it, I will not live a life of righteousness.
If I do not live righteously, I will not draw others to Him.
If my life does not draw others to the God who saves, the God who heals, the God who redeems ...
it is a life wasted.
If I want to look back at the end of my days and see a life well-lived for the Lord - it begins NOW.
Loving Him first - above everyone and everything else.
Loving His Word.
Obeying His Word.
Sharing His Word - His truth - His compassion - and His saving grace ... with anyone who will listen.
Lord, make me fall in love with Your Word as if it were for the first time. Consume me with a desire to read it, learn it, understand it, and LIVE it. Let me see its beauty, its power, and its ability to change a life from the inside out. "Put off" sin ... "Put on" righteousness. Do not let me begin my day, or end my night without holding Your precious Word in my hands and soaking in the truths found inside. Like David, I desire this: With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments!
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19