I pray that all of you have had good Lord’s days, worshiping and being changed from the inside out by the truth of our Father. Those of you at Watermark received some solid exhortations about our total depravity apart from Christ and the responses we have towards sin. Just as we should record the goodness of God in our lives so we can reflect on it in turbulent times, so also be vigilant to catalog the devastation sin brings so that time does not lessen its sting in our memories. Then take action against sin – flee from it (1 Thess. 5:21-22), hate it (Ps. 97, Amos 5, Prov. 8:13), and confess and forsake it (Prov. 28:13, 1 John 1-2).
This week the importance of God’s Word in our daily lives has been impressed upon me, and not just in the typical self-focused reasoning with which many of us may be familiar. To be sure, our personal walks with Christ are cause enough for us to take seriously our commitment to time reading and studying the Bible. However, since we are oft disposed to sacrifice things which we know are good for us, let me turn our attentions to those around us. Have you considered the impact it has on your community when you are (not) in the Word?
“but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ…Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another.” (Eph. 4:15, 25; cf. Zech. 8:16)
How can we speak truth to our friends, our guys/gals in community, or even unbelievers if we are not taking it into our lives regularly? Do we often go a day or days without eating? If not with food, why with “every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4; cf. Deut. 8:3)? The prayer request for diligence in a person’s time in the Word has come up in every small group that I have ever attended. The problem, though, as a leader once said, is that this is an issue of priorities, not time. To be blunt, there’s nothing to pray about; the answer is clear: read the Word and meditate on it.
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” (Joshua 1:8)
“The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also…No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life…” (2 Tim. 2:2, 4a)
Men, women, we are called to “active service” and the training that our Lord and Savior has given us is His Word. For the sake of those fighting the “good fight” beside you, don’t forsake your daily preparation. Check your priorities; what “affairs of everyday life” are entangling you? There is life in these words and incredible depths of encouragement. Eat and drink fully from the wellsprings of eternal life (John 4:14).
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb. 6:19-20)
Grace and peace.
Semper Paratus – always ready
Semper Fidelis – always faithful
Semper Vigilans – always vigilant