Week 1 – The Word
We’ve all seen it – the massive, ancient-looking Bible that sits on the coffee table in our grandparent’s living room. It is so old that, as kids, we thought it may actually be the original Bible. Like, the first one. The cover looks brittle and a quarter of an inch of dust is layered on the top. It looks cool, but what would someone actually use that thing for? It is a decoration, not a book. Just don’t mess it up.
Or, think of the unbelievably worn-out Bibles the ladies carry around at church. Every page looks like one of those coloring pages they give to kids at restaurants with somebody’s grocery list written on the margins. What is all of that scribbling? And is that even allowed?
One of the first things we hear after accepting Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of our lives is that we need to “get into The Word.” OK, sounds awesome. Let’s do that. Should I just pick a random page and start reading? How do I do this?
Before we can encourage and lead our families in pursuing the promises of God found within His Word, we have to understand how to do this for ourselves. Let’s spend the next few weeks understanding what the Bible is and how God wants us to utilize it in our spiritual walk.
What is The Word?
When we refer to “The Word”, “God’s Word”, or “Scripture”, we are talking about The Bible – the recorded history of God’s interaction and relationship with human beings. The words of the Bible are inspired by God and meant to teach, encourage, guide, and call us to His love and promises for us.
What am I supposed to do?
Our primary call is to spend time in God’s Word as often and as consistently as possible. The third chapter of 2 Timothy tells us that, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16), meaning that the precepts found in God’s Word are the lamp we use to light our path in this life. The key to a growing relationship with God is to understand how He feels about us and what He wants for us, and His Word is the primary source of that information.
How do I use The Word?
Week 1 – Hide The Word in Our Heart
In Psalm 119, King David writes that he has “hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11). What the Psalmist is saying here is that he has studied, consumed, and meditated on God’s word to the extent that he knows it in his heart. Elsewhere in Scripture we are instructed to, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23). It becomes clear that hiding God’s Word in our hearts – which is done through consistently spending time learning it and allowing the Holy Spirit to help us understand it – will lead to us living more and more from the truth and hope of God’s Word and less from the things and beliefs of the world.
Spend the next week hiding Proverbs 4:23 in your heart. Think about it, memorize it, meditate on it. Read the verse in a few different Bible translations. Read some commentaries on the verse.
At the end of the week journal what this verse means to you.
Week 2 – The Word
Week 2 – Replace Lies with Truth
In Ephesians 6, the apostle Paul describes what is commonly known as the Armor of God. These are the elements God provides for use in spiritual warfare against our enemy, the devil. While the full Armor of God consists of six specific pieces, the Word of God – referred to by Paul as the “Sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17) – is the only offensive weapon mentioned. The book of Hebrews further refers to the Word of God as “living and active”, and “sharper than any double-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). The Word of God is clear about itself in this regard – the Scriptures are to be used offensively and in response to any spiritual attack.
Jesus Christ, as He does so many times in the Bible, provides the perfect example of how to wield the Sword of the Spirit. At the outset of His ministry Jesus is led into the wilderness where He experiences repeated tests and temptations from Satan.
After a forty day fast:
Satan: “If you are in the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus: “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
From the highest point of the temple in Jerusalem:
Satan: “If you are on the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus: “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
At the top of a very high mountain:
Satan: “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus: “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
In response to every temptation, lie, or promise from the enemy, Jesus responds with “It is written.” God desires the same for us; that every time the enemy whispers lies to us about who we are, what we’ve done, and what our future will be that we would call upon the Word of God to replace those lies with truth.
For it is written that we are “Sons of God” (Romans 8:14). It is written that “The Lord redeems the life of His servants; none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.” (Psalm 34:21-22). And it is written that God “knows the plans He has for you; plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
A dedication to studying the Word of God will allow us to use it as a major weapon against the lies of the enemy.
Think of your most common worry. What makes you anxious or fearful?
It is very likely that this constant worry is built on a lie from the enemy. Determine what the lie may be, then ask a man you trust to help guide you to a scripture verse that replaces that lie with truth.
Go to your journal and write the lie followed by the verse that replaces it with truth. Every time you feel this lie coming back into your thoughts, replace it with your verse of truth.