I love to read. I wish I read more. However, I find that I don't make enough time for it.
There have been a handful of books that have made a significant impact on my life. Since I love seeing what books impact other people I am going to share my list with you. Maybe you'll find something you want to read.
No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green - Melody Green
When People Are Big and God is Small - Edward T Welch
Let the Nations be Glad - John Piper
Death by Love - Mark Driscoll
Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will - Kevin DeYoung
Anything by Malcolm Gladwell
Even though these books have made an impact on my life there is only one book that has a transformational power that far exceeds any story or instruction.
It's The Bible.
Let me repeat that again no other book matches the transformational power of the Bible.
In our study of the life of Christ we have observed the foundational pieces of his life and found ways to emulate them. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) How Jesus handled The Word of God is no different. Jesus knew the Word, lived the Word, and spoke the Word. It saturated every part of his life.
Jesus modeled a Word-centered life in three ways:
1. Jesus studied the Word
Jesus held the Scriptures in very high esteem. We see this in the fact that he quoted from the Old Testament 80 times throughout the gospels!
Jesus, being fully man, did not have all biblical data downloaded to him at birth. Luke 2:40-52 speaks about how he grew in wisdom as a child. Young boys in the Jewish culture would study the Scriptures and the smarter ones would memorize the Torah by the age of twelve. That's 187 chapters! It kind of puts to shame the handful of verses I memorized in Awana. As a twelve year old boy he sat asking questions and listening to the answers of the men in the synagogue. He was a student of the Word.
For you and I to study the Word we must:
- Read it
- Memorize it
- Meditate on it
- Apply it
- When it comes to application ask yourself:
- Is there a sin I must avoid or confess?
- Is there a promise from God for me to claim?
- Is there an example for me to follow?
- Is there a command for me to obey?
- How does this increase my knowledge of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit?
2. Jesus submitted to the Word
Applying God's Word is the beginning of submission. As I mentioned earlier Jesus held Scripture in very high regard.
In Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus shares what his view on God's Word was “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you,until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished."
Everything that Jesus did lined up with Scriptures. Many times we hear him say I do nothing of my own accord, except what the Father tells me.
Jesus lived his life according to the Scriptures, submitting to them and fulfilling them.
3. Jesus spoke the Word
Lastly Jesus spoke the Word at all times. Here are a small handful of ways that he spoke the Word:
to correct heretical teaching - Matthew 22:29 But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.
to fight temptation - Matthew 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
to share hope to the world - Luke 4:17-21 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor....and he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
to teach others - Mark 1:21-22 And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.
I don't know about you but I am motivated to study, submit to, and speak God's Word,
What is keeping you from living a Word-centered life?