Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 17 September 19:
Hebrews 4:12, 13 – “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
God’s word exposes your heart and shows you if your attitudes and thoughts please God. How has God’s Word penetrated your heart lately? Has the Holy Spirit used certain passages in the Scriptures to strike at your conscience? Has the Counselor revealed a place where your life is not in conformity to Christ? Are you struggling with gossip, hatred, anger, bitterness, greed, pride, jealousy, fear, ingratitude, etc? Regardless of how well you hide your sin from public view, the Holy Spirit will convict you through God’s Word.
One response to the discomfort of conviction is to avoid reading the Bible; perhaps this is one reason why so many find it so hard to “find time” for Bible reading. Better to be continually washed by the Word (Eph 5:26).
Others will approach the Scriptures superficially, avoiding too much painful introspection. Perhaps for them the Bible becomes “Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there (Isa 28:10)” as described in our readings this morning. However, the Holy Spirit looks beyond outward actions to address the motives of your heart.
Far better to approach your daily Scripture readings with the prayer of the psalmist: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23, 24).” Do not quench the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19). “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden you heart (Hebrews 3:7).” Be transformed “by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).” Read; respond, and walk in the Light (1 John 1:7). Let’s continue to encourage each other along the way.
From Henry T. Blackaby — Does God’s word ever cause you discomfort? When you read the Bible does what you read make you uneasy? Do you find when you listen to sermons, that the Scripture seems aimed directly at you? You are experiencing the reality that the word of God is alive and can read your thoughts and judge your intentions. When God’s word speaks to you it is always for a purpose. God knows your heart and knows what you need to do to bring your life into conformity to Christ. If you have a problem with sinful talk, the word that comes to you will address the tongue. If you are struggling to forgive, God’s word will confront you with His standard for forgiveness. If pride has a stronghold in your life, God’s word will speak to you about humility. Whatever sin needs addressing, you will find you are confronted by God’s word on the matter…. Regularly allow the word of God to wash over you and find any sin or impurity (Eph. 5:26). Always make the connection between your life and what God is saying to you through His word. Make a habit of taking every word from God seriously, knowing that it is able to judge your heart and mind.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 17 September 19: Do not quench or grieve the Spirit. Respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and grow in conformity to the character of Christ.