- Where do you look for power and strength?
- How deeply do you immerse yourself in God’s Word each day?
- Do you truly believe that spending quality time in God’s Word is what will make you strong, happy, and loving?
The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed you.
John 15:3 TPT
…just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
Ephesians 5:25-26 NASB
 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.
The teachings of the LORD are perfect; they give new strength. The rules of the LORD can be trusted; they make plain people wise.  The orders of the LORD are right; they make people happy. The commands of the LORD are pure; they light up the way.  By them your servant is warned. Keeping them brings great reward.
Psalm 19:7-8,11 NCV
From these Scriptures, we learn some important truths about God’s Word:
- The Word cleanses our hearts
- The Word gives us new strength
- The Word can be trusted
- The Word makes us wise
- The Word makes us happy
- The Word lights up the way
- The Word warns us
- The Word of God brings great reward
A good barometer of how connected you are to God’s Word is how much you are experiencing all these things. If you really spend time reading the Bible and listening to what it says, you should experience new strength, wisdom, happiness, and everything else listed above.
Do you allow the Word to penetrate your heart? If you don’t read the Bible or if you are overtaken by fear and emotion so much that the Word can’t penetrate your heart, you will feel exhausted and lack power.
God’s Word cleanses our hearts from pride
People cannot see their own mistakes. Forgive me for my secret sins.
Psalm 19:12-14 NCV
 Keep me from the sins of pride; don’t let them rule me. Then I can be pure and innocent of the greatest of sins.  I hope my words and thoughts please you. LORD, you are my Rock, the one who saves me.
A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression. One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
Proverbs 29:22-23 ESV
- We need God’s Word to see the truth and cleanse our hearts from pride.
- Reading the Bible gives us humility and helps us to tell ourselves the truth about what’s really in our hearts. If you are not deeply in the Word, you will be blinded to what’s really in your heart.
- Anger can cause lots of sin. Are you humble about how much anger is in your heart and the sins it causes you to turn to?
- Pride can make us depressed and feel “low.”
God’s Word prunes our heart so we can be fruitful
“I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father.  He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches and pruning every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest.
John 15:1-14 TPT
- The Word prunes our hearts. If we don’t allow the Bible to prune our hearts, we can’t be fruitful.
- How easily do you let God prune your heart?
- If you don’t let God teach and train you, it will be hard to teach someone else to let the Bible correct them.
- God can lift and prop us up – you don’t have to prop yourself up!
God’s Word nourishes our hearts with God’s love
“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me.
‘You must continually let my love nourish your hearts. If you
keep my commands, you will live in my love, just as I have
kept my Father’s commands for I continually live nourished and empowered by his love.
- The Word of God nourishes our hearts with God’s love.
- Is your heart and faith nourished or malnourished spiritually?
- We will keep God’s commands because we are continually connected to God’s love.
- Reading the Bible every day allows God’s love to continually nourish our hearts.
- Q: What does it mean to keep God’s commands? To hold to them or abide?
God’s Word teaches us to love
“So this is my command: Love each other deeply, as much as I have loved you.  For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all.
And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends.  “You show that you are my intimate friends when you obey all that I command you.
- The Word teaches us how to love.
- Obeying God’s Word is how we have an intimate, real relationship with him.
The Word of God saves souls
The hard pathway represents the hard hearts of men who hear the word of God but the slanderer quickly snatches away what was sown in their hearts to keep them from believing and experiencing salvation.
Luke 8:12-15 TPT
- One of the most important reasons we need to work at having a soft heart is that Satan can snatch the word easily from a hard heart. This will keep us from believing and experiencing salvation.
The seed falling on the gravel represents those who initially respond to the word with joy, but soon afterward, when a season of harassment of the enemy and difficulty come to them, they wither and fall away, for they have no root in the truth and their faith is temporary.
Luke 8:13 TPT
- If we are superficial in our walk with God, difficulty can knock us out because we have no roots to hold us in. Our faith withers away.
The seed that falls into the weeds represents the hearts of those who hear the word of God but their growth is quickly ‘choked off’ by their own anxious cares, the riches of this world, and the fleeting pleasures of this life. This is why they never become mature and fruitful.
Luke 8:14 TPT
- If we allow weeds to choke our faith we won’t mature or be fruitful.
- Q: What weeds do you have that are choking your faith? Anxious cares, materialistic worries, seeking pleasures rather than God?
The seed that fell into good, fertile soil represents those lovers of truth who hear it deep within their hearts. They respond by clinging to the word, keeping it dear as they endure all things in faith. This is the seed that will one day bear much fruit in their lives.”
Luke 8:15 TPT
- A good heart loves the truth, and hears the Word of God deep in their heart.
- A good heart responds by clinging to the Word of God and holding it dear as they endure all things. This allows them to bear much fruit in their lives.
Questions for reflection
- Q: Do I love God’s Word?
- Q: Do I allow God’s Word to cleanse my heart every day and show me the truth?
- Q: Do I love my spouse and my children?
- Q: Do I love reading my Bible daily?
- Q: Does the Word of God give me strength, wisdom, and happiness?
- Q: Do I find new strength from reading the Bible?
- Q: Do I allow God’s Word to cleanse or prune my heart from pride?
- Q: Is God’s Word teaching me how to love?