How do we make sure that the Word of God abides in us? II

Grace and peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ! I thank God for you and believe that this day will bring you many blessings as you meditate on the word that God is sending your way today. Yesterday we established that in order for the Word of God to richly dwell and abide in us we must: hear, read, study memorise the word and we must meditate upon it. All these things help to engraft the Word of God in our hearts and cause the word to abide there. When I hear the preaching of God’s Word, God speaks to me through someone else. When I read the Word, God speaks to me directly. There are things He wants to speak to me personally, without mediators. God wants me to fellowship with Him so that He can teach me. When you hear the word through the other preaching of people, you can hear things that you do not fully understand or you might even say you do not agree with some things. However, when you fellowship with God through the reading of His Word and God reveals some things to you, you cannot say it is someone else’s opinion. When we listen to sermons many of us receive only parts of them, and it is quite normal as long as we do not put the parts we do not receive away because of personal opinions or strongholds in our life. God gives us His Word for us to search it on our own. I f we are willing to do the word of God we will know whether what we are hearing is the will of god or not. So we are to search the scriptures: 
«These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so» (Acts, 17:11).
 The people in this passage listened to sermons, then went home and searched the Scriptures for themselves to check what they had heard. Thus they received personal revelations that were confirmed by God through the Holy Spirit. When we read the Word, we listen to Jesus. When we listen to Jesus, we receive the revelations we wouldn’t be able to receive through other people. One day two of Jesus’ disciples were walking and discussing the Word, but did not understand any of it. Jesus approached them and started fellowshipping with them. Afterwards the disciples received the understanding of the Word and their hearts were filled with joy and fire. There is fire that comes from fellowshipping with Jesus through His Word. So, I hear the Word in order to grow in my faith; I read the Word to fellowship with Jesus. I talk to God in prayer and He talks back to me through His Word. Next, I study the Word in order to gain knowledge. Every one of us needs knowledge. I need to know how to raise my children, how to be a good husband or wife, how to succeed in life etc. I need a lot of information from God’s standpoint. For this reason I study my Bible, I delve into the Word so that I could obtain knowledge for different areas of my life. If I do not understand something written in the Bible, I take the Concordance and study the particular use of different words. For example, there was a time when I did not understand the meaning of ‘covenant’. I heard many sermons about it, but I hadn’t grasped the full meaning of the concept. Then I started to study all the Bible passages that contained the word ‘covenant’ and soon enough I began to see the fullness of it. Different sermons often serve as ‘road signs’ that show what the topic of my studies should be. Personal studies of a particular Bible topic or concept brings not only knowledge, but also gratification. Besides the hearing and reading of the Word, I also must learn the Scripture verses by heart in order to become effective in prayer and ministry. We do not always carry our Bibles with us. But what we know by heart is always with us. I remember one day I was scheduled to preach in a Bible school. I prepared and prayed to be filled with the Holy Spirit; I took my Bible and my outline and headed for the bible school location. When I arrived and the time came for me to preach I discovered that I had lost my outline on the way. The students were there waiting for me to teach. They had come to listen to particular topic and I couldn’t change it. I said: «Let’s pray!» While we were praying, I was thinking what I should do. Praise God, I knew many verses by heart because I had learned them. I could minister without my notes. The verses we know by heart make us more effective. That time I preached for 2 hours and did not divert from the topic. It was an amazing service! What helped me was that the Word that was abiding in me. If we try to memorize at least one verse a day, it makes our lives a lot more effective and it will help us in our witness to unbelievers. If we want to see radical positive changes in our lives, we really have to look at how we treat God’s Word: 
«All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness» (2 Timothy, 3:16).
 Till tomorrow!God bless you!Pastor Rufus Ajiboye

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