I am ending my three-week series on a deeper relationship with Jesus that, to me, provides some answers to questions left from the past two weeks. All of the information that you read the past two weeks came straight from the Bible and my own personal experiences. I wanted to emphasize this week the importance of Scripture and how it is impossible to have a strong relationship with God without the assistance of the Word. If you have ever hungered for a response, God’s words are waiting for you in the Bible. Look no further, dig no deeper, Jesus is calling to you from the pages of a book written thousands of years ago, just for you.
If you don’t understand the concept of hearing God’s voice during prayer or worship, or you just honestly feel like you can’t, Scripture provides a clear answer to every problem you are facing (yes, an old book is still solving modern problems). Zechariah 10:6 says, “For I am their God and I will answer them.” There have been so many situations in my life where I grew angry I was not hearing a response from God and I forgot to look in the one place where He left all of his answers. Each and every time I open the Bible, I find stories, scriptures, and letters that not only inspire me but often show parallels to my life now.
Proverbs 22:17-19 says,
“Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you.”
When I’m having a hard time reading the Bible due to my own laziness or “exhaustion,” I often have to pray this Scripture before I dig into the Word. I spin this verse around to preach to myself and to fully understand what God wanted with this book. He wants to each us, even today. He wants us to have a deeper understanding of His heart and the love He wants to share with the world. He wants to provide comfort for the mourning, the hurt, the weak. He wants to inspire our creativity and bring new life to every situation we face.
Matthew 12:35 says, “a good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.” When I read this verse, I often think about cursing. Weird. I know. How many times have you stubbed your toe or dropped something and yelled out something you wouldn’t want your momma to hear? I am not saying cursing is evil but is definitely not the most beautiful words of the English language, that’s for sure. Like cursing when we are injured our trip up, we often spit out hurtful words and go back to ugly habits when we are not filling ourselves with the good in the Bible.
Jesus said these very words in Matthew 12 after realizing the thoughts of some religious leaders near Him. Jesus had just healed a man possessed by demons who was not only blind but also mute. All the people watching this miracle were astonished but a group of men stood in the corner and whispered, “It is only by the prince of demons that this fellow drives out demons.” These religious leaders let their dry relationship with God dictate the malice that erupted from their hearts. Instead of removing jealousy and pride, they could have looked at the prophecies in the Old Testament they had studied so well and understood they had just witnessed the Prince of Peace change a man’s life.
Let’s not become like the Pharisees. Let us always turn to Scripture and the understanding of God’s heart. There is love and peace inscribed on every page. God gave us the greatest gifts by giving His son to us and writing down the exact words to encourage us and teach us for all time. How could one book make it from the rise and fall of the Romans, through the Black Plague, the Great Depression, and more and not be packed full of power? This is not just a tool but a way to intimately grow your relationship with Jesus.
I hope you have been able to take the last three weeks to really dig into worship, prayer, and now, the Word. I want your relationship with God to not just bloom but flourish this year. If you have any questions or need any tips, my “door” is always open. Please feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You all are my #1 concern and I am constantly praying for each and every one of you. Don’t forget that God is just waiting for you to run to Him, we just have to take the first step.