Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Let the Word take root in Your Heart

In the Old Testament, the Lord instructed the Israelites to bind on themselves His word and surround themselves with His precepts.

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:

"And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

"And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

"And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

"And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

Solomon instructed the same (much good it did for him):

"My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

"Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

"Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart." (Proverbs 7: 1-3)

He had to instruct them to do this because they had hard hearts, hearts of stone bent on law-keeping and fending off the condemnation that comes from failing to keep the law of the Lord.

Jesus confronted the Pharisees with the same harsh reality:

"He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so." (Matthew 19:8)

Now, because we have received a new heart, a soft heart, built on the gospel, we have received His law, and through the Power of the Holy Spirit, we are led to live a life of obedience!

"Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." (2 Corinthians 3:3)

As long as we let the Word of God take root in our hearts, made soft through God's saving grace, then we can do all things!

" So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11)

Our hearts must be ready soil, tilled with the grace of God:

James speaks to this when preaching the twelve tribes of Israel:

"Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls." (James 1:21)

In this verse, "engrafted" means "implanted", like a seed.

Let us connect this powerful truth with the Parable of the sower, through which, Jesus declared, all the other Parables are made manifest:

"The sower soweth the word.

"And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

"And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

"And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.

"And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

"And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred." (Mark 4: 14-20)

When we appreciate the fullness of what Jesus has taught his disciples (that includes you and me!), we see that indeed, God's word literally bears fruit in our lives to the degree that we allow our hearts to be soften with the gospel of grace, which in turn allows the Word to penetrate deep within us, and bear fruit:

Fruit is what we are all about!

"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me." (John 15:4)

We can be certain that as we abide in Him, we do not strive to bear this fruit, but this work is done in and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

"Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)

Let the Word of God take root in your heart, and watch what Jesus does, behold what the Spirit of God bears in your life!

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