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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Don't Just Read But Receive God's Word

In summary of James 1:21 it says, “So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you.”

Bottom line:
Get rid of the things that hold you back (filthy habits, wicked conduct.)  Then submit to God and in humility accept what he plants in you.  He has to power to save you.

What this means to me:
I am to remove from my life any remaining filthy habits, evil things or wrongdoing that makes me unclean.  Instead humble myself and open up/accept the Word/Teaching he can implant into my heart.  What he provides has the power to change my life for the good.  I can really receive God’s Word when I listen with an open and receptive attitude (ask myself what can I learn, or what promise can I claim.)  As Jesus had pointed out in the parable of the sower, my receptiveness determines whether or not God’s Word will take root in my lives and allow me to bear fruit. Jesus identified three unreceptive attitudes — a closed mind (hard soil), a superficial mind (shallow soil), and a distracted mind (soil with weeds) — and then he said, “Consider carefully how you listen” (Luke 8:18a NIV).   Anytime I feel I’m not learning from a message or a study, I need to check my attitude (especially for the presence of pride.)  As we have been talking about in my small group (based on our weekly message series), pride can block the ability to hear (it shuts down my sensors.)  I also need to be aware of common distractions that often block my focus (ie.. getting up late and running behind, having too much on my mind and not slowing down to spend quality time with him.)  I ask you God to help me be more humble in general, especially when it comes to those who are teaching me and in my interactions with others (I need to stop and really listen to what they are telling me.)  I need to go into study time with an open and receptive heart.