Resolved: Exposure to Scripture
“Sanctify them through the truth, Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17)
Success rarely sneaks up behind you and kicks you in the seat! Normally, a successful endeavor is one that results from deliberate effort and disciplined planning. Spiritually, success is seen as conformity to Jesus Christ. This is the ultimate end of everything God has purposed for us. Scripturally we are told that “… those whom He foreknew, [God] also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son …” (Romans 8:29). This conformity is the work of God in us to set us apart and transform us into the likeness of Christ Jesus. This is something that brings Christ Jesus great glory - to be the “firstborn among many brethren” and the goal of our very lives. Jesus Himself prayed that this process would be performed by the Father through the means of grace intended to transform us - the Word of God. He prayed: “Sanctify them through the truth, Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17). Hence, the way that we will be most powerfully transformed into conformity with the Son of God is through the sanctifying power of the Word of God in the hands of the Spirit of God.
How many of us assert that we desire to change to become more like Christ but then fail to avail ourselves to the very means of grace for that to occur? How many of us view the efforts to be successful spiritually as taking too much effort or consuming too much time?
I would propose that we resolve to be more disciplined in 2017 than ever in two pursuits that will help to insure progress in seeing God do the work of transforming us into conformity to Christ Jesus, His beloved Son:
- Personally Read: The Word of God is a treasure that is written for our admonition and benefit. John declares that “… I am writing to you so that you may not sin …” (1 John 2:1a). The Word of God is the source of wisdom, guidance, instruction, example, motivation, transformation, and sanctification. Whenever a person is insecure in their faith, struggling with dominant sin, undisciplined in prayer, irregular in assembly with the church, and generally pessimistic as to the future, it is undoubtably resultant from the neglect of God’s Word. Regularly reading God’s Word results in: 1) Daily Guidance [Psalm 119:105]; 2) Cumulative Wisdom [Psalm 119:130]; 3) Strength in Trials [Psalm 119:28]; 4) Increased Joy [Psalm 119:111]; and, 5) Prevailing Peace [Psalm 119:165]. Neglecting God’s Word, even for a day, deflates these provisions and impedes the spiritual momentum God desires to establish in transforming us. Here at GBC, we are providing a daily Bible reading plan both on our Grace Fair Oaks App (Bible > Reading Plan) and on our Website, to facilitate the discipline of Bible reading so that you might grow in grace.
- Corporate Audience to Preaching: The Word of God is proclaimed here at GBC regularly at BOTH the 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. hours. Sitting under the preaching of God’s Word is yet another means of grace by which we grow in being transformed into conformity with Christ. Some foolishly believe that they are able to be “overexposed” to the preaching of God’s Word - as if they “have enough.” Yet, we understand that the preaching of the Word of God is intended to be a process of building blocks of spiritual depth. We do not expect a person to fully digest everything that they receive in a message - but rather, to constantly allow their spirit to be exposed to as much truth as possible for the process of transformation to occur through an accumulation of resource. When we are told to “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you” (Colossians 3:16) - it refers to quantity of Scriptural input, not quality. The word “richly” conveys the notion of abundance or “plentifully supplied.” I contend with those who say that they are exposed to too much preaching. Comparatively, it is like a child who says that they’ve had too much broccoli when they’ve had half a helping! If you desire to become ever more conformed to Christ, place yourself in regular attendance to the preaching of God’s Word as you assemble with other believers.
May 2017 be a year of unprecedented progress in your movement toward Christlikeness as God’s Word does what God intends to do with it in your life. Absent yourself not from it!