Do we recognize how blessed we are to be Christians in this age? We have the privilege of constant access to the word of God! Even more, for many in the Western world, we can hear, read, and study His word any time we choose. That is a treasure to cherish!
Back in the Day
In Jesus’ day, people only had a few opportunities to hear the good news. If they were blessed enough to hear Jesus or one of the disciples teach, they had to hold onto the word of God like the treasure it was.
Luke 8:1 says that Jesus went from town to town proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God.
If the people didn’t hear the word, take care to apply it, and steward it well, then His word would be lost to them. Unlike modern believers, they couldn’t go back and consult their Bibles, listen to a podcast or sermon, or Google a snippet of a verse to see where it came from.
Parable of the Sower
Jesus explained in the parable of the sower in Luke 8:4-16 that there were four types of reactions to hearing the word of God.
If the word of God is a seed, then the seed can fall on the path and be trampled by the enemy, it can wither away from shallow roots in rocky soil, it can sprout but then be choked out by weeds and thorns, or it can fall on good soil where the roots go deep and it produces fruit.
We all want to have the good soil, right?
Recently, I think I’ve had the weedy soil. The kind that is filled with distractions, worries, and fears. I don’t want it to be that way, but it’s the truth. I’ve found in recent months that I can barely concentrate due to the constant barrage of enemy chatter being whispered in my ear.
It’s my fault that I listened and got distracted from the truth.
Hearing the Word of God
Jesus has given us strict instructions to be careful to nurture the word of God in our lives.
In Luke 8:18, Jesus says, “Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.”
Goodness. I want to be one who hears well, and then applies the word to my life daily. But I think I’ve been the other one. I stopped using the truth I already had in my heart and by giving the enemy a foothold, I lost some of the ground I had won previously.
I started questioning God’s goodness, His character, His faithfulness. Though I knew the truth, I couldn’t feel it. But feeling the truth isn’t a requirement. Knowing and trusting in the truth, by faith, is definitely a requirement.
Knowing the Truth
In Luke 8:18, Jesus says to “take care.” I was curious about the importance of the words in this instruction. In the original Greek, the word is blepete. To see. The word blepete is also translated in other verses in scripture as: beware, be careful, take heed, and see to it.
If we aren’t careful to steward God’s word, to hear it, and then apply it in our lives, our carelessness in cherishing the word can cause us to lose sight of the truth.
Knowing this, a friend recently encouraged me to study Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians. Last week, I had the opportunity to spend time at the beach with my mom, which was such a timely, much-needed refreshment. There on the beach, I read the truth in those books. Then I wrote down the truth, studied it, and prayed it.
I don’t want to deceive myself, but I want to be a hearer of the word and a doer of the word. (James 1:22) That means I’m taking it back to basics, starting with these verses…
Back to Basics
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.Galatians 2:20
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,Ephesians 2:4-6
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:13-14
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.Romans 8:1-2
I’m going to “take care” to listen well and apply the truth in my life. One way I’m doing that is by telling some friends who I know will help keep me on track.
The other way I’m applying the truth is by focusing on memorizing specific scriptures that I can use when the enemy comes to lie and steal the truth.
Check out the poster I just made this week. It’s now hanging on my bedroom wall, which I plan to fill up with many more scripture posters. Now it will be the first thing I’ll read when I go to bed and get up in the morning.
What About You?
Today, what can you do to make sure you are stewarding God’s word in your life? Has something worked well for you in the past? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.