Good afternoon everyone! The 8th Edition of SHINE Magazine was released last night at a beautiful, powerful release party. Your's truly has a piece inside. The magazine is a publication of the women's ministry of Word of Life Christian Center. If you would like to get a copy of the magazine, you can find it at the SHINE Blog and click on the magazine.
Below is the piece as it appears in SHINE :) God Bless and enjoy.
Feasting On God's Word
The Word of God is a precious gift to believers. It is a love letter from the Father to His children; it is His story of redemption for a people enslaved to sin; it is our hope in dark times and our compass to keep us on His path.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 NASB).
Reading the Word is vital to thriving—it is our life line. Jesus relied on the Word of God in the desert when tempted and proves our ultimate pattern for living an overcoming life. When we hold the Word in our hands we hold a treasure. Eugene Peterson, the translator of The Message Bible,expresses the beauty that lays in the written Word of God:
“These scriptural words reveal the Word that created heaven and earth; they reveal the Word that became human flesh in Jesus for our salvation. God’s Word is written, handed down, and translated for us so that we can enter the plot. We hold these Bibles in our hands and read them so that we can listen and respond to these creating and saving words and get in, firsthand, on the creating and saving” (Eat This Book, p. 21).
I want to enter the plot; I want to respond to God’s Word and live the abundant life He came to give (see John 10). I love the New Living Translation rendering of Jesus’ promise in John 10:10, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
Psalm 119 is poetic praise of God and His Word. One need only to read through this psalm one time to feel the psalmist’s desire to know God and to know Him through His Word. He knew if he had God’s Word hidden in his heart, he would thrive; he would live. It did not matter what came his way, he would keep God’s Word with all his heart (see Psalms 119: 34).
We live in a time where many things are vying for our attention. The culture demands that each can do what is right in his/her own eyes, which is contrary to God’s Word. Thus, the Bible is viewed as intolerant and irrelevant, making it not easy to thrive in such a culture. But eating God’s Word—devouring it—makes it possible to bloom where you are. The Old Testament prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah, and John the Revelator also lived in trying times, pressured to live by a different standard than the Lord of Glory’s. All three were instructed to eat the scroll containing God’s Word.
“You who know, O Lord, Remember me, take notice of me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away; know that for Your sake I endure reproach. Your words were found and I ate them, and Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:15-16 NASB).
Jeremiah relied on God’s precious, Holy Writ to endure hard times and to thrive in the midst of tough situations and in an ungodly culture. Eating God’s Word brought him joy. He ate God’s Word and relayed it to the people so that they could thrive too, in the midst of Babylonian exile. If the people would heed God’s Word, He promised to prosper them.
John the Revelator ate the scroll of God’s Words too. The words tasted like honey in his mouth only his stomach grew bitter (see Revelation 10). When we have God’s Word in us it is not just for us. We need to encourage and exhort each other with God’s Word, so that others may live an abundant life as well.
The only way we are going to survive the hard times, the trials and pitfalls of life, is to eat God’s Word and have it inside of us. Jesus directed John to eat the book so that His Word would be heard, and give hearers vibrant, abundant life. Jesus desires for His Word to resound through the earth.
“I want those Words out there, creating sound waves, entering ears, entering lives. I want those words preached, sung, taught, prayed—lived…Eat this book: Get this book into your gut; get the words of this book moving through your blood-stream; chew on these words and swallow them so they can be turned into muscle and gristle and bone. And he did it; he ate the book” (Peterson, p. 38).
Do you want abundant life? Eat this book. Do you want joy and peace? Eat this book. Live, breath, eat, sleep, God’s Word. It is your oxygen. Eat this book and it will cause flesh to grow on your dry bones. You will bloom and thrive through any situation. You will be filled to overflowing. You will have life and have it more abundantly. Yes, eat this book!
In His Grace,
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Don't forget to check out my book, A Life That Sings: Finding Your Song In The Midst of Brokenness