Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Welcoming God's Word

My Bible time this morning was in Acts 2. 

I'm preparing a message based on verse 41. Here we read that some who listened to Peter's evangelistic message "received his word." Perhaps the better rendering is "welcomed" or even "eagerly welcomed" (the Greek word is a compound verb). Isn't that a beautiful picture? I can vividly recall the exact day I eagerly welcomed God's word into my heart for the first time. It was a Sunday evening service at First Baptist Church Windward in Kailua, Hawaii. When the altar call was given, this 8 year old boy stepped into the aisle and went forward with tears of inexpressible joy streaming down his cheeks. That day the Lord was adding me to his church, and I've never forgotten the wonder of it.

Interestingly, this welcoming of God's word into our hearts isn't something we do only once. James 1:21 tells us we are to "humbly accept the word God has implanted within us, for it has the power to save our souls." Again, that word "accept" could also be translated "welcome." Think of it this way. Every time you open God's word, you are laying a big welcome mat before your heart. 

You are coming to God's word with nothing to defend, nothing to prove, nothing to impress God with. You are simply saying to him, "Lord, I welcome you into any area of my life you want to deal with. I want you to do so."

I suppose that one of the greatest dangers those of us who teach the Bible professionally face is to make God's word just another analyzable datum of investigation. However, the ultimate test is not knowledge but obedience. To fail to pass this test is to stand self-exposed. We may still claim to know God and to be a Christian, but Jesus insists that our verbal profession is negated by the facts. We cannot claim to live in him unless we are behaving like him (1 John 2:6).

Anyway, just some miscellaneous thoughts from my time in God's word this morning. I hope you have a wonderful day!