Day 178

“I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.”  Psalms 119:102

As I read and studied today’s verse, I couldn’t help but think of the New Testament Christians spoken about in the book of Acts.

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”  Acts 17:11

We won’t depart from what He has taught if we are seeking to learn from Him at all times. Like these early Christians who wanted to be certain of what God wanted from them.

Reading God’s Word and studying God’s Word are two very different things.  Anyone can read the Bible, even the unsaved.

In Brazil we have held a Bible study with an elderly man and his family for almost a year.  He has read the Bible through many, many times.  He can quote areas of the Scriptures as well as teachings of spiritism and Catholicism.  He has read God’s Word, but because he is unsaved, he has read without understanding.  Therefore when we came to salvation by grace through faith and NOT by works, we were expelled from his home forthwith.

Reading the Bible as any other book is not ideal.

Reading AND studying as a Christian gives you the opportunity to listen and be led by the Holy Spirit as you search through the riches of the Scripture.

My mama tells a great story about the fig tree in her backyard.  She and daddy planted it, but it never did grow very much.  Dad finally moved it, but it still remained dormant and would not grow or produce any fruit.  One day mama had the idea to go out and hoe around it, breaking up the soil. Dad jumped up and hollered at her to quit for fear it would kill it, but mama figured there was nothing to lose. It wasn’t long before that fig tree began to really strengthen and grow.  It has produced tons of figs ever since mama got out there and spent some time with it and broke up that hard ground around its roots.

You and I can easily grow hard in this life.  Oh, we are saved and will shout hallelujah when someone mentions that we are blood bought born again believers, but inside we are hard.

When we take time in Bible study and prayer and start “hoeing” around the roots of all that hard ground, we will find the Truths begin to seep down and change some thinking in our lives.  We find we like that rich soil and we begin to bear fruit because we yield to the Holy Spirit and His fruit makes us love our neighbors more and we bear more fruit by reaching them for God through the Gospel.  We find His fruit makes us more patient with the problems we face.  We find His fruit makes us kinder towards those who are unkind. On and on I could go, but you get the picture.  We grow because we took time to do more than hold our Bible in our laps.

Study God’s Word and dwell in It.  You won’t depart from It if you are studying It.

Break up that hard ground and bear some fruit!

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

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