This year we began our year with reading of 1 Timothy, the Gospel of Luke and Acts. Then we plunged ourselves into the Wisdom and Lyrical books of the Old Testament (Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs). And we have wrapped up our year with 1 & 2 Thessalonians and James. For those of you who have been following through our Bible Reading Plan, I hope and pray that you grew in your knowledge and love of God. I hope and pray that you have cultivated the habit of abiding in God’s word daily, for “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Deut 8:3; Matt 4:4).
We read and meditate the Bible, not to earn salvation or God’s favor, but because we have been already saved by God’s grace in Jesus Christ and we want to follow Christ intimately. We read and meditate the Bible, because we want to stay close to God, obey God, and please God. The word of God revives the soul, makes wise the simple, rejoices the heart, enlightens the eyes; it is sweeter than honey and it is a lamp on to our feet (Psalm 19:7-11). We delight in the word of God, because we delight in Jesus who is the very Word of God who became flesh. We abide in the word of Christ, because that’s how we abide in Jesus and live a life in its fullness. As Jesus promises, if we abide in His Word, we are truly his disciples, and we will know the truth and the truth will set us free (John 8:31-32). Do you want to live a life in its fullness and in freedom—a life that glorifies God and blesses others? Then there is no other way than to abide in Jesus and His word.
In John 15:7 Jesus promises, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” What a promise we have in this verse! As we abide in Jesus by abiding in his word, we can ask whatever we desire, for our desire is in line with God’s desire who delights to fulfill his perfect desire both for his glory and for our good. Spurgeon writes, “the best praying man is the man who is most believingly familiar with the promises of God. After all, prayer is nothing but taking God’s promises to Him and saying, ‘Do as You have said.’ You put your finger down upon the very lines of the Bible and say, ‘Do as you have said.’ This is the best praying in all the Word of God. So be filled with God’s Word, and you will be a master in the art of prayer.” One of the best way to put our finger in the Word of God in our prayer is to praying with the prayers recorded in the Bible.
Spurgeon also notes the following about abiding and praying: “Prayer comes spontaneously from those who abide in Jesus. Prayer is the natural outgushing of a soul in communion with Jesus. As the leaf and fruit come out of the vine branch without any conscious effort and simply because of its living union with the stem, so pray buds and blossoms and fruits out of souls abiding in Jesus. As stars shine, so do abiders pray. They do not say to themselves, ‘It is time for us to get to our task and pray.’ No, they have a glad errand at the mercy seat and rejoice to go there. Hearts abiding in Christ send forth supplications as fires send out flames and sparks. Souls abiding in Jesus open the day with prayer; prayer surrounds them as an atmosphere all day long; at night they fall asleep praying.”
In the new year we continue with our Bible Reading Plan with the prophetic books. May we continue to be people who abide in and pray with God’s word, so that we grow in our knowledge and love of God, and live a life that glorifies, and blesses others.
*Written by Pastor Changsoo Charles Lee
This Week’s Bible Reading Schedule:
|Monday: John 15||☐||Thursday: Hosea 2||☐|
|Tuesday: Numbers 6:22-27||☐||Friday: Hosea 3||☐|
|Wednesday: Hosea 1||☐||Saturday: Hosea 4||☐|