Monday, September 14, 2009

I Am Loving this Book!!

I wrote awhile back about attending the GEMS conference and that I was reading the book Listening for God by Marilyn Hontz.

This book is one of the few books I own that will go on the has-to-be-read-annually shelf. It is that good. There is so much to learn just from reading the book that it has to be read more than once!

Marilyn really drives home the truth that there is power in the most important book, the Bible:

The power of God's Word really shouldn't surprise us when we consider all that it does.
It is the Book that gives purpose and meaning to this life.
It is the Book that shows us how we can have our sins forgiven.
It is the Book that tells us how to get to heaven.
It is the Book that tells us how much God loves us.
It is the Book that talks about our relationship with God and how the two
of us can get together!
It is the Book that can bring hope to any situation.

This book unlike any other, is always on the best-seller list. What sets this book apart from every other book is that it is living! No wonder God can and does speak through His Word -- it is God-breathed!

In my early years of getting into the Word, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 had a profound impact on me: "All scripture [and not just my favorite parts!] is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (emphasis Marilyn's).

If I wanted to know what the Lord desired to say to me and be prepared for him to work through me, I realized that I needed to allow his Word to do four things in my life: (1) teach, (2) rebuke, (3) correct, and (4) train in righteousness.

As I looked at those four words, the Lord spoke to my heart with these impressions:

We need the Bible to teach us so that we can know what is right.
We need the Bible to rebuke us so that we can know what is wrong.
We need the Bible to correct us so that we can know how to get right.
We need the Bible to train us in righteousness so that we can know how to stay right.

That verse has absolutely changed my life! I now read the Word asking God to work on me in those four areas. Some days I need correcting or rebuking. Other times I need teaching and training in righteousness. No matter what I need, God's Word seems to zero in on the area that needs work or encouragement.
"The Word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are" (Hebrew 4:12, NLT, emphasis Marilyn's). I found that as I read this living Word, it was actually reading my attitudes.

Of course, some people say they don't like to read the Bible because it is just a list of dos and don'ts. The more I read, however, the more I realized that the Bible is not a rule book but a record of how God reached out to people all through history.

Chuck Smith, founder of Calvary Chapel, uses the book of Ephesians to explain this idea. He notes that the first three chapters tell the church about the many spiritual blessings God has given them. Only in chapter 4 does Paul begin to discuss how the Christian should live in light of all that God has done for them. "I found that when the people began to discover who God is and all that God has done, they were eager to respond to God and did not have to be pushed or exhorted to pray or serve...They could not do enough for the Lord as they came to the recognition of what He has done for them.'

Marilyn's book has me excited about God's Word again!. I have not been able to put into practice every aspect of what she writes yet, but I am working on it! It's an exciting journey! I can't wait to see how God will work in and through me in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. I will be reading Listening for God often though, so I can be enriched and inspired to seek God anew.

If you would like to read Marilyn Hontz's book too, you can find it here at Christian Book Distributors (US) or at Books for Christ (Cdn) or check your local Christian bookstore. If you want to be inspired to listen for God, it is well worth the read!!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing you walk and about the Gem conference and the new book you are reading. Sounds wonderful and exciting and I will have to check it out. I really like the 4 points you made, so true! I am going to write those down and tuck them into my bible. Blessings Heather ;D


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