Word – The Primary Means of Growth
With the young adult class at Holly Hill, I am exploring means of experiencing the victory that Christ promised to all believers. I will be encouraging them to journal this exploration according to six general headings of growth. The most vital, the most foundational, is Word.
Psalm 1 says:
Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
“God remains with the Bible always. It is God’s book. No one owns it but God himself. It is the loving heart of God made visible and plain. And receiving this message of exquisite love is the great privilege of all who long for life with God. Reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating upon Scripture has always been the foundation of the Christian disciplines. All of the disciplines are built upon Scripture. Our practice of the spiritual disciplines is kept on course by our immersion in Scripture. And so it is, we come to see, that this reading, studying, memorizing, and meditating is totally in the service of ‘the life which is life indeed’ (1 Tim 6:19; also Jn 10:10). We long with all our heart to know for ourselves this with-God kind of lofe that Jesus brings in all its fullness.
“And the Bible has been given to help us. God has so superintended the writing of Scripture that it serves as the most reliable guide for our spiritual formation. But God uses human action in its presentation to the world, just as it is authored by humans. Thus we must consider how we ourselves can come to the Bible and also how we can present it to all peoples in a way that inducts them into the eternal kind of life.
“We begin by finding experientially, day by day, how to let Jesus Christ live in every dimension of our being. In Christian community, we can open our lives to God’s life by gathering regularly in little groups of two or more to encourage one another to discover the footprints of God in our daily existence and to venture out with God into areas where we have previously walked alone or not at all.
“But the aim is the re-formation of the inner self–of the spiritual core, the place of thought and feeling, of will and character. The psalmist cries, ‘You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart… Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me’ (Psalm 51).” – from Living the Mission
As we venture out with Christ and with our Christian community, let the words of Psalm 51 be a song for our souls… let our hearts sing to our Maker of our need for renewal and transformation… and let that song echo through our doings, showing the people around us a glimpse of how God’s will is done, “on earth as in heaven.”
in HIS love,
The lyrics to the song are:
Create In Me a Clean Heart – Terry Talbot © Birdwing/Cherry Lane Music
Create in me a clean heart oh God
Let me be like you in all my ways
Give me your strength, teach me your song
Shelter me in the shadow of your wings
For we are your righteousness
If we die to ourselves and live through your death
Then we shall be born again to be blessed in your love!
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
“The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Exodus 15:2
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13