Exodus 12-13 / Matthew 16
“As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth…” Isaiah 55:10-11
After one of Billy Graham’s crusades years ago, the organizers followed up with a random selection of new converts, asking them about how they had experienced God’s working since their conversion, and whether or not they had connected with a church. There was one question that affirmed the power and authority of God’s Word. When asked what Billy Graham had said that really grabbed them, most people replied with quotes from Scripture. Billy Graham is famous for his recurring phrase, “The Bible says…”, and the survey confirmed that it was the authority behind Billy Graham’s biblical quotes, not his paraphrases or elaborations, that truly convinced people of their need for Christ.
This is because reading God’s Word yields spiritual food for our souls and gives us seeds to sow. The Bible constantly points us to Christ who is the Bread of Life. We grow and mature spiritually as we feed and act on Scripture’s instructions and teaching. Jesus Himself modeled this when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness. He responded to each of the devil’s temptations by quoting Scripture, one of the passages being Deuteronomy 8:3, which says, “…man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” This means we study Scripture not just as an intellectual pursuit, but in order to sustain ourselves with the words of God so we can be equipped to face whatever trials or temptations confront us.
This is not to say we will always experience conviction or immediate life changes every time we read Scripture. In fact, we may sometimes feel confused or frustrated by what we have read. In those moments, do not lose heart. The Christian life is a process, and it is okay if what we read does not take root in our hearts right away. This will come as we continue to study Scripture with dependence on the Holy Spirit who brings about God’s revelations in His timing.
The reading, meditating and digesting of Scripture is not merely for our own benefit and growth, but also for those around us. As Christians, the onus is on us to make others aware of the Gospel. The more we learn from Scripture, the more we will be able to plant nuggets of truth in other people’s hearts so that God can reap a harvest through us. As Paul writes, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow” (1 Corinthians 3:6). We plant the seed, but it is the Holy Spirit who will spring it to life in the hearts of those seeking the truth.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord, that there is always more to learn about You in Your Word. Reveal something new to me, and provide me with seeds to sow into the hearts of others. Thank You, God.