Attention!

“He who gives attention to the word will find good,
And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.”
Proverbs 16:20

Many of us read our Bibles daily.  Then we check off that box, put our Bible and God on a shelf, and live our lives.  But the verse above talks about “giving attention to the word.”  This is a deliberate decision to not only read the word, but to be careful to live it.  It is reading and applying.  It is studying for the purpose of application.  Knowledge and instruction leads to wisdom.  Words on a page cannot give us wisdom, just knowledge.  Wisdom comes through prayer and applying the word of God.  It is not easy.  When I am angry at someone, I don’t want to love my enemy or pray for them, but when I give attention to the word and do that very thing, I find that God changes my heart and often the relationship as well.  When I am depressed I don’t want to thank God for everything, but when I turn my words of complaint into praise, my mood lifts and I am cheered. 

Deliberate application of God’s word will bring good.  God made us.  He wrote the manual of successful living.  He guides us along the way.  When we read and apply His word, it will bring about good consequences.  Remember that the “…word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)  There is power in the word of God!  When I speak to people and give advice or comfort, I try to use God’s words rather than my own.  God can recall these words to their minds and work great works in their lives.

Knowing our God by the reading of His word brings us to a point of trust.  When Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she would bear the Son of God, Gabriel also told her that  Elizabeth was also pregnant and would bear the forerunner.  By seeing God’s promise fulfilled in Elizabeth, Mary was able to trust God in the fulfillment of His promises in her life.  Reading the Bible lets us see God’s faithfulness in others lives.  He will also be faithful in ours if we trust.  Trust is more than believing; it is acting as if what we believe is true.  Trusting is taking that next step not knowing where our foot will land, but knowing that our God is good and will direct our paths.  Trust is being able to curl up in God’s lap when our circumstances overwhelm us.  Trust is putting your hand in the Father’s hand and knowing that you will be safe.  Trust is paying attention to the word of God and applying it to your life.

May God bless the reading of His word in your heart and home this day.  Don’t put it back on the shelf!  Live it!

Hint of the day: It is important that your children see you reading God’s word and spending time in prayer.  Be consistent and let them “catch” you spending time with God.  They also need to see you  applying God’s word to your life.  That is instruction.  Talk about it.  Say, “You know I am sad today, but I know God is in control, so let’s take a minute and praise Him.”   These lessons are better caught than taught!  Give your kids a reason to want to be in the word – live it!

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