Tuesday, January 06, 2009

If My Words Abide in You

(by David Mathis)

This week's sermon: "If My Words Abide in You"

Jesus talks about the value of his words. He says in John 15:7, "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."

What does this mean to have Jesus' words "abiding in us"? More than memorizing Scripture, it means that Jesus' words take root in us—they find a home in us—and bear the fruit of faith and holiness.

Why do the words of Jesus have this effect? There are at least 3 reasons:

1. because Jesus' words are the words of God
2. because Jesus' words give life, and
3. because Jesus' words conquer the devil.

But what does this have to do with memorizing Scripture? The broad biblical answer is that the Holy Spirit awakens life and faith and personal transformation through the word of God in our conscious minds. And anything that brings the word of God into connection with our minds will work to strengthen faith and bring about the fruit of transformed lives—and not just our own, but the lives of others also.

Memorizing Scripture makes this kind of connection between God's word and our minds more constant, deep, and transforming. Nothing else can take its place.

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