7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
In John 15, Jesus speaks not only of His disciples abiding in Him and His love, but also of His Spirit and His Word abiding in them. The “Word” in this portion of scripture is the Greek word “Rhema.” It means, “that which has been or is being uttered by the Living Voice.” It is what has been spoken, taught, and declared. The word defines any and all sounds that are or have been “produced by the voice” and have “definite meaning.”
Jesus knew His time on earth was coming to an end. His prayer for the disciples was that they would not only remember Him and His teaching, but also continue on steadfastly in what they had been taught. He wanted His Word to “abide” in them - to be “lodged” into their being, held steadfast and “not departed from.”
Jesus hadn’t just said words to fill awkward silences. Over the course of His ministry, He had shared with them the words of life and truth! He had expressed the heart of the Heavenly Father. He had preached the Kingdom of God. His message had been a roadmap to abundant life.
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
We love to quote John 8:32, don’t we? It’s filled with hope and possibility. To the bound, it breathes a promise of a life without chains, without addiction, without fear. To the one who loves a captive soul, it stirs hope to believe for a day where they will be free. Yet, so often, we forget that John 8:32 is connected to John 8:31. The truth that will bring freedom to our lives is found in God’s Word. As we learn to abide in God’s Word and we allow His Word to be “lodged” into the very depths of who we are, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free.
James 1:21 calls it “receiving with meekness” the “implanted” Word of God.
“The word “implanted” in this portion of scripture paints a picture of two trees being “grafted” together. This isn’t just another book to read. It’s not just a good story. The Word of God should be buried so deep within our hearts, that it grows to transform who we are. It should change us (Book 3 of the Planted Bible Study Series).”
When others look at our lives – our responses, our actions, our words – they should see the Word of God lived out and not just quoted. It should become who we are. Paul wrote to the church of Corinth, “You are a living epistle, written on our hearts and read by all men (2 Corinthians 2:3).”
As we abide in God Word, His Word will abide in us and, not only abide in us, but become a part of us. The result of this abiding Word will be freedom, transformation, and so much more!
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1 holds such promise for those who will plant themselves in the Word of God! The “streams of water” speak of the life-giving flow that is available to us in Christ, our Source and Sustainer. Fruit is yielded and strength to keep us from “withering” provided as we bury our roots deep into His Word. The Psalmist ends verse 3 reminding us that where we plant ourselves directly affects how we prosper in this life. God’s Word is so much more than a book to be quoted! It is to be delighted in and meditated upon.
The word “meditate” in this portion of Scripture means to “think on, ponder, imagine, muse over, speak of, and study.” The Psalmist writes that “blessed is the man” who thinks on God’s Word day and night. “Blessed is the man” who speaks of God’s Word often. “Blessed is the man” who studies God’s Word and makes it His delight.
Years ago, I watched a video in which missionaries opened a suitcase of Bible’s in a remote mountain village. As the case was opened and the Bible’s revealed, the members of the small church that had gathered for the event began to weep. They held the Bibles and kissed them. Songs of praise began all over the room. As I watched, I wept. How long had it been since I had delighted in my Bible this way? How long had it been since I had thanked God for the privilege of holding within my hands His Truth? How long had it been since I had held it so dear?
In the United States, Bibles are sold everywhere. Go to your nearest Grocery Story and look within the books. You will find a marked down version. Search “Bible” on your home computer and thousands will come up for purchase. In fact, a study done many years ago on the American Church found that almost all Christian’s had within their homes at least four different Bibles available to them. And yet, I wonder – how many of those Bibles are actually read? How many are cherished? How many are loved? And how many have we forgotten – treating them as ordinary objects instead of a sacred privilege?
The Bible is more than just a book. “Blessed is the man” who discovers its true value.
· Take a moment to thank God for your Bible. Thank Him for His written Word and also the words that He speaks to your heart through the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.
· Have you been “delighting” in His Word? As you look at the definition of “meditate” would you say that this is something you live out in your daily life?