Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vitamin for the Soul

"Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." -- Deuteronomy 8:3b

Few things please my palate more than a hot buttered homemade roll.  I actually baked the ones you see here.  Next to Sister Schubert rolls they are my favorite.  Scripture tells us that man does not live on bread alone, but this is one sister who believes she could!  I love bread!  But I also know that my body needs the nutrients that bread alone cannot supply, and so does my hungry soul.

When we meditate or "feed on" Scripture, the truth of God's Word acts much like a vitamin, fortifying what we lack spiritually and boosting our spiritual immune system against sin, stress, and sorrow.  While those things occur in each of our lives, a solid foundation of biblical truth can make us more effective in dealing with the stresses of everyday life which threaten our spiritual, emotional, and physical health.

The following verses from Colossians 3 offer a lot of nutrition if we are willing to take them in and digest them a word or phrase at a time (that's meditation).  "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God" (vs. 15-16).  As I read these verses this morning, God imparted the following insights.

Let is a command which means allow or permit.  It is a choice we make and a challenge to us to allow God's peace to rule in our hearts. 

Rule is a word which denotes dominion.  When we allow God's peace to rule in our hearts, we give it dominion over stress and worry. 

Peace is that condition or state of well-being, rest, and satisfaction which is achieved by surrendering ourselves to God's will.  Only when we cease our striving and allow God to have his way in our lives will we come to know his peace that transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7). 

The word of Christ is God's Word, that collection of God-inspired writings we commonly refer to as the Bible.  It is the life manual for the believer, our handbook for living in a fallen world.  It is filled with God's unbreakable promises, his principles for godly living, and his assurances that he is unchanging, all-powerful, ever-present, loving, merciful, gracious, and good. 

When we "sing hymns, songs, and spiritual songs," we reinforce scriptural truth in our minds by verbalizing them to ourselves and others.  Songs are a tremendous tool for memorizing and storing away in our hearts the very words of God. 

When we allow God's Word to dwell in us richly, we allow God himself to take up residency in our hearts with nothing held back from him.  God's Word illumines the dark spaces so that we can clean out the lesser things and replace them with God's greater things for us. 

Sometimes we are called on to teach others what we have learned, and often we learn best by teaching.  God's truths are meant to be not only learned and lived, but also shared with others, that they, too, might receive encouragement and hope in their time of need. 

It is not enough to learn God's truths from others.  We must make spending time in God's Word a personal priority.  We each must take our daily vitamin for the soul, one verse or chapter at a time.  Open the Book...it will do you good!


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