five ways the bible will help you grow

Five Ways the Bible Will Help You Grow

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly (Col. 3:16).

Is the Word of God the honored, welcome guest of your life? Let the Word come into your life, and let it live with you. Let it remain in you. Don’t have a passing brush with the Word of Christ.

The Word of God can dwell in the life of a Christian believer in different degrees. Here are four types of growth that the Word will produce in you when you give it a prominent place in your life.

You will grow in strength against temptation.
I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one (1 Jn. 2:14).

In this letter, John identifies different groups within the congregation. He writes some things especially to those who are older. Here in verse 14, he speaks specifically to young men. Notice what he says.

“…the Word of God abides in you…” The Word of God is going into your soul. It is settling in your inner life and it remains there. The result of this is that…
“…you are strong…” You started out like little children. At one time you were spiritual infants, but now, even though you are still young, you are spiritually mature. And because of this…
“…you have overcome the evil one…” There are victories over temptation in your life. You are making progress. You are growing up in Christ, and the reason is that the Word of God abides in you.
This is why it is so important for young families to find a church where they are rooted deeply in the Word of God. You don’t get this by going to a church that entertains your kids. You get this strength from a church and a youth group that is serious about getting the Word in their lives.

You will grow in effectiveness in prayer.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (Jn. 15:7).

Notice how effectiveness in prayer arises from the Word abiding in your soul: “If…my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish…” The strength of our praying shows how much or how little the Word of God dwells, abides, remains in us. Where the Word abides, the fruit will be seen in effective praying.

You will grow in wisdom and discernment.
…teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom… (Col. 3:16).

We live in a “how to” culture in which many people are becoming more and more dependent on someone else telling them how to do even the most basic things in life. Once the “how to” thing takes root in your mind, it can be quite paralyzing. You lose confidence. You feel that you will mess things up unless you can get someone else to walk you through what to do. The Bible has a great answer to this: wisdom.

A rich and regular diet of the Word of God will increase your wisdom. The Bible is the Word of God. It comes from the mind of God. Thinking God’s thoughts after Him is the best way to grow in wisdom for every area of your life.

You will grow in usefulness to others.
…teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom… (Col. 3:16).

Here’s a healthy church in action: God’s people are feeding on His Word. It dwells in them richly. As they speak about their lives, they are able to help each other see how the Word relates to the various circumstances of their lives.

Someone says, “I am really struggling with my 13-year-old daughter,” and explains some of the circumstances. Someone else says, “Here’s what I learned from the Scriptures that helped me. Here’s the principle I applied.”

Not only are God’s people able to teach one another, but they are able to admonish one another. That is, they can spot where someone is straying down a wrong path and help get him back on the straight and narrow. This kind of mutual ministry in the body of Christ is wonderful. It depends on God’s Word dwelling in His people richly. How much more useful could you be to others if the Word of Christ dwelled more richly in you?

You will grow in joy and thanksgiving.
…singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God (Col. 3:16).

A rich diet of the Word of Christ always produces more joy and thanksgiving in the lives of God’s people than if you drift through life with your Bible closed.

Spiritual life is found and nourished by the Word of God. But if you ask people the question, Where is spiritual life found? you are likely to receive one of three different answers:

The religious or communal answer:

Spiritual life is found and fed in the people around you. This is the teaching of the cults: Join us and all will be well with you. That’s what the Pharisees believed. Don’t buy that one. Sure, fellowship is important to the spiritual life, but it is not a source of the spiritual life.

The secular or psychological answer:

Spiritual life is found and fed from the instincts within you. This is the overwhelming consensus of our culture: The answers lie within you. This is why so many Christians rarely read the Bible. They have bought into secular psychology and feel that the source of life lies within them.

The biblical or theological answer:

Spiritual life is found and fed from the Bible before you:

You have been born again… through the living and abiding word of God (1 Pet. 1:23).

Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth (Jn. 17:17).

Is the Word of Christ dwelling richly in you?
The book of Hebrews describes people in whom the word does not dwell richly:

Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child (Heb. 5:11-13).

How can you let the Word of God live in you?

Make the best possible use of Sunday
Join a small group, and keep the group centered on the Word of Christ.
Establish a pattern of daily Bible reading and meditation.
Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. It will bring spiritual life. It will sustain spiritual strength. It will produce spiritual growth.

Colin Smith is senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church, a multi-campus church located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and president of Unlocking the...

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