An insatiable hunger for the Word

January 4, 2019

Outside of the Bible, what is your favorite book?

What if, as you read that book, the author was sitting beside you to answer any questions you may have and help you understand their work? No doubt, you would get more from your reading.

When a believer reads Scripture, the author of the book is not sitting beside you, rather, He is inside you. Who better to be our teacher?

How can we develop an insatiable hunger for reading the Bible? There are three important truths to consider.

When we read God’s Word, the Holy Spirit is eager to teach us.

1. Acknowledge the Holy Spirit as our teacher.
When the Spirit-filled follower of Christ reads their Bible, the Holy Spirit speaks directly to your heart and mind. As you study, He is ready to answer any questions and help you understand the Word to transform every believer into the image of Christ. His goal is for believers to use this instruction to love God and live their lives according to His teaching.

2. Allow the Holy Spirit to do His work.
Before we can truly begin loving God and His Word, believers need to understand the Holy Spirit’s role and our proper response to His work in our lives.

To be filled, there must be a desire to be filled. Jesus said those who thirst or hunger will be filled (Matthew 5:6; John 7:37). Does this describe you? Are you thirsty – maybe a little desperate? Jesus said that when the Holy Spirit controls you, you will have a hunger and a thirst to know God and grow in Him.

To be filled, you must confess and turn from all the known sin in your life. Confession of sin is critical. We have to say, “God, if there is any sin in my life, if there’s something I’m doing that isn’t pleasing to You, put Your finger on it.” We need to say to the Lord, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me…” (Psalm 139:23-24).

The filling of the Holy Spirit requires surrender. Surrender is more than saying, “I will rededicate my life” or “I will be committed.” When we rededicate or commit to the Lord, we name the terms of our actions. When we surrender, we let Him set the terms. Surrender is a word on an entirely different level.

3. Let the Word give you delight and joy.
When we read God’s Word, the Holy Spirit is eager to teach us. However, it is our responsibility to allow the Holy Spirit to do the necessary work in our hearts and lives so that we can receive His teaching. Once we have confessed our sins and surrendered to Him, we have positioned ourselves to hear from the very heart of God.

As the Spirit teaches, we learn God’s truth and He increases our understanding. When we give ourselves to this process, we see God more clearly and naturally fall more in love with Him. This should lead us to say along with Jeremiah, “Your words were found, and I ate them. Your words became a delight to me and the joy of my heart, for I bear your name, Lord God of Armies” (Jeremiah 15:16).


by Mark Smith  /  
Family Evangelism and Discipleship  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

4 kinds of pastors whose churches need revitalizing

Revitalization is one of those things pastors Google when no one else is looking. As I travel across the state, I meet pastors who minister in a variety of contexts — rural, urban, small, large, plants and even replants. Some of these pastors know their church is in need of...

5 ways pastors should respond to setbacks in ministry

Things don’t always turn out the way we desire. Oftentimes, we find ourselves asking questions about why something happened, or why we didn’t see it coming. We wonder why God allowed it or have difficulty seeing how God’s plan is being accomplished through it. Phrases such as...

How families can adopt a family discipleship plan

Many parents have made 2021 the year of discipleship for their family. They have taken the challenge and implemented the “Family Discipleship Plan” in their homes. Moms and dads have made this a priority because they know they have been given the wonderful privilege of being the...

Why leading your child to Christ is a process, not just a prayer

I remember praying a prayer at age 5. As a Cubby in the Awana program at our church, I was slightly intimidated by the leader who took me into the darkened chapel and asked me if I wanted to go to heaven to be with Jesus. I didn’t know what that meant. I may have asked a few...

3 steps to being missional in your community

The COVID-19 pandemic, along with heightened racial and political tensions, have sparked massive conflicts throughout our state and nation in the last year and a half. However, in the midst of the chaos, families have a unique opportunity to be missional in their homes and...

God’s presence provides comfort in times of transition

“It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions!” These words by the late William Bridges, who was a leading authority on organizational leadership, have been ringing in my mind throughout the last year. When our country went into lockdown due to the pandemic, it was an...

Students: An untapped resource for serving in your church

I’ve heard it said that students are the church of tomorrow, but I really struggle with that — I believe students are the church of today and the future church leaders of tomorrow. Students need adults who love Jesus, love them and take the time to disciple them. They need...

12 ways to involve every church member in VBS

Often churches consider Vacation Bible School (VBS) to be exclusively a children’s ministry event. And yet, VBS is one of the most effective evangelistic emphases many churches offer their community each year. According to "It’s Worth It" by Landry Holmes of Lifeway Publishing,...

]

1 Comment

  1. John Eric Codispoti

    Good Morning, Mark.

    Thank you! I can’t express how much I needed to pause and read this truth today. Nothing “new”, yet profound. God’s gracious gift to me this morning, sent through you… Thank you…again.

    John Eric Codispoti
    Pastor, Semora Baptist Church

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!