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

9 ways to prepare families (and churches) to worship with children

As we slowly ease out of quarantine, many of us are excited to head back to our church campuses. While we have been grateful for online worship services, nothing can compare to worshipping together with our brothers and sisters. However, there will still be some restrictions and...

5 things churches should do differently in 2021

As I am writing this article, I was notified that my grandson, Joshua, had broken his ankle. My granddaughter, Collins, broke her arm this year. My son, Sam, broke his leg a month ago. And my wife, Nellie Jo, broke her wrist earlier this year.   That’s four different Rainer...

So you’re a follower of Jesus: ‘Now What?’

I vividly remember the season when I decided to give up running and join a gym. Up until then I had been an avid runner and enjoyed it. It was a great stress reliever for me, but I didn’t have much physical strength — I was weak and I wanted to change that.    I remember going to...

Finding God’s ‘shells of grace’ in our western culture

The 2016 Disney Pixar film “Finding Dory” details the life of a blue tang fish named Dory who deals with short-term memory loss. The animated movie explores complex issues such as mental health, the power of community, and the interplay between humans and wildlife.    One theme...

Considering a strategic vision for digital engagement

There is a difference between using something and leveraging something. You can use money to buy things you may or may not need. But that does not equate to leveraging it. Leveraging money as an investment could double or triple the initial investment. Using takes something at...

The beauty of adoption

Mom and dad never called me their adopted son. I was just their son. I was born into an unfortunate situation, but I was adopted into a blessed family. In 1966, adoption was not as highlighted in the American church as it is today. In the spring of 1998, I was a seminary student...

5 areas where pastors can grow in the new year

In the optometry profession, 20/20 means clarity or sharpness of vision.    For most people, the year 2020 was anything but clear. In fact, 2020 was as unclear as a year could be because of the repercussions of COVID-19, especially if you are leading in ministry as a pastor.   ...

NC mountain man returns home to plant new church

People say if you live in the North Carolina mountains, they’ll always call you back.   For Michael Childers, that’s pretty much what happened. Except it was God who called him back, not the hills, he says.   Drive to Brevard over in western North Carolina, and then head out of...

]

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!