Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17 (NIV)
What does it mean to hear? That is a very good and important question. I will listen to your answer. I thought you might say that. I will tell you one thing. What’s that? Hearing that will cause my faith to grow is not passive. No, it’s not. Hearing that goes in one of my ears and out the other will not benefit me in the least. No, it will not.
In order to hear your word, I will need to take action. What kind of action? I will need to set a specific time and place to meet with you in your word. An I will meet with you when I get around to it approach will not work at all. Days and weeks and months and maybe even years could go by without me ever meeting with you in your word. With that approach, I will hardly ever hear your word. My faith would not be strengthened by your word. No, it would not.
Once I begin to regularly hear your word, I need to take the next step. What’s the next step? The next step is to accept your word into my heart and mind and life. Accepting your word includes taking steps like meditating on and memorizing your word. Just a half-hearted mental assent to your word will not do at all. No, it will not. I really need to let your word dwell in me richly. I certainly need to allow your word to change my heart and transform my mind. Yes, you do.
Finally, to indicate that I have fully heard your word, I need to put it into practice. Your word needs to become the foundation of my life. Your word needs to guide the thoughts I think, words I speak and deeds I do. In this step, I need to go where you guide me. I need to do what you ask of me. I need to allow your word to work in and through my life so that I will be able to bear fruit for your kingdom and bring glory to your name. Yes, you do.
When I take all three of these steps, I am pretty sure that I will have truly heard your word. That’s good. When I take all three of these steps, I am positive that you will have been able to use your word to grow my faith. Yes, I will. That is what I want. That is my desire. That is the prayer of my heart. That is very good.
Lord, thank you for your word. I will make it my daily priority to meet with you in your word. I want to hear all that you have to say to me. I will accept your word and take it into my heart and mind and life. Help my faith to grow as I put your word into practice. Amen
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