“Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:2 ESV
It is no secret to all of us who are Christians that the Holy Spirit uses our testimony and lifestyle to convict the heart of nonbelievers. A Christlike walk by a believer always touches hearts.
When speaking of revival, many truths come to mind. True revival renews believers, but also speaks to nonbelievers. In the devotional we are going to address the theme of how the daily life of John Doe, the Christian, renews the church and yet speaks to the nonbeliever’s heart.
In 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul the Apostle writes, “Do your best to present yourselves to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of truth. The Old Testament sheds light on how important it is to study the word in Ezra 7:10 which states, “For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.”
Both of these passages reference studying the Word. Besides hearing, memorizing, reading and meditating, studying the Word is a discipline that will bring revival to one’s own heart and will be used by the Holy Spirit to speak and convict the heart of a non-Christian.
Mature Christians are growing Christians. Growing Christians are people who are ever learning. And … to learn the important things in life and in the faith is to be consistently a student of God’s Word.
Why? Because there are many people in the world, Christians and non-Christians who do not correctly handle the Scripture and operate by myth and/or ignorance. This is sad and destructive as it helps no one. On the contrary, correctly handling of this Scripture and its truths brings great blessing to all.
One example might be this common error. Oftentimes people site the Bible saying, “money is the root of all evil.” No It Does Not! Rather, it says “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10. There is a big difference in these two statements, and the result of believing either one of them is significant. Only the second statement is true and will bless hearts and lives. The first statement will only bring confusion.
A second example is how we use the word love. In the Bible the word love is used frequently, but in many different ways. For me to say I love my high school friend, my spouse, and Jesus my Savior and think all love is the same is to be ignorant and in gross error. Scripturally speaking my example illustrates three kinds of love; one is friendship (phileo), one is erotic (eros) and the third is selfless or Christlike (agape).
If our goal is to be like Jesus every day and exhibit His character to a lost world, we must be informed by a disciplined walk that includes studying the Bible. When I live like Jesus, it always encourages other Christians which brings renewal. Also, non-Christians observe and are pricked in the heart by how God’s Word makes a difference. Both should regularly occur when we live for God!
Prayer: Lord help me be part of the revival by studying your Word. Do not let me be immature and live by myth or error. Please show me how I can improve this area of my faith. Amen.
by Dave Childers