God reveals Himself in many ways. One of the most important ways is the Word of God. Those words of God are being found in the bible.
We can discover Gods will in that bible, that also is called 'Gods Word'.
God has a plan with this world, and we can find that plan in the bible.
That Word of God gives us also guidelines for our spiritual- but also for our daily life. There belongs for that Matthew r no distinction between those two. Our daily life should be spiritual and our spiritual life should be lived every day.
Of course it is all right to come together to learn what Gods will is by studying His Word.
But, that revelation of God -the bible- has yet another side then announcing Gods plans. The bible is not only a book that satisfies our curiosity. It is not only the bible that describes Gods plans, or gives a guideline for our daily life, the Word itself is very special. The Word contains POWER.
Just reading the Word, being occupied with God's matters, is of vital interest for a Christian.
"Jesus answered, (to satan) It is written: Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
So, the Word of God satisfies for a great deal in our daily needs. And like a man feeds himself daily with bread, he will also have to feed himself daily with the Word of God.
What happens when this is not happening daily? Or when the daily "Word" food is to little? Then you get phenomena of undernourishment. Or with total- or nearly total abstinence early or later death will follow. A spiritual death.
Spiritual under nourishment phenomena are for instance a problem with no understanding what Gods purpose is with your life, or going to feel yourself an out stander in the family of God. Relation problems within the family of God can happen too. Fear is also one of the undernourishment problems, however this also happens when there is no complete surrender to God. One thing is often the result of the other. Fear is also possible by demons.
The Word of God heals your spirit.
Brother Andrew ones told a story about someone who was a prisoner because of his belief. The government wanted to destroy that man. To fasten this, a lunatic was placed in the cell of the Christian. The only thing that Christian believer had were some pages of the bible. Every day he read loud to the insane men from those bible pages. The lunatic didn't understand a word what was read, but on a given moment, I don't remember how long it took, that man recovered from his insanity.
Just the regularly hearing of the Word of God expelled the insanity.
The Word cleansed too.
"You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you."
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,"
We, Christians, are indeed not anymore from this world, but we are still in this world. There are lot's of things in this world which can pollute us. When we read the newspaper you are confronted with things, even when you are not looking for it, which are influencing, polluting, your spirit. The same with TV. At your work, or at school you hear people cursing, or saying blasphemous things. You are looking in a magazine and, without looking for it, you see pictures which excites you. You are walking on the street ....etc. etc.
All kind of things you're not looking for, but where you, most times not voluntary, be confronted with. God did know this already for a long time ago. He gave an answer at the problem of spirit pollution.
An example is given in the Old Testament. When Aaron, the high priest, had to go into the sanctuary, to God, he had to be clean. Just before he went into the sanctuary, he had to wash his hands and feet. God didn't tolerate the priest to come before Him with the dirt from this earth attached to him. Even when the priest was touched by it by accident.
The dirt on the hands of the priest came there through his daily acts. The dirt on his feet by his daily walking. Even without sinning we become dirty through our daily acting and being in this world.
If it was necessary for Aaron to be cleansed from his walking through this world before he could come closer to God, it is necessary for us too to be cleansed from the dirt of this world (spiritual dirt).
God provided a possibility in the tabernacle for Aaron to be cleansed. If Aaron didn't use this possibility to be cleansed, it meant for sure his death.
God provided for us too the possibility to be cleansed before we come to Him. Just like the priest had to wash himself with the water in the basin before he could be in Gods presence, we likewise have to be cleansed by the water from the basin, which is the Word.When we don't clean our self in that way, it will lead to our spiritual death.
"You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you."
"If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you."
This is a very special promise. When we are clean, by the water basin of the Word, we can stay in Him, and He will stay in us. And if that's so, we can ask Him whatever we wish, and it shall be given to us.
In the original Greek it is written: "Ask, and what is not I will make."
It sounds terrific, but in practice we can see it is different. We often pray for something and most times we don't get what we're praying. Much of our prayers are not answered.
When we, everyone for ourselves, have to say, it's true we often see our prayers are not answered, we have to ask ourselves are we meeting the condition Jesus set. He said in verse 7:
"IF you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask ..."
He, who is the Word, says: IF you remain in Me...
How can we remain in Him when we don't read His Word daily? Engaged with it, take it in? It is really not enough to do this ones or twice a week. We have to take this food daily and give it time to consume, being one with ourselves, with myself.
Jesus told us a few other things about "His Words". He is God, His words are Gods words.
"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete."
Isn't this a very serious word? "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say?"
Is it possible Jesus can say this to us as well? I hope heartily, that we can say together and everyone for him/herself: " Lord, Lord, we like to do what you say. We hear, and read not only Your words, but we are doing them too, thanks to the Holy Spirit Who is helping."
Jesus is the Rock where we build on our house of faith. This house must be anchored on the foundation, on the Rock.
We can find the construction drawings for the building of our house of faith in the bible.
For a contractor it is only possible to build a house right when he has studied the construction drawings well. Every day he is studying the drawings well till the house is finished. Every day the contractor has to look to every detail on the drawing till he exactly understands what the architect meant.
Every Christian, who daily studies the Word of God, is building the right way.
Yet there are lot's of Christians, who listen to the Word of God every Sunday, and even sometimes reading in it during the week, who doesn't mind what the bible says at there work, school or where ever. Those people are busy to build a house, they are going every Sunday to the church, isn't it?, some even go to a bible study group, but when it comes to "to do" they are not at home.
When difficulties come in their lives, when their lives become stormy or when a flood is coming, their houses collapse and it becomes a big ruin.
Let's look at one more text part where Jesus says something about His Word.
"Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
Jesus can see, through our keeping of His Words, if we love Him. We, of course, can pray: Lord Jesus, we love You, but when this declaration of love (which in it self is excellent) is not attended by keeping His words, His commandments, it is of little value. But if we keep His words, His promise is outstanding: "My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
"...the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."
Jesus promised the Holy Spirit will teach us everything. I experienced that several times myself. It often happens you can't grasp certain things of the bible. You pray and read it again and again. Then, suddenly, but often after a longtime of prayer to get some insight, you suddenly see what is really written. And you understand. Often it is so simple, you can't understand why you didn't see that before. This sudden light beam to the bible comes from God, through the Holy Spirit. "He will teach you all things".
Everything which is in the bible He will explain. It is Gods will we will know Him through His Word. We, of course, have to open our hearts for it. And really we have to be busy with it. Not out routine or because it is proper to do it, but because there is nothing more important then that. Our Creator, our Lord and Saviour, want an intimate relation with us. He want to come to us and make home with us. The Holy Spirit, send by the Father in Jesus' name, will teach us how we can be in that relation with God. How? Through His Word! "The Holy Spirit will teach you ... and remind you everything I have said to you."
How is the Holy Spirit doing that? How can He remind us the words of God? He can do that when we have read those words. The more we read, the easier He can remind us.
Of course you can say: We read several texts where it is written we have to listen to Jesus' words and we have to do them as well, but those words are not the whole bible, aren't they?
To answer this question we read John 1.John 1:1-14
"1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John.
7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- (13) children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
14 Through him all things were made We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
"In the beginning was the Word".
When was that: in the beginning?
Verse 3 says: "Through him (the Word) all things were made".
The Word was "in the beginning", before there was anything. And verse 1 says the Word is God. The Word is the creator, and (verse 14) "Through him all things were made".
We know the Word better with His name: Jesus.
Jesus is the Creator, and Jesus was before He became flesh* "The Word". He said all words of God, that are written in the bible, both from the Old- and the New Testament. And all other words in the bible are inspired by Him to be written down as it is written.
Let's read one more verse, to conclude:James 1:21, 22
"... humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."