Thursday, August 14, 2014

To Whom Shall We Go?

                “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” Wise words spoken by Peter in John 6:68. At this time, when Peter spoke these words, many people were leaving and departing from following Jesus. Jesus had said some things that made people not want to take that final step and go all in. John 6:66 tells us that “from that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.” Jesus poured out His life for these people and they just walked away from Him. They no longer wanted to hear the words of life that He had to give them. But Peter, he knew that the only one that had the words of eternal life was Jesus, and Jesus was the only one He wanted to listen to from that point on.
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It is a heart’s desire of mine to get women back into their bibles. More and more women that I meet and talk to have laid their bibles aside and instead picked up devotional books, self-help books and other Christian literature to use as their main source of study and time with the Lord. This saddens my heart. When I became a Christian, I was given a desire for the Word of God. The Lord placed in me a desire to know Him and that desire has led me to run to His Word for everything that I could ever need. Because, like Peter, I know that Jesus alone has the words of eternal life, and His words are all that I ever need to hear.
                I am not writing this to tell you that you should stop reading these devotionals, or these other books. I am a writer and author of Christian literature, so I wouldn’t want you to stop reading what we produce! But, it breaks my heart to see so many women struggling in their walks with Jesus because they have replaced His word with someone else’s view on His Word. Nothing should ever replace God’s Word in our lives. Peter asks the question, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”  And I ask the same question to you today. Whom shall we go to when we are in need of encouragement, when we are in need of hope, when we are in need of help? I know for me that I have always found what I needed when I needed it most in the pages of my Bible and my Bible alone.
                When these women come to me and talk to me about their lives, how they are struggling and ask me for guidance, one of the first things I ask them about is their daily devotion times. What are they reading? Do they know how to read and study their bibles? I ask them if they are in a study with other women, and usually what I find is that many of these women are taking someone else’s word for it and rarely opening their bibles at all. I know there are many good books and devotionals out there for us to read and to study, but there is only One Word of God, and that was given to us by God Himself. He spoke these words for each one of us personally and all that you seek can be found nestled in its pages. Everything we ever need or will need is found between Genesis and Revelation. There is no other book that can ever give us the life we seek and the life we desire apart from the Word of God.
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                It is my prayer that we, as women of God, would get back to reading His word. We need to seek and study God’s Word for ourselves. So many women’s groups are going to other women leaders and relying on their interpretation of the Word of God instead of just going through the Word of God together. I have nothing against these studies, but shouldn’t we first be focusing on the Word of God? It doesn’t take a special gift, or talent for teaching to simply read the Word of God. In all my years as a Christian, I have never found a substitute for the simple message of His Word. It brings me hope, it brings me peace, and it brings me strength when I am weak. His Word gives me light when all around me is darkness. His Word gives me love when I am unloving. His Word gives me instruction and correction; it guides me and keeps me focused on Him.
                “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16) Everything we need is found in the pages of our Bibles. If we need to know doctrine, it is there. If we need reproof and correction, it is there. If we need instructions on how to walk out our faith, it is there. Nothing should ever replace the Word of God in our lives. If we would go back to the Word and stop relying on someone else to teach it to us, then perhaps there would be less struggles and more life.
                I write, I blog, I lead a bible study, but nothing I say to these women matter unless they are seeking and searching out God for themselves. I can give them my understanding, but they must find out what God has for them personally. I can only relate my perception, my knowledge and my understanding based off my experiences. Only God can truly give you the words of eternal life that apply specifically to you.
                The purpose of God’s Word is to change us from the inside out. His Word was given so that we could learn about Jesus, so that we could become more like Jesus. I read books occasionally, but I read my Bible more. The only One who can truly show us how to live this Christian life is God Himself. He is the only One that has the words of eternal life. The latest best seller, the latest teacher, the latest number one hit in the Christian book store can never give you more than what they have been given. But God, He has so much more for us if we would just take the time to sit down with His Word and listen.
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                If we are reading other books more often than we are reading His Book, then we are going to find ourselves struggling, falling, and even perhaps falling away from the truth that He has given us in His Word. The eternal life that you seek is only found in the pages of His Word. No one else has the words to eternal life. Who else could we go to? Who else left heaven, took upon sinful flesh, and died for your sins? Who else knows you better than you know yourself? Who else can take the broken and dead pieces of your life and create them into something beautiful? Not me, not the next best Christian author- only Jesus can do that, and He does it through His word.

                Let’s get back to reading our Bibles more than we read anything else. It is my heart’s cry that we as women would run to Jesus and His Word before we run to anyone or anything else. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” May that be our heart’s daily desire, His Word and His life. Amen and Amen.