This past Wednesday, we had our second-ever quarterly Worship & Prayer Night. Thank you to all who were able to come out and worship together! Our theme for this Worship & Prayer Night was The Word of Life. We celebrated the truth that God the Father has revealed Himself to us through His Word. We did this by taking time to reflect upon God’s Word, share personally impacting passages in Scripture, sing songs inspired by His Word, and pray through some Scriptures together. We also heard Richard McElroy share an excerpt from David Mathis’ book, Habits of Grace. The excerpt, titled “Shape Your Life with the Words of Life” showed why the “most basic principle of grace” is “the immersing of our lives in his word.”
Why focus so much on God’s Word? Why should we “immerse” our lives in it? Because it is through the written word that we see the embodiment of God’s Word:
The complete and climactic self-revelation of God to man is the God-man, his Son (Heb. 1:1–2). Jesus is “the Word” (John 1:1), and “the Word became flesh” (John 1:14). He is the one who most fully and finally “has made [the Father] known” (John 1:18). Jesus is God’s culminating self-expression, and says without any sham or embellishment, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Jesus is the Word of God embodied. He is the grace of God incarnate (Titus 2:11). So full and complete is his revealing of God that he is not a word-thing, but a Word-person. He fulfilled the destiny of humanity in his perfect life and sacrificial death (Heb. 2:9), and rose again in triumph over sin and death, and now sits at the Father’s right hand, with all things being put in subjection to him (1 Cor. 15:25–28). He is the divine-human Word our souls need for survival and strength and growth.
-David Mathis, Habits of Grace, pg. 38-39
Jesus Christ is the embodiment of God’s Word. And on “this side of heaven”, the most fundamental way that we experience God’s grace, the most fundamental way we grow in spiritual maturity and the most fundamental way that we draw closer to Jesus (“the Word became flesh”) is by immersing our lives in the written Word of God. For it is the written Word that we find “the genuine gospel and the real Jesus and the true God.” Without it, we face the danger of making up our own gospel, our own Jesus, our own God.
And we all know that there isn’t just one way to soak in God’s Word. It’s not necessarily getting up at the same time every day and reading through a Bible plan. While that is certainly one way, it is not the only way to immerse ourselves in His Word. David Mathis gives some practical ways to do this with a final reminder:
…whether its reading through the Bible in a year, or memorizing passages or whole books, or meditating on single verses or paragraphs, or aggressively identifying and pursuing applications, or listening to sermon podcasts, or reading biblically rich content online, or taking Bible classes, or consuming Christian books, and on and on—and changing it up from time to time.
…the principles beneath the practices is this: The fundamental means of God’s ongoing grace, through his Spirit, in the life of the Christian and the life of the church is God’s self-expression is his Word, in the gospel, perfectly kept for us and on display in all its textures, riches, and hues in the external written word of the Scriptures.
-David Mathis, Habits of Grace, pg.40-41