Day 27 of 40 days of devotion

Written by Joan Gaddas

Recently, our community group leaders were asked to volunteer to do a 10 min talk at our next cluster meeting on one of 3 topics. I volunteered for “what Jesus said”!! How foolish was I to do that I thought! How can you condense what Jesus said to 5-10 minutes?! However, I have a red-letter Bible which has all Jesus’ words in red, so fairly easy to pick out. As I started to look at Matthew’s gospel what struck me was Jesus saying “It is written…”. Here he was using God’s word, which he knew so well, to deal with the temptations in the wilderness.

It is very clear that Jesus knew what we call the Old Testament. Of course, as a young boy he would have had to learn the first 5 books of the Old Testament before his Bar Mitzvah and Jesus probably knew the whole of their Scripture by the time he started his ministry. He knew the prophecies and would have known the fate of the Messiah!

On the road to Emmaus, Jesus explained all the Scriptures concerning the Messiah, to the two he walked with. He used Scripture to deal with the enemy. He used Scripture when he overturned the moneylenders’ tables in the synagogue (Matt 21 v 13 – house of prayer)! Jesus, the living Word knew the written word of God!

You may be thinking that the OT doesn’t have that much to say in these days but I can testify that God has used it to speak to me on numerous occasions in encouragement, guidance and discipline. All Scripture is profitable and if Jesus needed to know it we certainly do, to live a life which is pleasing to God, to quench the fiery darts of the enemy or the handle difficult questions which may be put to us by searching friends. I have often been amazed at how relevant the Bible has been in giving specific words in very contemporary situations.

I was challenged about how much of Scripture I have learned recently. I used to memorise it when I first became a Christian – it was a discipline I was taught early in my Christian life. When I was baptised in the Holy Spirit and went to a charismatic fellowship, so much of what we were singing was pure Scripture. I loved it because I could go home and find what we were singing in my Bible.

I love the Bible. I love to read it, love to hear it preached, love to hear it read well (especially by a great actor – Richard Burton was brilliant!) and to sing it! It is powerful and needs to be our daily food. Ps 12 v 6 says “And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified 7 times”. So in the 40 days of devotion, I have committed myself to get back to learning some Scripture again. Part of our devotion to God must surely be knowing His word? I have started by learning some of those verses which are highlighted in my Bible. It isn’t easy and I haven’t learned as many as I had hoped by now, but at my age, it’s a great work-out for the little grey cells as well!! So far, I can’t say that anything particular has happened, but I know that it is doing me good, building me up and feeding my Spirit. I can recommend it!

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