The US Constitution is one of the most influential documents in the history of our country. The Constitution is a federal document signed in 1787 that established America’s national government, and it established basic laws and rights of the people.
I was watching a TV show one time, and it was about how intensely the Constitution is guarded. Here are some facts about the Constitution:
In this show, they showed a guard who spent every day guarding the Constitution. The reporter asked him questions such as “What is the 16th amendment?” and “What rights does it cover?” The guard tried to fudge some answers, but eventually he confessed that he had never actually read it.
In the same way, as Christians, we are defenders of God’s Word. We can call ourselves Christians and say that we believe in God, but that sounds silly if we don't actually read God’s Word!
God’s Word gives us a special strength for our lives as Christians. Jesus demonstrated how the Bible helps us in our lives when tempted by Satan in Matthew 4 (NIV):
1Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
Notice that every time Satan tried to make Jesus rely on Himself for strength, Jesus responded by saying “It is written…” The devil tried to get Jesus to rely on Himself, but Jesus pointed to Scripture for His strength. I love that Jesus says in Matthew 4:4: “Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (This is a quote taken from Deuteronomy 8:6)
In Jesus’ culture, bread was not a side to the meal; bread was often the main meal. That leads me to the question, what would happen if you didn't eat? You'd become depleted, and you'd really start to deteriorate, and eventually die. You'd lose all your strength. When Jesus said, “Man does not live by bread alone,” he meant that as food is so important to you physically, reading the Word of God to you spiritually.
How do we respond to that? I want to encourage you to do three things to help feed your spiritual self:
1. Get a Bible or Bible app (a translation you can understand). Obviously you cannot read the Bible without possessing one.
2. Don't be afraid to only read a little bit. You don't have to read chapters upon chapters of the Bible at a time, but even reading a small a parable that Jesus told in the morning or before bed will help you learn a new lesson for that day that you can meditate on.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Many people have questions about God and Scripture that they are afraid to ask because they don’t want to look dumb or question God, but the truth is that the one of the best ways to grow as a Christian is to ask questions to people you trust in the biblical area, such as a pastor or Bible teacher. It also might not hurt to ask a few people the same question to see if you get a consistent answer (personally, I would trust the person with the most schooling or experience). Asking questions is vital to growth in any area, especially as a Christian.
4. Commit to reading daily. Would you go a day without food? Don’t just feed your physical body consistently, but be sure to feed your spirit consistently as well.
The living Word of God has power to change your life. That change doesn’t take place if your Bible remains closed.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (NLT) Prayer is the staple of the Christian life. However, our prayer life can always be improved and worked on, which is why I would like to present six helpful tips to help you in your prayer life:
1. Thank God for all He has done. As Paul wrote in Philippians 4, "Thank him for all he [God] has done." Faith in God for the future is developed by recognition of what God has done in the past. Before you ask God for anything, take time to thank God for all He has already provided you with. Taking time to do this will change your mindset significantly.
2. Be authentic with God. Sometimes we get so caught up in the way we pray that we miss out on the purpose of prayer itself. God doesn't require that you use eloquent speech or elaborate vocabulary when you pray. God wants you to talk to Him like you are talking to your father or best friend--with respect, but authentically. God doesn't want you to try to sugar coat your feelings in prayer either. If you don't understand why God let something happen, tell Him about your confusion. If you are having doubts, tell Him about your doubts. If you are frustrated with life, don't be afraid to scream out to God. It is when we are completely authentic with God that our relationship with Him grows and begins to flourish.
3. Be consistent in prayer. Prayer is vital for a relationship with God. The best way to have a good relationship with someone is effective and consistent communication. It is the same with a relationship with God. In order to know God better and grow closer in relationship to Him, you must make time to talk to Him every day. Don't let the commotion of the world consume your day as you try to take it on yourself. Let God enter your life by asking Him through prayer.
4. Pray for others. Praying for others changes the perspective you have on your own life. By praying for the struggles and successes of others, it allows you to be more selfless about your own situations in life.
5. Pray for those who hurt you. Matthew 5:44 says, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (ESV) This is probably the most difficult thing to do in prayer. Praying for people who hurt you is the best way to deal with that hurt. Praying for those who hurt you turns your perspective from hating someone to actually rooting for them to come to Christ. This may seem difficult at first, but forgiveness is the lace that binds the body of believers and the Christian faith itself.
6. Don't be afraid to pray about little things. Nothing is too small for God. He cares about your smallest worries and concerns just as much as you do. Keep this in mind as you pray.
God is waiting for you to talk to Him. What are you waiting for?
Hunter Kallay, author of "Plug in Your Life." He is a Christian leader and speaker.