Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Head That Once Was Crowned"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 18:22-23 – When Jesus heard this, he said to [the rich young ruler], "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. (NIV)
My young granddaughter, who is just learning to feed herself, sometimes chokes on her food. When this happens, she coughs until she dislodges the morsel from her throat. Sometimes, she re-chews and swallows it successfully, and other times, she spits it out.
These episodes reminded me of God's Word and how sometimes it, too, can be hard to swallow. I am listening to a sermon, or reading a devotional or my Bible, and the Word of God hits on an area of my life that needs some fine tuning or an about-face regarding my thoughts, words, or actions. When this happens, I, like the rich young ruler, have a choice to make. Do I, by faith, choose to obey these hard-to-swallow words and end up being spiritually nourished and blessed, or do I reject them and lose out on the blessing?
At such times, I seek to remind myself what the Bible teaches:
2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (NIV)
I need to remember that Scripture is very powerful and that the Holy Spirit uses it to get to the root of my thinking, my attitudes, and my habits to reveal to me where and how I need to change, both for my own sake as well as to be a greater blessing to God's kingdom. I thus need to learn to chew and re-chew those difficult parts until they no longer stick in my throat, but are swallowed and digested into my very being. When this happens, change begins to occur. I become just a little more like Jesus, which is exactly what I want.
How about you? Is any of God's Word sticking in your throat these days? If so, what choice are you going to make: to spit it out and remain unchanged, or to chew and re-chew and finally swallow and be nourished and blessed and be a blessing?
Prayer: Lord God, help us today to trust by faith in Your Word and the nourishment and blessing it brings when we choose to ingest it into our very being, allowing the Spirit to use it to transform us a little more into Your image. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.