Words That Change Us

The Word of God is a powerful instrument the Holy Spirit uses in the lives of believers to form us into the character of Jesus. It is equally important that our disciplemaking involve leading others into the powerful influence of the Scriptures!

Numerous times during my life the Spirit of God has used the Scriptures to convict me of areas in my life that need change. As a young believer, I was convicted of how I sinned when I gossiped about my friends and the dire consequences of that behavior, since “a gossip separates close friends” (Proverbs 16:28).  Just a year later, as I was spending a lot of time with a girlfriend who was not yet a believer, the Spirit got my attention and helped me to bring some needed distance in that friendship, for “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). Recently, when I was finding my significance and security in accomplishments and man’s applause, the Spirit reminded me with the example of Paul, who said, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Galatians 6:14). Through the years, when I found myself seeking life purpose through working hard and performing, the Spirit of God said, “my soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him” (Psalm 62:1). The many instances where God got my attention through the Word would not have happened if I were not spending time in the Scriptures.

One of the ways God’s Word can transform us is by committing portions of it to memory. Psalm 119:9-11 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart, do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

As we memorize Scripture, whether a verse or a chapter, it becomes part of our soul software. It begins to reorient our thinking, feeling, and deciding. As the psalmist says, it helps us to make our way pure— working to transform us into the image of Christ.

And as we discussed in the previous post, our investment in others relies on our own transformation. Having the Word stored in our hearts and living in obedience to it provides opportunity for the Holy Spirit to use those words with whomever we might encounter during the day, whether someone yet to know Christ or another believer in need of a good word.  

The examples of countless men and women of the Bible whose lives were changed show us that the Holy Spirit’s number one tool to transform lives is the Scriptures. The Word of God is “living and active, sharper than a double-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12). Apart from His Word, our disciplemaking will lack power to see the lives of men and women changed through our disciplemaking.

The Spirit’s transforming work through the Word of God is a consistent, ongoing activity. It changes us so that we might catalyze change in others as ambassadors of Christ.

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