Hello brothers and sisters of Our Daily Devotionals,
As a Christian, I know that I need to read God’s words every day, for only by reading and practicing God’s words can I obtain the truth and make progress in life. But now, I am confronted with a problem, which is how I should read God’s words to achieve good results. Although I kept readingand God’s words every day in my years of believing in the Lord, after reading God’s words I merely understand some literal meanings and nothing more. I’m very worried about it, so I want to seek for fellowship: How can I read the words of God to have good results? I look forward to receiving your reply as soon as possible. Thank you!
Brother Liu Chen
Hello Brother Liu Chen,
Thank God for His love. You said that you don’t have a way to achieve good results from reading God’s words. Now you are anxious to seek. We can see that you are a person who seeks truth with a humble heart. Thesaid: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).
As Christians, it is truly very crucial to know the right way to read God’s words to achieve the proper effect. This is an important part concerning whether we can obtain truth and grow in life. We used to be like you: We persisted in practicing spiritual devotions and reading God’s words every day, but only understood a bit of literal meaning of God’s words. Because of this, we were troubled. However, afterward, through God’s words and the fellowship of brothers and sisters, we found the way and knew how to read God’s words to achieve good results.
1: When reading God’s words, we should pay attention to quieting our hearts before God, pondering His will and His requirements of us from His words.
God’s words say: “Wholeheartedto the words of God mainly means seeking the truth, seeking God’s intention within His words, focusing on grasping the will of God, and understanding and obtaining more truth from the words of God. When reading His words, Peter was not focused on understanding doctrines and he was even less focused on obtaining theological knowledge; instead, he was focused on understanding the truth and grasping God’s will, and achieving an understanding of His disposition and His loveliness. He also tried to understand the various corrupt states of man from God’s words, and understand the corrupt nature of man and man’s true shortcomings, achieving all aspects of the demands God makes of man in order to satisfy Him. He had so many correct practices within the words of God; this is most in line with God’s will, and it is man’s best cooperation in his experience of the work of God.”
From God’s words we can see that when reading God’s words, we cannot merely understand their literal meaning, but must also seek which aspects of the truth they are related to, what God’s intention is, what God’s requirements for us are, and how we should practice to be in line with His will.
For example, we read these words of the Lord Jesus: “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). How should we ponder the inner meaning of these words spoken by the Lord Jesus? Why does He require that of us?? In addition, which aspects of the truth are these words related to? We should be quiet before God and ponder carefully. Through contemplating, we can see that these words concern the truth of being an honest person, and of living out the likeness of a real man, and that they are also directed at our corrupt disposition. We have been corrupted by Satan too deeply, so we often put the fame and gain, status, personal benefits above all else. When we do something related to them, in order to maintain our own benefits, we will lie and cheat involuntarily. This is the natural expression of our craftiness and selfishness. For instance, we didn’t spread the gospel recently due to our fleshly things. But when the church leader asked us whether we spread the gospel, we were afraid that if we spoke truthfully, the leader would blame us for shouldering no burdens and being unfaithful to the Lord. So, in order to maintain our face and status in the leader’s heart, we said that we did it. This is not telling the truth, but lying and deceiving. It was out of our cunning nature that we said these words. In other words, we were exhibiting Satan and had no human likeness; we were distrusted by man and despised by God. After pondering these, we had some understanding of these words of the Lord Jesus, knowing that it’s very important to speak honestly and to be an honest person. When encountering something concerning our own personal benefits, we are willing to betray our satanic nature, be an honest person, and live out the likeness of a real man. This is the person loved by God.
Just like that, when reading God’s words, if we frequently practice quieting our heart before Him to ponder His words, we will gradually gain some insight into His intention, His requirements for us, and how we should do. This is the result that can be achieved through quieting our heart before God and pondering His words.
2: When reading God’s words, we should integrate them with our own situation and problems, seek God’s will in everything, and practice in line with His requirements in order to enter into the reality of the truth of His words.
God’s words say: “Is your understanding of truth integrated with your own states? In real life, you first have to think of which truths relate to the people, things, and objects you have encountered; it is among these truths that you can find God’s will and connect what you have encountered with His will.” From God’s words we can see that it is critical that when pondering God’s words, we need to integrate the people, things, and objects that we encounter in our real life to seek the truth. When encountering practical situations and difficulties, we should integrate the problems to seek the relevant truth, pray to God and grasp His will. Then we should check our opinions and viewpoints on people or things as well as our words and behaviors to see whether they are in line with truth and God’s words, how we should deal with God’s requirements, and how to practice properly. Only by practicing to ponder God’s words in this way can we obtain benefits and good results in understanding truth and entering into the reality of God’s words.
For example: Of all God’s requirements for us, there is a most crucial one. God says: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37–38). If we don’t integrate these words with our practical states at ordinary times, we can’t easily understand the truth within it, and we sometimes even believe that we have been someone who loves the Lord and that everything we do have been in line with God’s will when we have spent a bit for God. It is just like when we worked and spent for God, gave up a lot, and endured some suffering in the midst of the work, we would feel that we were qualified to be elected as church leaders. However, during elections, we were not selected for leadership. After that, our strength to spend for God got smaller and smaller, our motivation for the work was lost, our situation got worse and worse, and our spirits became darker and darker. When we prayed to and turned back to God, we thought of God’s words: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). Pondering God’s words, we reflected upon ourselves: Where did we express any love for the Lord with all our heart? Our working and sacrificing are a transaction with God. We wanted to win fame and fortune and position by the price we had paid, but as a result, when we failed to reach our own aims, we lost our energy. Only through this matter did we see clearly that our sacrifices were all paid for our own benefit. We thought of the story of Peter recorded in the Bible. When the Lord Jesus committed the church to him and asked him to shepherd God’s sheep, Peter neither laid conditions nor made deal with the Lord. Instead, he only sought how to bring brothers and sisters before God, and sought to satisfy God’s heart’s desire in his work. Therefore, he could bear the testimony of loving God to the utmost and submitting even to death in the end. From this, we can see that all those who love and satisfy God with all their hearts and minds spend for God without their own intentions and objectives, and that everything they do is completely for loving and satisfying God. At that time, we understood God’s requirements and got some practical knowledge of loving God with all our hearts and minds. We were willing to repent to God, betray our own intentions and purposes, and practice according to God’s requirements. Later on, when we saw ourselves reveal wrong intentions and desires in our expending for God, we would consciously forsake them and pursue to satisfy God with all our hearts and minds. Therefore, when reading God’s words, we should integrate them with our practical states to ponder God’s words. Only in this way can we easily obtain the work of the Holy Spirit and understand God’s will.
Brother Liu Chen, we hope our fellowship can help you a bit. In reading God’s words, may all of us maintain a heart of seeking the truth, carefully ponder His words, and pay attention to seeking each of God’s words to see what intentions and requirements of God are involved within His words. Meanwhile, we should also integrate our practical states, ponder and seek according to God’s words. As we practice and exercise constantly in this way, we will truly enter into God’s words and gain the truth and life that God bestows upon us. Thank God! All the glory be to God!
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