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Open Hands, Willing HeartSample

Open Hands, Willing Heart

DAY 4 OF 5

Living and Active

We recalibrate our hearts when we read and pray through God’s Word. Yet often we approach the Bible with the attitude of “What does this passage tell me about me? What does this mean for my life?” If we approach the Bible as if we’re reading a fortune cookie or horoscope, we miss so much. God gifted us with His Word so that we can know who He is. No other book is described as “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). God reveals Himself through creation and sometimes through other people, but created things give only a partial picture. It’s like studying a famous painting: we can appreciate and perceive certain nuances of the artist by looking at his work, but hearing directly from the artist with regard to the thoughts and motivations behind each masterpiece is the best way to truly understand the art. 

As we read Scripture, better questions to ask are “What does this passage teach me about God? What do I learn about His will, His heart, and His ways?” Surrender happens as we become captured by who God is. He can do anything. He knows everything. He loves us. These qualities are braided together. An all-knowing God who is loving but not powerful would be impotent. An all-knowing and all-powerful God who is not loving would be terrifying. An all-powerful God who is loving but not all knowing would be unhelpful. 

The reason we can trust God is that He is all the things we need, all at the same time, and His character never changes. 

Life is a gift from God. Our beating hearts and the air that fills our lungs are gifts from God. So is our inborn capacity to connect with Him. From the beginning of time, God’s intention for us as image bearers has been to have an intimate relationship with Him. While this doesn’t mean we won’t have trials and disappointments, God desires to reveal Himself so that we can know Him and trust Him with every aspect of our lives, no matter what. A soul-anchoring faith that enables us to weather our inevitable challenges and heartaches is grounded in an accurate understanding of what He is like. 

Spend some time meditating on Hebrews 4:12. What words does the writer use to describe God’s Word? How do those words set the Bible apart from other books or ways of knowing God?



Day 3Day 5

About this Plan

Open Hands, Willing Heart

Following Jesus isn’t a decision to obey rules but a decision to live in relationship with Him, surrendered to His will. For the next five days, we’ll look at what it means to live out that posture of surrender. Because ...


We would like to thank WaterBrook Multnomah for providing this plan. For more information, please visit:

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