Encountering God: Cultivating Habits of Faith Through the Spiritual Disciplines

Day 1 of 6 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Day One: The Word Made Flesh


The Spiritual Discipline of Study


When I think of all God’s Word has done for me over the years, its healing power is at the top of the list. Nothing binds up wounded hearts, repairs broken thinking, or sometimes cures physical illness like His Word.


Throughout the Old Testament, God’s Word created, revealed, delivered, judged, rescued, gave wisdom, and healed. 


Turn to John 1 and read verse 14.


The Word having “dwelt among us” is one of the most powerful phrases in all of Scripture (v. 14). The literal meaning is that the Word pitched His tabernacle among us.1 The word tabernacle probably hasn’t popped up in any of your recent texts or conversations—it’s not a concept that has much meaning in today’s culture. But if you were a first-century Jew, your mind would have immediately raced to the story of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness, found in the Book of Exodus. 


Though the presence of God dwelling among the Israelites was an astounding gift, often His glory was so great it was a consuming fire in which they couldn’t draw near (Ex. 24:17). Even Moses couldn’t enter the tabernacle when it was filled with God’s glory (Ex. 40:34-35). And when the temple Solomon built was dedicated, the priests were kept from ministering there by God’s glory (1 Kings 8:10-11).


Now, read Hebrews 1:1-3.


Dear friends, I’m so grateful for your presence on this journey. The spiritual disciplines really are a road we travel because they lead us along paths of growth and understanding. As we commit time to each discipline, we’re spending it with our Savior. I think of Mary of Bethany who chose to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what He said (Luke 10:38-42). Perhaps Mary understood even before John that she was in the presence of the Word made flesh and she best put down her pots and pans so she could partake of the portion that could never be taken from her (v. 42). I think that’s what Bible study is. Spending time in the presence of Christ for that which nourishes us now and lasts into eternity.


PERSONAL REFLECTION: How does Jesus as the Word made flesh reframe your understanding of Bible study? Does it inspire you to listen more intently to the words and teachings of Jesus?