Before You Open God’s Word, Believe It
By Rick Warren
"So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls." James 1:21 (NLT)
You may not always understand what the Bible says. But to anchor your life on the solid foundation of God’s Word, you need to humbly accept whatever God tells you.
In today’s verse, the word “accept” is from the Greek word dechomai. It's a hospitality term. It means to receive like a stranger. You are to receive God’s Word fully into your life. That means before you even open your Bible, you tell God that you accept whatever he tells you. You agree to believe his Word, whether or not you understand it.
Look at the first part of today’s verse. In order to accept God’s Word, you first have to take care of the filthy stuff in your life. Clean it out! Now, this doesn’t mean you need to clean up your life before you can come to God; Instead, it means sin can block you from hearing God. You can’t hear him when you’ve got something else filling your mind and heart. You’ve got to make space for the truth. Believing and applying God’s truth will change you and make you more like Jesus.
In the Bible, God often compares our accepting his Word to gardening. He wants us to accept the seeds he is planting in our hearts and minds. But before the seeding and the feeding comes the weeding. Before you meet with God, you have to take out the emotional and spiritual garbage in your life. You do that by confessing and turning away from your sins. You admit to God what you’ve done that goes against his Word.
Then, through acceptance and confession, God can produce the fruit of obedience in your life.
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“Perhaps the most important role you can play in the life of a child is teaching them to trust God through prayer. It’s the key to living with hope.” —Pastor Rick
That’s why it’s so important to strengthen the hope of kids by introducing them to Jesus’ model for prayer at an early age. And we’re excited to help you do that with Pastor Rick’s children’s book, The Lord’s Prayer: Words of Hope and Happiness.
Filled with thoughtful insights from Pastor Rick as well as stunning illustrations from award-winning artist, Richard Jesse Watson, this book brings the poetic scripture from the King James Version alive for readers young and old. It’s sure to become a meaningful bedtime ritual, a treasured memory, and by God’s grace, a legacy that bears good fruit for generations to come.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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