How Do I Live the Word?
I immerse myself first in the Word to be able to live the Word. My daily Quiet Time is a big help. I listen to the Word, read it, study it, memorize it, and meditate on it. I also practice Lectio Divina at times. A lack of variety in how we read the Bible can breed monotony.
I humbly acknowledge I cannot live the Word without Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit doing it through me. At times, I would ask God to provide me opportunities to apply Scripture beyond my experience, so I can understand it better and allow it to take deeper root in my heart. Risky I would say! But if the Word of God is to come alive in my life, I have to experience it afresh amidst distressing situations.
When obeying becomes really difficult for me, I think of its manifold benefits. I consider these examples of blessings that come out of obedience from the Bible: protection for Noah during the Great Flood; strength in weakness for Paul; a seed, a land, and a blessing to all the nations of the earth for Abraham; and in the case of Jesus, the powers of sin, death and Satan shattered. “Obedience that comes from faith” (Romans 1:5) in the face of suffering and persecution (Hebrews 11:35 – 38; 1 Peter 4:12–19) allows me to experience the blessings of His promises.
Over the years, I have experienced the invaluable help of the Christian community in applying the Word of God to my life. The standard God set for us as summed up in the great commandment “Love God and love your neighbors” requires us to work together as one Body. I can’t even begin to imagine the commands “love one another “ and “bear one another’s burden” being fulfilled without the help of a community. Living the Word within the community calls for refreshing transparency (“speaking the truth in love”) and committed accountability (“those who sin are to be rebuked publicly”). If I have to take that seriously, I need to belong to an authentic community.
I obey the Lord because I love Him—the very motive why I live the Word. Jesus said, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and show myself to him” (John 14:21).
Rene Lozada Futalan is the senior pastor of Makati Grace International Ministries and the chairman of the National Council of Elders of the Alliance of Bible Christian Communities of the Philippines (ABCCOP). He is a contributing writer in Passion and Power: Pulpit Messages from the Filipino Heart. The book is published by OMF Literature.