Holy Spirit, You teach me all things, You lead me into all truth, You bear witness to Jesus, You cry in my heart, "Abba Father." Jesus (in John 15:7-8) instructed "if you abide in Me and My words abide in you..." as a basic condition for bearing fruit that would remain. Holy Spirit, teach us how to bring and keep this Word abiding in us.
One of the ways the Holy Spirit has been teaching us to strengthen our inner man through the word is the practice of "pray-read" the Word. Let me give an example.
This morning I was reading Psalm 107. It begins with "O give thanks to the Lord,.." - so I simple look up to Him and thank Him for my life, for saving me, for my wife and family, for ways He has blessed me.
for He is good - so I declare HIs good promises, You are so good to me, You give us abundant life whenwe deserve death, You take our sins, You are faithful to Your Word and Your nature.
for His mercy endures forever - using this truth I declare "You took my judgment on the cross, You greet me each morning with fresh mercy and a new start, You always rescue me when I turn to You in trouble, and I can count on Your mercy carrying me into eternity with You.
Then the psalm states, "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has delivered from the hand of the adversary. What a privilege to declare "I am redeemed by Your blood and in You have paid in full my debt. Thanks to you, I am alive, free, and belong to You forever."
Later it says, "They cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses." It is easy to remember so many of the times when I did something stupid and when in trouble, I called on God to help me. AND HE DID! So I just thank Him for each time that comes to my mind.
Finally in verse 8, "Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy, and His wonderful works to the children of men!" God is absolutely awesome. Look at His glorious creation, from the beauty of the mountains, the sunrise, the stars, the trees and flowers, to the wonderful way that we are made, our eyes to see, our ears to hear music and sounds, to be able to speak and communicate our deepest thoughts with one another, for an inner person of the heart that can know love, peace, joy, truth, strength, and most of all, know the infinite creator of the universe as our closest friend who has chosen to live inside us. What an awesome, beyond comprehension, powerful yet intimate God! Oh Holy Spirit, help me always remember to praise Him for His goodness and mercy, for His wonderful works to me.
We could and should go on. I just wanted to share this morning how simple and yet powerful it is to pray-read the Word, to let it be the content of my conversation, and to begin to let that life-giving Word abide in me. May I ask you to do the same. The Holy Spirit is here to help us. Come, Holy Spirit, You are welcome in this place.