“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the ENGRAFTED WORD, which is able to save your souls.” (James 1:21)
I’m often told that I e-mail ‘Bible Studies’ daily and not daily devotionals! That always makes me smile, since for one, that’s a very high compliment as a teacher; and two, many Pastors actually use my daily devotionals, especially the series, as Bible Study / Sunday School Lessons in their churches! So, am I offended by the statement? Not one bit! In fact, I’m quite honored! Truthfully, I never intended to send out 2-3 lines daily just to encourage believers. No disrespect intended, but there are Many daily devotionals that are e-mailed with that as their sole intent, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Even Peter received One Word, “Come”, that was an “Engrafted Word”, because it impacted him by moving him from one place to another, (we’ll look at that a little more in depth later). So, I reiterate, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a short format devotional!
However, as for me, my heart’s desire as a teacher/preacher/counselor/life coach (and whatever else can be added to the list) is based solely on the Word of God, more specifically, based on James 1:21, the “…Engrafted Word” of God! Why you ask? Because the word “Engrafted” means, “to attach to, and become part of.” Therefore, it is my ministry goal daily to e-mail an “Engrafted Word”, one that will attach itself to you and become part of you!
Picture a gardener grafting a branch into a tree and that branch coming to life and bearing fruit. Now picture yourself reading God’s Word and a Scripture attaching itself to you, growing in you and producing change in your life. That’s how God’s Word works. And so help me, that’s how these Devotionals will continue to work!
As a teacher, it is my charge to give clear and concise instruction, which causes me to have to dig deeper and explain further. Why is that so important? Because James admonishes: “NOT MANY [of you] should become teachers…for you know that we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation].” (3:1 AMP). The Message Bible says it like this: “Don’t be in any rush to become a teacher…Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards…”
In other words, when I e-mail you daily devotionals of direction to change your life and lifestyle, I’m held accountable for the “Engrafted Word” I teach that becomes a part of who you become! That’s a tremendous responsibility, that no teacher ought to take lightly! Now, you understand why I’m an extremely detailed devotional writer! There is great responsibility and condemnation to the teachers of the “Engrafted Word” of God!
But why do I desire to teach an “Engrafted Word”? Well, to be real blunt, far too many are simply “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” (2 Timothy 3:5). How do I know many are hearing a Word, but not receiving an “Engrafted Word”? Because power changes things! For example, you can take an extension cord and plug it into an outlet, but if the power is off, nothing in a dark room is going to change! But if you take that same cord and plug it in with the power on, light comes in and darkness gets pushed out! That’s why the Bible says: “…what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV). Light and darkness don’t dwell together, and it’s power that separates the two, because power always changes things!
With that said, you’ll know when you’ve received an “Engrafted Word” because things in your life will change! Why? Because the Word has Power! “For the Word of God is quick, and POWERFUL, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). In other words, an “Engrafted Word” is “Powerful” enough to invoke change! But right before that word “Powerful”, did you notice it also says the Word is “Quick”?! So before you go complaining that, “this is just the way I am; I’ve been like this my whole life; that’s just me; I’m set in my ways; that’s just my personality; I don’t let nothing and no one change me…”, before you go off on that tangent, might I remind you that the Word of God is “Quick” and “Powerful”! If you haven’t changed yet, it’s because you have NOT received an “Engrafted Word”! You can’t receive one and stay the same! Even if you’re walking in the darkness of sin, the Bible says: “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path. I’ve committed myself and I’ll never turn back from living by your righteous order.” (Psalm 119:105-106 MSG). When you’ve received an “Engrafted Word”, you must change and change quickly! It don’t take a lifetime for God to change you! He spoke one Word to Peter “Come”, it was an “Engrafted Word” because Peter received and embraced it, upon doing so he changed location from sitting on a boat to walking on the water, and it didn’t take a decade to get it done!
Let’s look at a few Scriptures to test this out:
- “…Jesus called them, and IMMEDIATELY they left the boat and…followed him.” (Matthew 4:21-22 NIV). [The Engrafted Word spoke and they changed direction and occupation!]
- “…Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying…be thou clean. And IMMEDIATELY his leprosy was cleansed.” (Matthew 8:2-4). [The Engrafted Word spoke and a disease was dismissed!]
- “I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go…and IMMEDIATELY he arose, took up the bed, and went…” (Mark 2:11-13). [The Engrafted Word spoke and he was able to lift what had carried him for years!]
- “And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And IMMEDIATELY he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” (Mark 10:52). [The Engrafted Word spoke and impaired vision was restored!]
- “And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and IMMEDIATELY she arose and ministered…” (Luke 4:39). [The Engrafted Word spoke and ministering went forth!]
Clearly, the “Engrafted Word” is “Quick” and “Powerful” enough to change people, places and things ‘Immediately’!
The “Engrafted Word” liberates you, lifts you, directs you, and enables you to fight and win! Engrafted-Word-Carrying-Believers are Potent! That’s because the “Engrafted Word” sticks to you, takes you through the storm, feeds you in famine, quenches your thirst in drought, and brings you through the worst of times!
The “Engrafted Word” is self-sustaining! It doesn’t require the accolades of men or the support of others to validate it! As Jesus was walking on the water towards His disciples in the boat, Peter said, “Lord, if it’s you,”…”tell me to come…” (Matthew 14:28 NIV). Jesus gave him one Word, “Come,” and Peter started walking! Was he scared? I know I would’ve been! That’s why your desire to obey what He said, has to always be greater than the fear of doing what He said! The “Engrafted Word” gives you a desire for God that’s greater than your doubts and limitations!
Keep in mind: When you receive an “Engrafted Word” from God, there will always be those who don’t believe you can do it; those who are so comfortable with where you’re currently at, that they don’t want you to even try to do it; and those who are so competitive that they don’t want you to succeed at doing it! When God gives you a Word and you step out on it, don’t expect everybody to validate it! It’s normal for you to want certain people to see what you see and believe what you believe. But God prepares you for disagreements between you and those who don’t understand what God has told you. If you’re not careful, people’s opinions will short-circuit your faith and make you doubt what God said! God says: “I’m not going to confirm what I’ve told you through them! In fact, I don’t even need them to agree with what I’ve spoken concerning you.” Pay attention to Peter once again: He said: “Lord, if it’s YOU…” That’s all you need to know, is it the “Lord”! Secondly, Peter said: “…tell me to come…”, NOT US! Just, “…tell ME…” Everybody sitting with you, can’t walk with you! Be confident in God. You may want all these external support systems, but the truth is, you don’t need them! The “Engrafted Word” is self-sustaining!
Lastly, when God gives you an “Engrafted Word,” it will make you hunger for more of the same! But be careful; don’t go “cherry-picking” the Bible for feel-good Scriptures! To grow in your faith you must discipline yourself to spend time each day in God’s Word! You don’t discover an “Engrafted Word” all by yourself, or decide that one particular Scripture is for you and another is not. No! The Bible says: “ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
To make a profit in business you must know your business thoroughly, otherwise you’ll soon be out of business! The way to succeed in your Christian life is to make it your business to know your Bible! Don’t just seek a Word from God, study the entire Word of God! Saturate yourself in the Scriptures! It’s like the analogy of the sperm and the egg. Neither the male sperm nor the female egg is designed to reproduce on their own. Only when the sperm impacts and is embraced by the egg, is there conception and reproduction! And it’s the same with our spiritual growth! When God’s Word and the receptive heart get together, something is going to happen! That’s a combination that works every time! There’s no substitute for first-hand, daily, consistent exposure to His “Engrafted Word”!
Today, no matter who is teaching the Word, your goal is to make sure you are receiving the unadulterated Gospel, the full Word of God and not a piece meal, or selected feel-good verses. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. So determine to study the Bible in its entirety, yes, even the Scriptures that step on your toes, after all, those are usually the very ones that cause you to walk better! Remember the Word of God is to be Engrafted so that it Equips, not Entertains! Which is why we are not told to simply read the Word, but to STUDY and APPLY it! “Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 AMP); “But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth]” (James 1:22 AMP)
Seek Engraftment NOT Entertainment!
“For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 AMP).
The point of teaching is to pierce the heart of the believer and unbeliever alike, to make both better! “Now when they heard this they were stung (cut) to the heart, and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles (special messengers), Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself. And [Peter] solemnly and earnestly witnessed (testified) and admonished (exhorted) with much more continuous speaking and warned (reproved, advised, encouraged) them, saying, Be saved from this crooked (perverse, wicked, unjust) generation. Therefore those who accepted and welcomed his message were baptized, and there were added that day about 3,000 souls. And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread [including the Lord’s Supper] and prayers.” (Acts 2:38-42 AMP).
An Engrafted Word Will Always Impact the Lives of People For the Better!
Listen, these are indeed the last and evil days, and the last thing you need to do is wander away from the Word of God. Make a determination to be rooted and grounded in a Bible Teaching, Bible Preaching, Bible Praying, Bible Believing, Bible Living Church! And once you’re there, determine to always be found in Sunday School and Bible Study, not just Sunday Morning Worship! The teaching arm of the ministry is strong and powerful, it’s foundational to your growth and development in the faith! Strengthen your personal and congregational bible study time with the Engrafted Word of God. You will become one of God’s Strongest Soldiers in Spiritual Warfare!
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the ENGRAFTED WORD, which is able to SAVE YOUR SOULS.” (James 1:21)
Most importantly, the Engrafted Word of God is Purposed to Save Your Soul. Not make you feel good, or feel better. Not to twist and distort into a prosperity, blessings, houses, cars, land, promotion message. Not to tickle your ears or your fancy. But it is to Save Your Soul! And for the price your Savior paid for your soul don’t you think you owe Him your undivided attention where His Word is concerned? After all, He gave His blood and life and all He’s asking from you is that you study His Word. Should that really be a struggle?
Proverbs 30:5, “Every Word of God has been proven true. He is a safe-covering to those who trust in Him.” (NLV)
Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.” (ESV)
John 1:1, “In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.” (AMP)
John 1:14, “And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we [actually] saw His glory as belongs to the [One and] only begotten Son of the Father, [the Son who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, who is] full of grace and truth (absolutely free of deception).” (AMP)
Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge [of My law, where I reveal My will]. Because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.” (AMP)
Psalm 119:9-16, “How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted. I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt. Be blessed, God; train me in your ways of wise living. I’ll transfer to my lips all the counsel that comes from your mouth; I delight far more in what you tell me about living than in gathering a pile of riches. I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it.” (MSG)
“There is only one safeguard against error, and that is to be established in the faith; and for that, there has to be prayerful and diligent study, and a receiving with meekness the engrafted Word of God. Only then are we fortified against the attacks of those who assail us.” (Arthur W. Pink)
“We need to start teaching the Bible the way it was written instead of watering it down to make it easier for people to swallow. People can swallow the truth.” (PassionForTruth)
“Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion – it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.” (Charles Spurgeon)
“If Jesus preached the same message ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified.” (Leonard Ravenhill)
“There was a time when people went to church, heard the truth, and wept over their sins. Today…people go to church, hear a motivational speech, and ignore their sins.” (Ron Smith)
“It is the Christian’s responsibility to spread and protect the Gospel, why? Because it will continue to be under attack. The enemies want to distort and neutralize its powerful effect.” (Author Unknown)
“We should no more tolerate false doctrine than we would tolerate sin.” (J.C. Ryle)
“Avoid a sugar-coated gospel. Seek the gospel that rips up, wounds and even kills, for that’s the Gospel that makes alive again.” (Charles Spurgeon)
“The church is getting fat feeding on feel good gospel, when it needs to go on a diet of Jesus Filled Reality.” (Author Unknown)
“If the Word of God were a treasure map, I believe more people would read it. This proves they have no idea what unspeakable riches it holds.” (AMBrewster)
“There’s nothing more dangerous to the kingdom of darkness than a believer with the Word of God in his mouth.” (Joyce Meyer)
“If you want to be led by the Spirit of God, then devote yourself to the Word of God.” (J.D. Grear)
“The Bible was not given to increase knowledge, but to change our lives.” (D.L. Moody)
“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” (Ronald Reagan)
“The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” (D.L. Moody)
“I spent six years in bible study because I needed to get grounded. People really need to spend time in the Bible getting to know the God they claim to love.” (Willie Aames)
“A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” (Charles Spurgeon)
“Keep studying the Scriptures. Keep doing the things that build your faith in Jesus Christ. And then notice the wise choices you are naturally drawn to make.” (Russell M. Nelson)
“The Bible and studying the Bible has been an important part of my life.” (Jimmy Carter)
“The devil is a better theologian than any of us and is a devil still.” (A.W. Tozer)
“Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the Scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the Word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the Word of God. If so, do it!” (Richard G. Scott)
“There is no long-range effective teaching of the Bible that is not accompanied by long hours of ongoing study of the Bible.” (D.A. Carson)
“We cannot properly understand Scripture without prayer, and we cannot know how to pray without studying Scripture.” (Becka Goings)
“God’s voice echoes throughout Scriptures. If I want to know God’s voice, I must spend time reading and studying the Bible.” (Margaret Feinberg)
“We live in a time when the Scriptures and the words of modern-day prophets are more easily accessible than at any time in the history of the world. However, it is our privilege and duty, and it is our responsibility to reach out and grasp their teachings.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf)
“Let us receive nothing, believe nothing, follow nothing, which is not in the Bible, nor can be proved by the Bible.” (J.C. Ryle)
Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #ShareTheWordFeel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “This is What Happens to Your Body After Losing 10 Pounds”
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