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Have you ever noticed the effect that culture and trends have on our lives? Think about it. Almost everyone I know owns and spends time on a smart phone; and things like movies, sports, clothes, and music have a big influence on people. So why are we so heavily influenced by the culture we live in? The fact is that in our time, everything around us constantly demands our undivided attention. The world craves our worship. And all of these distractions are rooted in idolatry and selfishness when they take our eyes off our Heavenly Father and his great plan for our lives.
Whatever you do, you will reflect it in your life. In other words, we become what we worship. If you look up synonyms for worship in your thesaurus, you will come across words like venerate, adore, and idolize. Ask yourself these questions: “How much time do I spend flipping through magazines or googling the latest celebrity gossip? How important is it that I fit in, that I look role and am I successful? Am I measuring my success by the opinions of others?” Now ask yourself this: “How much time do I spend reading God’s Word and allow him to speak to me? Do I respond to things around me by seeking God’s wisdom first? Our goal should be to approach earthly things with a heavenly mindset. But as we we all know, this can be extremely difficult.
When God gave the children of Israel the Ten Commandments, He began the list by saying, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall make no carved image to yourself – no likeness of anything that is in the sky above, or that is in the earth below, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:3-4).
[2 Timothy 3:16] How many times have you been sitting in worship and listening to the sermon when suddenly a point from the Bible makes you wonder, “How did he know?” Something was said that really hit home. You are struggling with a temptation, a difficulty or a Bible question and it has been addressed as if the preacher was speaking to you! But the preacher had no way of knowing. It happened to this writer both as a listener and as a preacher, many times. It is a demonstration of the power of the Word of God! The Bible, when preached, taught, or studied, has the ability to address the deep thoughts, struggles, and guilt in an individual’s heart, “For the word of God is swift, and mighty, and more sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, and joints and marrow, and discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 ).
The Bible will help us in our daily lives. The Word of God is not an obsolete book. What should I do in the event of a conflict with another? How do you overcome temptation at work? Is there a way to get my priorities straight when life is chaotic and out of control? “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; It is not for the walking man to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).
The Bible has the ability to make us better people, a blessed people, a heaven-bound people. “…as his divine power hath given us all things of life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to glory and virtue…” (2 Peter 1:3). How the Word of God affects us, however, really depends on us as hearers and doers (James 1:21-25).
So don’t overthink the preacher if he says something that really helps or blame him if he says something that seems too direct, for the power is in the Word of God (1 Peter 4:10-11) . If what you hear applies to your life, remember that it is God who speaks to you through his Word so that you can hear about the saving grace he offers through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Romans 10:14-17), for he is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 2:9).