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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.

Talk It Over

What does it mean to humbly accept God’s Word? Why does humility matter?
Why does sin keep us from fellowship with God? How have you felt the effects of unconfessed sin on your relationship with God?
What does God want you to do with the parts of the Bible you don’t understand?

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