July 17th

 

Room for the Word

37I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father."
39"Abraham is our father," they answered.
"If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would40 do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41You are doing the things your own father does."
"We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself."
42Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. 43Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? 47He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." John 8:37-47 NIV
 

Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees in the above passage.  Ironically, as the spiritual leaders of the people, the Pharisees had “no room” for God’s word and were “unable to hear” what Jesus was saying.  Jesus pointed out that they could not hear because they belonged to the devil and they wanted to carry out his desire instead of God (44). 

The Pharisees had allowed sins like spiritual pride and hypocrisy to fill their hearts such that there was no room for God’s Word.  Their sin had so blinded their understanding of truth that they thought Jesus was working for the devil.  In fact, it was the Pharisees who were working for the devil, to carry out his will. 

This highlights the danger and deceptiveness of sin.  Practicing sin brings us into slavery to sin (John 8:34), such that we carry out the devil’s desire.  The more we practice it, the stronger the slavery is and the more deceived we can be.  The more we fill our minds with the thoughts and pursuits of sin, the more we become enslaved to sin instead of to God's words.   

The way we can make room for God’s Word in our hearts is to first repent of any sin that we’ve been practicing.  Then we can ask God to remove any deception that had settled over our minds on account of our sin.  Lastly, we can study and meditate on the Word in our daily quiet time.  The Word will help detoxify our minds from the sin and realign our thoughts with God’s thoughts.  Having taking these steps we’ll be well positioned to fulfill our role as sons of God and carry out his will on earth.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Father in heaven, Thank you for reconciling me with yourself through the blood of Jesus. Thank you for calling me your son and giving me an inheritance with Jesus.  I praise you for your great love and grace extended to me.  I confess any sin that I have been tolerating or practicing in my life: ________.  Please forgive me for this sin and wash away any associated deception in my thoughts.  I am your son(or daughter) and your servant, O Lord.  I desire to do your will and will no longer serve sin.  Please strengthen me to faithfully live for your desires.  Thank you, Father! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”