14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” … 11 “This is the meaning of the parable: the seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”  (Luke 8:4-15)
Over the next few weeks, we are going to go deeper and deeper into the Scriptures to help each other to find deep joy and freedom in God. At our online services this weekend, we are going to be looking about what those Scriptures say about our new identity in Christ. How much or how little we experience the reality of the joy and freedom that this brings depends on how we view the Scriptures. What do you actually think the Bible is?

The Apostle Paul knows his answer in 2 Timothy 3. He insists that all of the Bible is ‘God-breathed’ – that is, that the words in it were not invented by clever men and women. God spoke the words of Scripture into the hearts of people through his Holy Spirit and, as a result, the words that they wrote down on paper were the words of God himself. Consequently, to doubt the words of Scripture is to doubt God himself. 1 John 1:10 even goes so far as to say that to doubt the words of Scripture is to call the Lord a liar. He has given us the Bible as his word of truth into our lives. We don’t sit in judgment over Scripture as we read it, deciding whether or not we agree with it. We let Scripture sit in judgment over us as we read it, allowing it to correct our thinking until we become wise in our salvation.

Jesus told his famous Parable of the Sower to warn us how important a spiritual battle this is for each one of us. He insists that the Scriptures are the Word of God. They carry the same inherent power to transform our hearts that a seed carries to transform itself into a beautiful plant or flower. The question is whether we will allow the seed of Scripture to take deep root within our hearts. The seed that falls on the path represents the hard-hearted, who shrug off the words of Scripture. The seed that falls on the rocky ground represents the shallow-hearted, who claim to want to follow Jesus but who pay little attention to what his Word actually says. The seed that falls among thorns represents the half-hearted, who want to follow Jesus but who are unwilling to uproot the other things in their lives that distract them from doing so. The seed that falls on good soil is represents the wholehearted, who do more than simply listen to God’s Word. They retain it, allowing it to put down deep roots into their entire lives.

The fact you have decided to take the time to read these Everyday Devotions each day means that you are unlikely to belong to the first two categories. Well done! You are providing the Lord with some deep soil in your heart in which he can cause his Word to grow. Have a think about what might stop you from coming back here over the next few weeks to keep on deepening that soil? Also have a think about what thorns might distract you from following through on what God says to you here? The Lord wants to yield some amazing fruit in your life over the next few weeks, as we continue our Enjoy The New You! series together.
1)   Do you truly believe that the Bible is ‘God-breathed’? Here’s a way of knowing. How do you respond when the Scriptures say something that you disagree with? When your own view and the Bible disagree, which one wins?

2)   How do you feel about the statement in 1 John 1:10 that to doubt what the Bible says is to call God a liar?

3)   Looking back over the Parable of the Sower, what active steps can you take to ensure that your heart is fruitful soil for the Gospel over the next few weeks as we continue the Enjoy The New You! series together?

4)  Let’s put this into practice by declaring the same truths over ourselves that we declared a few days ago. How much do you truly believe that these Bible statements are true? If you do, then declare them loud and clear!

I have been made right with God (Romans 5:1)
I am a saint (Ephesians 1:1)
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:5)
I am a child of God (John 1:12)
I have peace with God (Romans 5:1)
I am completely forgiven (Colossians 1:14)
I am not guilty in God’s eyes (Romans 8:1)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
I am chosen by God, holy and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12)
I am born of God, and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
God has begun a good work in me and he will finish what he has started in me (Philippians 1:6)
Father God, I thank you that your Word is truth. Please forgive me for ever doubting it. You are not a liar, and your Word is not untrustworthy. I speak it out over myself as life and truth and freedom in your name. Please help me to respond well to your Word over the next few weeks. Help me to have what Luke describes as a noble and good heart. Help me to hear your Word, to retain it and to persevere in it. Make my heart fruitful soil for your Word. Amen.
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.
Today’s Everyday Devotions have been brought to you with help from our friends at Freedom In Christ.
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