"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church [His Bride] and gave Himself for it that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the Word." Eph. 5: 25, 26
Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus to encourage them to be a Bride "without spot or blemish". As we are part of the Bride of Christ, how can WE be without spot or blemish? We all sin. We are all "spotted" and "blemished".
How do you get spots out of your laundry? You apply detergent and you wash it. When soap and water move through the fabric of your garments, it lifts out the dirt from within the fibers and leaves the garment clean and "unspotted".
God wishes to do the same thing in our minds by way of His Word. God wants to cleanse our minds and hearts with the "washing of the Word". John Ortberg states "When we come to God, our minds and hearts are like that [dirty laundry], cluttered with "false beliefs and attitudes, deadly feelings, misguided plans and hopes and fears."
Just think about some of the thoughts and attitudes you have already displayed today. Have you gotten irritated with somone? Maybe some slow poke on the expressway? Maybe a clerk in a store? Maybe a fellow employee? Maybe your spouse did not do something you wanted him/her to do? Maybe your child was acting up this morning?
All of us have those things in our minds that need to be "washed out". How do we do it? By meditating on God's word. Meditation requires more than just a casual reading. It is not Bible study...although Bible study is certainly good and beneficial to our lives. No, meditation is taking a verse and thinking on it throughout your day, chewing on it until it penetrates deep within your mind so that you GET IT! You begin to apply what you have learned and allow it to "wash" that area of your life than needs cleansing.
Once again Ortberg says, " Imagine having a mind cleansed of all the debris that blocks our best intentions. Imagine if each time you saw another person your first thought was to pray for him or bless her. Imagine what it would be like if, any time you were challenged or anxious, your reflexive response would be to turn to God for strength. Imagine, if you're a married man, that whenever you looked at any woman other than your wife you would see her as if she were your sister or your daughter. Imagine genuinely wishing your "enemies" well. That's what it would be to have the mind "washed by the Word". This is what it means to "let the word of Christ dwell in you richly". This is how we are to be TRANSFORMED by Scripture. This is our great need."
We do not meditate on scripture so that we can earn points with God. We don't do it so we can check it off a "spiritual checklist". Paul does not say that the purpose of knowing scripture is to enable us, when we go to Heaven to get 100 on our entrance exam. He says it is so that we will be equipped for good works. According to Ortberg we should become "transformed into the kind of people from whom goodness flows like an unceasing stream of water. If the Bible were to completely fulfill its mission, our minds would be so transformed...so filled with thoughts and feelings of truth, love, joy and humility....that our lives would become one uninterrupted series of acts of grace and moral beauty. Every moment would be a miniature reflection of life in the kingdom of God."
Think on this today. I challenge you to begin to immerse yourself in the Word...not so much so you can "get into the Word", but so that the Word can "get into you"!
references from John Ortberg are from his book "The Life You've Always Wanted". I HIGHLY recommend it!
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