A few months back, I shared my top 5 fave christian podcasts with y’all and promised that I would start a new series here on BTD surrounding all things podcasts. Well, I know it’s been quite some time but I’m finally BACK with another (faith-based) podcast-themed blog post for y’all! Today I’m going to be talking about a podcast I listened to recently by pastor John Piper called “If My Words Abide in You” (find the video + link below!)
When I first listened/watched this sermon, I was (#confessions) curling my hair – imagine that, trying to do two things at once. And I remember thinking, okay this is basically like a slam poetry performance with scripture – and quite frankly, I’m a little bored.
I was about to skip to the next sermon when he caught my attention. For starters, he stopped quoting scripture. I’ll admit, it felt like he was bragging a little (or maybe I was just a wee bit jealous). But then, like he ALWAYS does, he hit yet another home run in my life and for that reason, I’ll never forget the impact this it had on my life.
To give you an overview, this sermon is half a recitation of living scripture (until minute 17) and half an explanation of the importance of reading and memorizing scripture. I’ve always known it’s important to memorize God’s words, but this sermon really made it clear and almost urgent that I needed to get a move on it. I’ve never been so motivated to memorize the written word of God than I have been in the last few months. And as such, I felt compelled to share it with y’all and encourage you to listen for yourself!
What I learned + Big Takeaways
I’m going to do my best to share what I learned for y’all. But please keep in mind that explaining these types of things things – putting words to my crazy thoughts – is often like pulling teeth for me. I don’t know why, but it’s such a struggle. Hence why it has taken me 8 months to get this post published. But anyway, let’s get after it.
Like most sermons, it reminded me of things I already knew but that needed to be brought to the forefront of my mind. It’s funny how that works, right? Like the most profound messages are often the simplest – and the most basic truths are the most profound.
Although the underlying premise of the message is the power of memorizing scripture, the points Piper made and things he talked through renewed in me an eagerness and excitement for the power of scripture in general – whether I’m simply reading it or taking it a step further and committing it to memory.
Regardless, I was reminded of three simple truths while listening to Piper’s sermon that I wanted to share with y’all :
1. God speaks to us through His word
My bible study leader says this funny, little saying when we’re talking about following God’s will or making hard decisions. First she’ll ask whether or not we’ve been reading the bible and simultaneously making time for focused and fervent prayer.
Then if we say no, we all know what comes next. She’ll repeat the familiar phrase we’ve all heard many times before: “complaining about not hearing from God when you haven’t opened your bible is like getting upset about not getting a text message when your phone is turned off.”
In the same way we’ve got to turn our phones on (and ensure a clear signal/service) in order to receive a text message, we’ve GOT to actually open our bibles in order to hear from God. Until we allow God to speak (through His word), there’s really nothing we can complain about. I know it’s a silly comparison, but it’s true and that’s powerful.
2. The holy spirit transforms us through the word
Piper talks about how the word of God is living – I love this. I’ve heard this many times before but it really stood out to me this time. That the scriptures are HOW the holy spirit gets us from point A to point B – from one degree of holy to another as we venture through our sanctification process.
3. The word of God is our defense against the enemy
I don’t want to get into spiritual warfare or anything here (although it’s VERY real people), but I just want to state that we are most certainly called to be on our guard (1 Peter 5:8). The word of God is our only weapon of attack against the enemy – the sword of truth is enough though to fight temptation and conquer the lies of the enemy (Eph 6:17)
Okay that’s all I’ve got for now – although I could probably write for hours on all the things this message stirred up in me. But I think the most important thing is I wanted to encourage you to listen/watch it for yourself and then come back and comment with what stood out to YOU!
What about You?
If you do end up listening to it, I’d love to hear from you!
To be honest, I don’t feel like I did the best job explaining all that I did learn (THERE’S SO MUCH), but I did my best to get it on paper so that I could share some of the love. One of my 2017 resolutions is to stop holding myself back because I want things to be perfect but to sometimes just put it out there – even if I’m not 100% (or even 90%) thrilled with it.
Can’t wait to read what y’all think of my thoughts slash after listening to the sermon yourselves!
Sermon details: “If My Words Abide in You” by John Piper (link to Desiring God website Audio Clip)