“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
Accumulated or Assimilated?, by Randall D. Kittle
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As I was praying the other day, the Lord told me that the Church in America has a glut of information and a famine of application. In our nation, there is no famine for hearing the Word of the Lord. Yet, as our society degenerates, it is clear that much of the Church suffers from a famine of heeding the Word of the Lord. Yes, we have Christian books and magazines galore; sermons on CD, DVD, TV, and online; Christian websites, blogs, and podcasts — so many ways of gaining more spiritual information that just trying to list it all hurts my head. But with all this accumulation of information how much is applied to our lives? How much is really assimilated — becoming part of who we are, how we think, and what we do? The sad answer for many of us is that we have lots of accumulation … not much transformation.

One of the problems of having so much Christian material available is that it becomes easy to develop a consumer mentality. We read John Bevere’s newest book, and instead of the truth that compelled him to write it confronting our lives and calling us to change, we gain a few points of information to share with others, and then compare this book to his others or the last book we’ve read. We hear a minister share a sermon and evaluate how well it was given or how much we liked it. But in the kingdom of God, when the truth of God comes forth, we are not to judge it — it is to judge us!

The solution to this is not to stop reading or listening to the truth of God; it is to make certain we make every effort for it to impact and change our lives. God’s Word is not for information but transformation. It is to conform us ever more increasingly into the nature of Christ. For this to happen, we must become like the Bereans spoken of in Acts 17:11,
“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” We need to receive what we have heard or read, examine to be certain it is of God, and then study and pray and make changes in our lives until the truth that the message contained is established in our lives. If we will do this we will have more than knowledge, we will have wisdom. We will gain more than interesting facts; we will develop godly character. Only as we begin to apply the messages we hear to and through our lives will we become more transformed into the very nature of Jesus Christ.

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