Continuing in the Word2 min read

Here is a great word and promise from Jesus: “If you [continue] in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32).

This past year, anyone who got near me was encouraged to continue in Jesus’ Word. Specifically, people have been encouraged to read through the whole Bible annually. Much fruitfulness grows out of this, not the least of which are truth and freedom. To continue in the Word is to continue in relationship with Jesus, to continue in His Kingdom, to continue in His grace. There is truth. There is freedom.

How has it gone for you? Did you think about getting started and never did? Did you get started and then dropped out? Did you read far more than the previous year but only portions of it? Did you indeed read through the whole Bible?

Well, 2023 draws to a close and a New Year is at hand. What is your plan in 2024?

Let me encourage you to take up Jesus’ invitation … again. Continue in His Word. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Scriptures. Whether you never started, started and stopped, or started and kept going, in 2024 purpose to read through the entire Bible. Find a good plan (like the Reformation Reading Plan on The Bible app), find a readable translation, find a good time of day, find a good location, and find Jesus. When you find Jesus through His Word, you find truth and freedom page after page after page. A game changer, indeed.

There is another point about continuing in the Word that you could consider.

What if we had stopped with the Old Testament? We would still be bringing sacrifices. What if we stopped with Advent? We would be adoring a miraculous baby and nothing more. What if we stopped with Jesus’ miracles and teachings? We would be amazed but not changed. What if we stopped with Jesus’ crucifixion? Paul said we should be pitied more than all people. What if we stopped with His resurrection? We would have an eternal hope but temporal uncertainty. What if we stopped with His reigning at the right hand of the Father? We would have comfort but not urgency of ministry.

Let’s continue in Jesus’ Word all the way to the words about His return in glory. One day our King is coming back. That serves as the culmination of His Word and the consummation of our hope. Continuing to that very end is both truth and freedom.

When Jesus said, “Take and eat; take and drink” (Matthew 26: 26ff), he was not introducing a new law. He was offering a life-changing invitation. In the same vein, receive this invitation: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31–32).

Continue right on through, from Advent prophecies to the King’s return.

Photo © Prixel Creative/Lightstock

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About the Author

Rev. David A. Davis serves as President of the Michigan District, LCMS.

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Pastor Robert Eggers - December 13, 2023

Sums it up so well my brother, If we shut out the noise of the world and continually “abide” in the Word, soak, meditate, glory, submerge and marinate ourselves in it (as opposed to the light exposure of quickly reading through it) than we are truly Jesus’ disciples, truly know the truth and be truly free. Otherwise, I’m afraid we’re not so much a disciple, not so much firmly grounded in truth, not so much free. Our lack of self discipline not only short changes us but sabotages our Kingdom efforts. We can change that by the grace of God, if we only would.