Today I'm continuing a series that I started over a week ago talking about effortless change, and just basically emphasizing how essential the Word of God is to your spiritual life, that just as a plant doesn't grow without a seed, just as a person doesn't come into this earth through a stork bringing it, there is a seed that has to be planted. Likewise, the seed of God's word has to be put in our heart and if we do it that way, well then, change just comes effortlessly. Growth comes effortlessly. But most people... Change for them is a traumatic experience because they aren't doing it God's way. They're trying to pray and you know, just petition God and feel so earnest and passionate that they think that this ought to get it done.
I'm telling you, the Word of God is what produces change and growth in your life. I've got some things that I'm really trying to emphasize because it's one thing to hear me talk about this, but then it is a totally different thing for you to get into the Word of God yourself. You know, I am praising God that he's called me to teach his word and to minister to people. I get thousands and thousands of testimonies of people's lives that are being changed and I love it, but did you know I actually am trying to preach myself out of a job. If you would go to the Word of God and if you would begin to open up your heart and let the Holy Spirit speak to you, you could get anything that I have to offer you because I got it all through the Word of God and I would really like to impress upon people to please, get into the Word of God for yourself.
We have this Bible reading guide. This is the one that our Bible college students, first year students, have to read through the entire Bible in one year in their first year of classes. I think it would just be a shame for a person to come to a Bible school and never have read the Bible. So, this is a Bible reading guide. You only read three to four chapters a day and it takes you through the entire Bible in one year. This is a free gift to you, and then we have this living commentary, which this, honestly, is probably one of the best kept secrets in our whole ministry. I have written footnotes on over 18,000 verses in the Bible, and this is a Bible commentary. It can be put on a cell phone, it can be put on an iPad, it can go on your computer, and it has all of these footnotes that I've written, plus, we call it the living commentary because it's constantly being updated.
I average over 200 verses a month that I write new footnotes on or adjust or change a footnote, add to it or whatever and it is just a powerful, powerful tool. It...All of these things are designed to help you get into the Word of God. I've been talking about how that John the Baptist in Matthew, chapter 11 and Luke, chapter 7, he began to doubt that Jesus was the Christ, even after he had boldly proclaimed him as the Christ and said, the Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, and when the pharisees tried to come against him, and get him envious of Jesus, he said, he must increase, I must decrease. I'm not even worthy to latch his sandals for him. At one time he was absolutely certain that Jesus was the Christ, but after being in prison for months or possibly even years, his faith began to waiver. He sent people to Jesus and he says, are you really the Christ? And Jesus instead of just... You know, saying some real complimentary things about him, he said those things after John's disciples went back.
But when John's disciples were there, he just said, go tell him what you've seen and heard. The blind receive their sight... The lame walk... The lepers are cleansed... The dead are raised... And blessed will John be if he doesn't... Isn't offended in me, and it was after John's disciples were gone that Jesus began to say, this is the person that was prophesied in Malachi, chapter 3. This is the one that is the greatest person that has ever been born on the planet, and he said all of these complementary things that certainly would have boosted John's ego after the disciples were gone, and this perplexed me and finally I saw over in Psalms, chapter, or excuse me, Isaiah, chapter 35, where it was a prophecy given that when the Messiah came that the eyes of the blind would be opened, the tongue of the dumb would sing, the lame would walk, and all of these things would happen through the Messiah.
Jesus literally fulfilled Isaiah, chapter 35, and did all of those things prophesied in Isaiah 35 about him in one hour, and then he sent that word back to John, and what he was doing was referring John back to the word, not because he didn't love him and respected him, he loved him and respected him more than anybody else. He sent him back to the word because that is the best way that God has of speaking to you and encouraging you and removing doubt, and see, when I first saw this, I didn't understand that. I was seeking for some kind of miraculous thing. I wanted God to appear to me. I wanted to hear an audible voice. I wanted to see angels. I wanted... I heard other people talk about that when they prayed for people that fire would jump from their hands from one to the other and I wanted all of these kind of things, and I was kind of pressing in, and the Lord used this passage of scripture about John the Baptist to show me that his for us to just believe the word, and here's some other passages that go right along with this.