“He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.”
~ James 1:18
“The study of scripture is to connect our hearts to the One who works wonders. The wonders are to endear us to a world we cannot see.”
~ Bill Johnson
• Grab your Bible and journal, a pen, your favorite scented candle and something delicious to drink. God is not someone who is far away and unapproachable; He is always near and loves to experience with you every joy and sorrow. Come as you are, expectant to receive from his pure, life-changing Word!
• Read James 1:18-27 (The whole chapter is wonderful if you have time). Write verse 18 into your journal.
God’s Word Brings Life
Today, I would like to share a word from the King James version of the Bible that helped me understand a big truth about God and his Word. It is the Word “begat” in James 1:18. It is a small scripture with an important meaning, so hang in there with me! “Of His own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”
It is interesting that the word “begat” here has the same meaning as in the Old Testament when it is used for records of genealogy (Abraham begat Isaac, Isaac begat Jacob, etc…). Wait. I will try and explain. The definition of “begat” is: to bring forth, give birth to, produce.
According to this verse, the Word of God is like a seed that has the ability to bring forth, give birth to, produce. We also know from John 1 that Jesus IS the Word who was with God from the beginning! This is a hard to understand, spiritual concept that takes faith to believe. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t quite make sense to you. We can always ask the Holy Spirit to reveal his truths to us.
We are familiar with seeds and how they bring forth life or “beget” in the natural realm. When we take a tiny green bean seed and plant it into our garden, it begins to germinate, sprout and produce many other little green beans plants of its own kind. We can do this with any seed that God has created, because in itself there is life of the same kind.
So if the Word is a seed that is ALIVE, should it not have the ability to produce fruit after God’s kind when it is planted in us? YES, this is a another great spiritual truth! God gives birth to us through Jesus and His Word. They are ONE.
But how does that happen; how do we plant the seed of Word? There are a few clues in the next few verses of James that I will pick out, and then you can have fun finding some others. In verse 21, we are told to receive God’s word with meekness (gentleness of spirit). I really love that a lot. This takes humility. Often his ways don’t make sense to us, but when we gently receive it anyway, understanding that He knows best, we are letting his Word produce fruit in our lives.
Next, verse 22 says that when we hear the Word of God, we should do what it says instead of walking away and forgetting all about it (which is really easy to do sometimes)! For instance, when Jesus said we should be kind to our enemies, that is what we need to do regardless of how we feel. We cannot do this in our own ability, so we ask him to give us the strength and the power to obey.
The key in both of these verses is to truly hear and receive what God has to say as truth, and then do what he says. We can put this into practice by asking God to open our spiritual ears and eyes so we can hear, see and remember what He speaks to us. Then we take action. It is so simple, yet life-changing! As we obey, we give God permission to grow in us, which proves we are his children. If Jesus’ seed is sprouting within us, then we should begin to resemble him.
Read James 1:18 again and now it should make a little more sense. He wants to “begat us with the word of truth.” or bring forth fruit in us after his own kind.
Questions to ponder
• Think about a time when God spoke to you through his Word, and a seed of Truth was planted and grew in you.
• What was the fruit of that word? How did it change you?
• Are you allowing God’s Word to sprout and germinate in your life now?
• Find more things you can put into practice in James 1:18-27 to show that you are God’s child
In Proverbs 18:21, God says that our tongues have the power of life and death. Have you ever thought about that? Just like God’s Word brings life to us, we can bring life with the words we say. This week, be intentional with your words. Say “I’m sorry” when you need to, “I love you” as much as possible, and “I appreciate you because…” every chance you get. Don’t take your relationships for granted!
Use your words to bring life to as many people as you can this week. Write a couple of encouraging notes. Call your mom and mother-in-law. Be intentional with the people in your life, especially your family and extended family. Do what you can to speak life into a struggling friendship. Assume the best of your friends and family as much as possible. The Lord will help you and bless you for stepping out in faith and choosing to love well those He has placed in your life.
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Mari Jo had an encounter with the living God in 2000, and was freed from the bondage of legalism. She is passionate about Jesus and his love, and desires for everyone to know He is alive!