“Indeed the word of God is living and active.”
Hebrews 4:12

Notes for Contemplation as You Use this Devotional:

  • This declaration, in a section sometimes titled, “The Living Word,” reminds us, as the Hebrew Scriptures do, to “hear the word of the Lord.”
  • Many biblical scholars describe The Letter to the Hebrews as more homily than correspondence, offering ancient Hebrew wisdom for new generations.
  • God is always speaking, though we need to discern which messages and words are ours.
  • Our intuition, our still, small voice, is God speaking within us, to us.
  • Intuition guides us to what is best for our lives. The less it is analyzed or intellectualized, the stronger it becomes. To honor it best, seek to be shown, rather than to comprehend.
  • Particular words have vitality and power for us. And living words are those which speak to us continually. We may repeat or affirm them often, and so they are reflected in our choices and actions.
  • The words most alive for us represent our deepest inner values, those things which fully shape our lives.
  • Neuroscientists Andrew Newburg and Mark Robert Waldman note, in their 2012 book, Words Can Change Your Brain: “Throughout most of history, the question of values has been a spiritual one, and sacred texts have attempted to identify which values will lead to the greatest satisfaction in this life, and whatever may be beyond.” Newburg and Waldman also teach that our deepest value (most powerful, living word) guides us to our life purpose and assists us in maintaining equanimity during conflict or uncertainty.

Contemplation Questions:

As you reflect on your life and circumstances, ask yourself:

  • How do I feel when I imagine that God is speaking to me?
    • Being as specific as possible, list, word map, or illustrate your feelings.
  • How is God speaking to me through my intuition and instincts?
    • List, word map, or illustrate any ways which apply.
    • Then, list, word map, or illustrate what you hear.
  • In what additional ways is God speaking to me?
    • List, word map, or illustrate any ways which apply. Be sure to include everything from song lyrics to a trusted loved one’s heart-felt advice.
    • Then, list, word map, or illustrate what you hear.
  • What words do I repeat often, throughout the day, to myself and/or others?
    • Freely list, word map, or illustrate all the words.
  • As I contemplate these words, which are affirming (positive) for me and represent what I truly value and believe?
    • List, word map, or illustrate these separately from what you noted previously.
  • As I contemplate these words, which are most significant?
    • List, word map, or illustrate your top three (3) to five (5) words.
  • As I continue contemplating these three (3) to five (5) words, which one (1) resonates in my heart?
    • Take as many days as you need with this part. Speak your words aloud to yourself and listen.  If it’s comfortable for you, place your hands on your heart and breathe deeply.
  • When I hear myself speak my words, which one (1) gives me the greatest feeling of peace, calm, and assurance?
    • Write or illustrate that word, and keep it in a sacred place so it links you with your deepest value, your living word.

While using this, or any other, devotional, remember that God speaks to us, and through us, beyond the words within sacred texts.  Study and enjoy them as wise, faithful testaments of people who, like us, seek richer spiritual understanding and significant truths.  Know that they’re great founts of wisdom, not the only words.

Also, because our spiritual maturity deepens, words and values which once meant much may feel stale.  If that’s the case, let them go.  And as the new year unfolds, stay attuned for new living words to reveal themselves.

© 2021 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

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