Live the Word

An English pastor who lived in the 19th century loved to paint. A skilled naturalist, he enjoyed spending time in the woods, lolling by streams, gazing at  mountains, and walking through meadows. One day, he noticed a particular beech tree near a creek. He sat down, set up his canvas and began drawing. He was trying to capture the color of the leaves, the texture of the bark, and the intricacy of the branches. He looked up from his work to see a squirrel dashing across the branches and then disappearing in an opening high on the tree. He could tell by the squirrel frantic activity that it was gathering food and storing it in its home inside the tree.

The next Sunday, he spoke to his people about his reflection on the squirrel in the beech tree: “Well, now, the way to deal with God’s Word is not merely to contemplate it, to study it as a student does, but to live on it, as the squirrel lives on his beech tree. Let it be to you, spiritually, your house – your home – your food – your medicine – your clothing, the one essential element of your soul’s life and growth.”

“40 Days in the Word” is not an attempt to simply offer another program or schedule another emphasis; it is an opportunity for each of us to love the Word, learn the Word, and live the Word. The Bible is unique among the great works of literature in the world. It is dynamic in the lives of those who seek its truth, meaning, and application. It is transformative. It is enlightening. It is a place to dwell.

However, it is not an object of worship. We worship the One the Bible reveals. We read His story when we open His Word. I hope you are dedicating time in your busy life to allow His Word to guide, teach, correct, and inspire you. As a 10 year-old named Art put it: “The Bible is just good for your soul.”

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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