Patty Barona is the Spanish speaking pastor at Iglesia del Nazareno Nuevo Comienzo in Exeter. She is from Ecuador and has been serving in the Central Valley for the last 20 years and in Exeter currently.

Joshua 1:8 states, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Various actions are presented in this verse in connection with the Book of the Law. By that we mean the written Word of God which was available after the giving of the Law to Moses at Mount Sinai after the Exodus. 

First, the teaching and personal knowledge of the Word of God is mentioned. Secondly, meditating on the Word is also mentioned. What kind of mediating? The kind that continuously and diligently searches the Sacred Scriptures. Both sharing the message and meditating on the Word will go hand in hand with obedience. God promises us a prosperous and successful path, since God’s desire is for his children to develop and prosper in all areas of their lives.

If we look at modern society today, the concept of success is described very differently from the concept that God gives us in His Word. It has nothing to do with knowing, studying, meditating and obeying God’s commandments. Success is generally measured in material achievements, power and influence in society. Appearance, talents and popularity also take a very important place in the world around us.

Could the Word of God still be relevant in the midst of a society so far from Christian values? We can, as believers, say with our words that we defend the Bible, that we love the sacred scriptures… but do our lives, more than our words, demonstrate that the only authority we have is found in the commandments of God? It would be very interesting if we analyzed where in our daily life the Word of God is found. How much time do we dedicate to reading it, and meditating on it?

Today’s passage is clear, God demands to be first place in the lives of His children. That is why Paul encourages us, in the book of Romans, to let the Word of God transform us, renewing our understanding so that we can verify that God’s will is good, acceptable and perfect. Our minds will be renewed as the daily nourishment of His Word is a priority in our lives before anything else. That is what it means to be successful.

Prays Together is a rotating faith-based commentary and advice column among the pastors, and guest laypeople, of area churches

This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.

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