The Power of His Word
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth. – Ephesians 1:7-10
I’m constantly amazed at scripture. But that is to be expected, isn’t it? Because, after all, it is God’s word. We should be amazed at scripture. Because God’s Word is amazing. Would we expect anything less than AMAZING from something we call “The Word of God?”
It’s not easy. And we shouldn’t expect it to be easy. It should be open enough for a child to grasp the point and deep enough for the greatest of minds to explore for a lifetime. And that’s exactly what we have in the Bible. Jesus’ love is simple to a child because Jesus simply calls them. He said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:14 He didn’t say, wait till you’re older and “smart” so you can try and figure Me out and understand Me. No, He says come and let me love you and teach you. His Word is simple like that, but at the same time The Word is challenging and it calls us to be greater than we currently are. Jesus said to His disciples, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16 Jesus calls us close, teaches us, then sends us out. And He does it primarily through His word.
Very few people were, or are, ever affected by God without His Word. “But what about the people inviting their friends to church? What about the missionaries building houses for the poor? What about the Christian who says we should act a certain way? What about the pastor who says Jesus died for our sins? What about the parent who prays with their kids before bed and tells them that Jesus loves them?” You might be wondering. “They’re not the Word.” And you’re right. People can’t supplant the Word of God. But the Word of God calls us to be Jesus’ “Hands and feet.” The Word has an affect on those who listen. It leaves us changed. It calls us into new life. It plants seeds who sprout and reproduce many more seeds. The Christian does nothing without being first affected by the Word.
Paul said, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” – ! Corinthians 13:11 And that’s exactly what a life lived with Jesus looks like. We begin with faith like a child, simple, easy, and natural. Of course Jesus loves us, the Bible tells me so. But as we grow the simple faith is challenged by all sorts of things. We need deep truths to rebut their influences. So God provided us with prophecy. He laid out a plan and stuck to it. He sent His Son right on time, exactly when and how He said He would hundreds of years earlier… In His word. It’s difficult to study things like Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy. We need the knowledge of astronomers with PhDs to do it today. It’s difficult to imagine the picture Isaiah was depicting in Isaiah 53. But with Jesus’ crucifixion in hindsight we can. God’s word, though unchanging, is not static to us. It provides new insights all along a path following Jesus, and new insights shed light onto it’s truthfulness as well.
Through a life walking with Jesus, we’re continually called to a deeper relationship with Him. He calls us as children and continues throughout our lives to demand faith like a child’s from us. Because a child’s faith, while simple, is not simplistic. Children do not understand gravity, but they have faith in it. They just know. Children know that God loves them. It’s not hard to teach them that because it’s their natural state. Just like it’s not hard to teach them they could get hurt if they fall. Around the world people, who’ve never even heard of God’s word, claim that there is a God, and that He cares. Who He is and how He works is a mystery, but the seed of faith is there. But God didn’t make seeds to be dormant. He made them to grow into beautiful things. He wants our faith to grow into beautiful things as well. But like any seed, it needs, nourishment to grow. May I introduce you to His Word!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” — “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” – John 1:1-5, 14
“If you knew the gift of God, and what it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” – John 4:10
“I am the Bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” – John 6:35
Even Jesus, the Son of God longed for the Word of God. “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” – Matthew 4:4 That was Christ’s rebuke to Satan for tempting Him to turn stones into bread after a 40 day fast in the Middle Eastern desert. Jesus was quoting from Deuteronomy a passage meant to remind that…Well, let me just give you the Bible again. Deuteronomy 4:1-3 says, “The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers. And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these 40 years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with mana, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” God’s word is sustaining for life. It’s a breath of fresh air. It’s food for our souls, and as strange as it may sound, sometimes it quenches our hunger as well.
I remember watching a movie called “The Book of Eli.” It’s a story set in a dark post apocalyptic future. One where nuclear war had destroyed almost all we know now. It was like hell on earth. I don’t want to give away the plot if you haven’t seen it, but there’s a part of the movie that shows a man just reciting scripture. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, let there be light: and there was light” It was a light shining in the story. After all was lost. After everything was blanketed with darkness, God’s word spoke. It lifted the story out of depression and into hope.
Today life may be dark for you. Your life may even seem a little, “Post apocalyptic,” and hopeless, but God calls us out of darkness. He calls you out of darkness. “But you are a chosen race,” the Bible says, “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” – 1 Peter 2:9 You may have never believed the Bible before. Or you may have studied it your whole life. Either way, there’s something compelling about its Word. The Word that calls us out of darkness into marvelous light. It encompasses our lives. No matter what experiences we may be going through, it provides guidance. Just like a compass provides a direction, no matter where we might find ourselves lost. Like the Psalmist declares, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Psalms 119:105 Let that lamp light up your way. People were not meant for darkness. It blinds us and that is always frightening, because darkness has a way of removing our most treasured possession, “Hope.” But “Perfect love casts out all fear” – 1 John 4:18 And what does God call Himself? “God is love” – 1 John 4:8 And this thing we call the Bible is a way that He’s given us to hear His loving word. Among other things, it’s a love letter to us, it’s a light in the darkness, it’s guidance when we’re lost, and it’s good news of salvation to any who would accept it. When you’re at the end of your rope and you know you need saving. Pick it up. When you’re saved and you know it, pick it up. When Jesus calls, pick it up. You’ll never regret believing in it. I promise you that. Because the Bible is our message of HOPE.
“Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:8-13