Paul says: “Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
What is the Word in the Bible?
“Jesus is the Word because through him all things are made,” says Jonathan, 8. “What he said became. Through the words of Jesus, the Earth and man were made. So, he is the Word.”
Why the Word?
When I first made a commitment to Christ in the early 70s, the Word of God cut through the hardness of my heart and caused me to recognize my need for the Savior. I had been singing professionally and was a self-sufficient, self-centered, cynical young woman. I thought I knew what I wanted and what it would take to make me happy. I had set about trying to achieve those goals with fervor. Spurning God wasn’t a conscious effort on my part. He simply wasn’t part of the equation.
I grew up in Wisconsin and attended church regularly, knew catechism, could verbalize church doctrine, and was baptized and confirmed. But I had never read the Word of God. I knew nothing about it. In our home, we went to church regularly, prayed before meals and at bedtime, and observed Christian holidays. I knew about God but I didn’t know Him.
Many years later when a young girl asked me if I was a Christian, I wasn’t sure how to answer. She gave me a little pamphlet called The Four Spiritual Laws, and that night, alone in my hotel room; I read the biblical plan of salvation. As I read the pamphlet, the Scriptures practically leaped off the page at me. I recognized how far away from God I was. I was also drawn to a sense of purity and righteousness in the Scriptures. I wasn’t sure if God was real. But I knew that if what I was reading was available, I needed it. The Word of God convicted me of my sin and at the same time revealed God’s love to me.
I’d had preconceived ideas about the Bible even though I’d never read it. I thought it was impossible to understand and that it contradicted itself. Fortunately, the young girl who had given me that little pamphlet also gave me a modern translation of the New Testament. I grudgingly agree to read a chapter a day. To my amazement, I couldn’t put it down. It was all totally new to me.
I didn’t know the Old Testament from the New Testament. I didn’t realize that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were four accounts of the life of Christ. As I read some of the same gospel accounts I was irritated because I thought someone was moving my bookmarker. I had no idea that Jesus was coming again. But I began to understand how much God loved me, and I began to walk with Him.
What an incredible journey it’s been. Through it all, His Word has been a steady, unfailing compass. God’s Word says,
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6 (NKJV)
Yet God’s great love letter to us is at our fingertips. He’s given us the instruction manual for all creation, and it’s filled with advice, principles, and promises. I encourage you to get into the Word yourself. As you read these jewels of Scripture taken from God’s Holy Word, I am praying that your faith will be built and your heart encouraged. May He touch you right where you are with His grace and His love.
Excerpted with permission from Near to the Heart of God, by Terry Meeuwsen ©1998
2 Kings 4:32-34 32When Elisha reached the house, there was the boy lying dead on his couch. 33He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the LORD. 34Then he got on the bed and lay upon the boy, mouth to mouth, eyes to eyes, hands to hands. As he stretched himself out upon him, the boy’s body grew warm.
A wealthy woman asked her husband to make a room for Elisha so that whenever he and his servant came to that town they would have a place they could stay. In return Elisha asked God to grant her desire to have a son. She was very concerned when he made the promise, because she did not want to have false hopes. Sure enough, a year later she had a son. Don’t be afraid to believe that God can bring to pass the desire He has placed in your heart.
One day the boy had a headache and then died. The woman ran to Elisha and told him, “Didn’t I tell you not to raise false hopes in me?” Then Elisha knew something was wrong with the boy. He immediately sent his servant to run and lay his staff on the boy while he followed. When the servant laid the staff on the boy, there was no change. There are times when we do what we believe the LORD is directing but we do not see results.
Then Elisha went into the room alone with the boy and prayed. If our first leading does not bring results, pray. Ask the LORD what to do next. Apparently, at the LORD’s direction, he did what sounds like artificial resuscitation. He did this not once but twice. The first time brought some results, but then he repeated what the LORD had showed him a second time. Then the boy awoke from death.
Remember: If the LORD takes away what He has promised you, trust Him. Even when you have acted at His direction and seen no results, trust Him. Do just what Elisha did. Pray! Ask God what to do next. Then keep doing that until He directs you otherwise or you see the answer.
The Source of Wisdom
When we seek the Lord’s wisdom in His Word, a harvest of blessing follows.
Would you rather have riches or wisdom? The Lord considers wisdom much more precious than wealth, and today’s passage says nothing we desire compares to it (Prov. 3:15). The reason it’s so valuable is because this passage is talking about God’s wisdom, not man’s.
The Lord created wisdom, so the best way to gain it is to know Him—His character, works, ways, and perspective. When we make it the pursuit of our life to know Him through His Word, we’ll discover the blessings that accompany wisdom.
The primary blessing is knowing God more intimately. As we see Him in His Word, we’ll begin to understand His viewpoint and recognize how He’s working in our life. Then our response to life’s circumstances will be aligned with His viewpoint. The Lord sees everything with complete accuracy, and every decision of His is right. He knows exactly what is needed to accomplish His will in our life and to conform us to His Son’s image.
All the other blessings of wisdom flow out of knowing God. Why? Because when our confidence is in the Lord instead of our own understanding, we can walk securely and boldly without stumbling into sin.
Bible in One Year: Psalms 132-138
Spurgeon at the New Park Street Chapel: 365 Sermons
Christ lifted up
“And I, if I be lifted upfrom the earth, will draw all men unto me.” John 12:32
Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
Christ preached his own truth, and the common people heard him gladly, and the multitude flocked to listen to him. My good ministering brother, have you got an empty church? Do you want to fill it? I will give you a good recipe, and if you will follow it, you will, in all probability, have your chapel full to the doors. Burn all your manuscripts, that is number one. Give up your notes, that is number two. Read your Bible and preach it as you find it in the simplicity of its language. And give up all your latinized English. Begin to tell the people what you have felt in your own heart, and beseech the Holy Spirit to make your heart as hot as a furnace for zeal. Then go out and talk to the people. Speak to them like their brother. Be a man amongst men. Tell them what you have felt and what you know, and tell them heartily with a good, bold face; and, my dear friend, I do not care who you are, you will get a congregation. But if you say, “Now, to get a congregation, I must buy an organ.” That will not serve you a bit. “But we must have a good choir.” I would not care to have a congregation that comes through a good choir. “No,” says another, “but really I must alter my style of preaching a little.” My dear friend, it is not the style of preaching, it is the style of feeling. People sometimes begin to mimic other preachers, because they are successful. Why, the worst preachers are those who mimic others, whom they look upon as standards. Preach naturally. Preach out of your hearts just what you feel to be true, and the old soul-stirring words of the gospel will soon draw a congregation.
For meditation: Are we brave enough to do it? We ought not to expect the world to be attracted to Christ when we obscure him by our reliance on gimmicks and by being second-rate mimics of things they can find done better elsewhere. But the unbeliever cannot find the true Gospel and a crucified Christ anywhere else!