I count it a blessing to be able to attend a church where the pastor preaches and teaches the word of God passionately and without apology. When I leave church on Sunday mornings I take great satisfaction in being encouraged as well as convicted and inspired to grow and learn more….to change and grow closer to the Lord. It is so disheartening when the gospel message is watered down and the sermon sounds more like a self improvement or positive thinking course. My husband and I are grateful when we are able to discuss the sermons and then freely question the pastor on those that we feel confused about. We feel fortunate because clarification or infomation can mean the difference between growth or stagnation for us. We’ve never attended a church before where the pastor encouraged questions from his congregation and made himself available…simply by being approachable most of the time. This past week the sermon challenged me to think about the word of God differently. This particular sermon was not one to easily forget, so I wanted to write about it.
Since I became a Christian I’ve always believed that the Bible was the word of God and that we should read it daily. For some reason though, I’ve felt like this was something I was doing “for God” or in order to please God. It became something to put on a to-do list….it became legalistic. If I did not read it I felt guilty and asked God to forgive me. Yet, the reading of God’s word is not for Him at all. Reading God’s word is for my benefit….if I skip on this I am skipping my vitamins, my water, my protein, my milk and my meat. I’m missing my sweets like delicious honey and my carbohydrates or starches….I’m missing my bread for the day.
We are blessed to have the Incarnate word who became Christ (John 1:1) and dwelt among us. He walked with us and we saw him in the flesh. He ate with us and lived with us. The “Word” became flesh. We have the Carnate word which is the Holy Bible to use as our compass, guide measuring rod, comfort, and teacher. The whole Bible is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. (2 Tim. 3:16)
Jesus and his Word are inseparable. Jesus was human and divine. The Bible is divinely inspired, yet written by men. Jesus was loved and hated. The Bible is loved and hated. Jesus was received and rejected. The Bible is received by some and rejected by some. To the believer the Bible is a survival package. To the unbeliever it is a thorn in his side.
God’s word provides a complete spiritual diet for us to live on. Luke 4:4 states that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. Psalm 119:103 likens the word to honey.
” How sweet are thy words unto my taste! [yea, sweeter] than honey to my mouth!”, and in 1 Peter 2:2 the Lord reminds us to , desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. Hebrews 5:14 teaches us that strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. The word of God is called both milk and meat. Milk is for the new believer and meat is meant for the strong older believer who can handle the more profound doctrines of the Gospel.
In addition to our nourishment the word of God is a fire (for refinement), a hammer (Jeremiah 23:29) and a sword (Eph 6:17) God’s word can even read our thoughts! Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The word of God is our water. ” That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26) God’s word is also a lamp and a light. With the Bible on hand we can survive anything including any attacks that the enemy may throw our way. The Bible is our ultimate survival kit.
I’m ashamed of myself because I’ve become so “mal-nourished” I have not realized how vulnerable I have been by neglecting to use my survival kit, and have not partaken of the bread, water, honey, milk, and meat. I have not used the proper tools….the lamp, light, fire, sword and weapons that have been so freely given to me. This life is so hard and we need the word of God to help us….to teach us and guide us. We need his word to reveal our own stubborn hearts to us. We cannot survive without it. Our preacher asked us how our appetite was. He questioned, “Have you been eating regularly?” I pray that we will all partake of God’s word regularly so that we will have a complete spiritual diet. ~Anne