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Looking into the Word
God has given us his Word, the Bible, to guide us through this earthly life. Jesus is the Word of God. The Bible tells us in John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
In Genesis we see that God spoke everything into existence. It was his Word that made all things. How amazing that is. God did not make things with his hands, he did not have to craft the world, but he spoke and it became. I often get a mental image of God just imagining something and then speaking and it becomes reality. How powerful is his Word? More powerful than we can even imagine.
I heard a saying once that I have never forgotten. The Word of God is like a lion, we don’t have to defend it, we just have to let it out of its cage. Everytime we speak God’s word over a situation, we claim the promises that are within that word and it becomes reality. That is an amazing concept.
God gave us his Word in the Bible. I have heard it said that Jesus shows up in every chapter of the Bible somewhere, if we look for him there we can find him. The Bible is not just words written on paper and put in book form, it is the inspired Word of God. The men who penned the Bible were not just writing historical events, they were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write specific accounts. Most of us who have taken different Bible classes can agree that the same word that we didn’t understand last year, now makes sense to us. We can read a passage every day and find something fresh and new each time we read it.
Since God’s word is alive, it seems to speak to us differently each time we read it. And God’s Holy Spirit helps us recall his word when we really need it. Sometimes we can be in a situation and not know what to do, then the Spirit of God can speak to our hearts and share a scripture that helps us through the trial. In Daniel we read about three young men who refused to bow down to a foreign god. They were put into the firey furnace, but before they were thrown in, they said this, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18. They refer to Psalm 27:1-2 “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.” The spirit of God reminded them of a promise. And as a result, Jesus showed up in the furnace with them. When they came out, they didn’t even smell like smoke.
When we ask God’s Holy Spirit to teach us from the Word some wonderful things happen. Our eyes see things in a new light. Our ears hear the voice of God leading us where he wants us to go. Our hearts are encouraged and amazed by the way God has worked his plan over the ages. Our spirits convict us of sin in our lives and direct us to repent and seek forgiveness.
The more we read God’s word, the more we want to read it. He has placed in us a desire to know him better, but we can never get to the end of his word. It is eternal. The Word, Jesus, was with God from the beginning and will be with God long after everything else is gone. When we look into the Bible we can get a glimpse of God from the beginning. His heart is there for us to see, his love is there for us to know, his wisdom, his creativity, his mercy, his grace, his power and might are all displayed there. But most importantly his glory is there, shining above all else.
I have been spending time with the Lord nearly every morning now for more than 15 years. I think I have a good relationship with God, but no matter how much I read and know the word, I still long to read more and know him better. We can never get to the end of God.
The Word of God not only reads like a good novel, with many beautiful stories and historical accounts, but it also has depth to it. When reading the Bible over and over we begin to see how all the accounts interact with one another. The story of Ruth is a beautiful illustration of Jesus as our kinsman redeemer, the bridegroom of the church. The story of Joshua is a wonderful example of Jesus leading us into the Kingdom of God, destroying the enemies who would seek to imprison us.
We see ourselves in the shortcomings of some of the notable saints. We realize that God has always chosen the least likely candidates to be leaders. The Bible gives us such hope for ourselves. As we read the accounts over and over we have new insights because our faith is growing and maturing with each passing year.
The Word of God gives us instruction in our daily lives also. Just as Solomon said in Ecclesiates 1:9b, “there is nothing new under the sun.” The promises of God are as good today as the day they were given. The wisdom that God gives is available today just as it was during the rule of King Solomon. Psalm 119:105 tells us, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Try God on this. Ask him a question, he has every answer.
From financial responsibilities, family structure and work ethics, God’s word will help us. His word can help us through difficult physical pain and grief that comes with the loss of a loved one. All we have to do is open his word and look. Seek guidance from God when you have a problem, instead of running to friends for advice, ask the maker of heaven and earth.
We are instructed in Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” How can the word of Christ dwell in us if we don’t read it and know it? In order for something to become a part of your life and dwell in you, it has to be something that you live with daily. You can’t just read your Bible for 10 minutes during a worship service and expect to have enough of the word in you to sustain you all week. It must be a daily routine, somehow, someway you have to allot God’s word time every day to have it become part of you.
Years ago, when I was a "baby" Christian, I didn’t understand this concept of daily devotions. I would go to church on Sunday, ask forgiveness, pray a little and maybe read a few chapters in my Bible. Then the rest of the week I lived my life the way I wanted to and I just couldn’t understand why God was allowing some things to happen in my life. I was not being faithful to him and he was letting me live my life the way I chose to.
Now I realize that I need to speak to him about everything I do. Every decision I make should be a result of asking him what to do. Right down to making phone calls, picking out my clothes for the day and I’m really trying to consult him with my eating habits now. He really wants to take an active part in my life, but I have to actively seek him and ask for his advice.
With his word dwelling in me it is easier to know the right thing to do. I still don’t do everything right, but I’m a work in progress and I truly do want to be an obedient child.
If you haven’t read the Bible through from cover to cover, I urge you to do so. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you, get into a Bible study group. If you are not a reader borrow the CD version or cassette tape version from your local library or church library. There are so many ways to get fed on the Word and so many versions that are understandable. It will amaze you and you will never be the same.
Thank you for your Word. Thank you for your Holy Spirit. Thank you for Jesus Christ. We want to know you better and there is no other way to know you more than through your Word. Bless you God for inspiring those who wrote the Bible. How wonderful that you would give us your Word in a form that we would understand. Thank you for all those who have translated your Word and put your Word on different forms of media for us. How amazing that you would be able to reach so many people in so many different ways and that you would use one spirit to do so. We praise your Holy name and we thank you in Jesus name. Amen