Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Book That Will Transform You

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  ~Psalm 119:105
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ~Hebrews 4:12

The Bible is God’s Book and when you open it up and start reading it will be just a matter of time before a verse or a passage will grab your attention and speak to you right where you're at. The Holy Spirit uses the Bible to reveal the thoughts and intentions of our hearts and as we read, it will become apparent which of our thoughts are godly and which are of the flesh. We will soon recognize which motives are inspired by the Holy Spirit and which come from our own desires. The Bible is indeed God’s Book and as Pastor pointed out this past Sunday, there are some things we should understand about it:
  • The Bible has a beating heart.
  • The Bible has transforming power.
  • The Bible has a piercing edge.
  • The Bible has a penetrating thrust.
  • The Bible has a probing eye.
  • The Bible has a saving intent.
All of these characteristics of the Bible tell us how desirable and needful the Word ought to be in the lives of God’s people. Jesus, the Son of God, understood the importance and place the Scriptures should have. In response to a temptation of Satan, He elevated the Word above food. The Bible transforms what we hunger for.

And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” ~Matthew 4:3,4

Jesus' first response to the temptation of Satan was to quote a passage of scripture from the Old Testament. In the eighth chapter and the third verse of Deuteronomy, Moses teaches the children of Israel that God had allowed them to hunger for a period of time in the wilderness, then fed them manna from heaven to teach them that it is by His Word they live. Man ought to hunger for God's Word more so than that which only satisfies the belly. After all, it is only by His Word we are able to see our way through this dark and evil world. The Bible transforms how and what we see.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. ~Psalm 119:105

If there is one thing we need today as we negotiate our way through this dark and evil world, it is light to see the way. All too often though, we are content to spend most of our time in darkness rather than reading from God's Holy Word. The Scriptures provide light for us only as we open its pages and read what God has to say to us. It is by those truths we read in the Bible that we are able to discern our way. If our path has wandered from where God would have us to be, then we will quickly see that our steps have strayed from it. You will not get that kind of help or find that kind of light anywhere else, no, not in this world. The Bible transforms who and what we believe.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. ~1 John 4:1

There is a great deal of confusion in the world today over who has the truth. We saw it last week during the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye over the validity of the Genesis account of creation. There are also many different groups claiming to be Christian with all kinds of doctrine, and each of them claiming to be the truth, even when they contradict the Bible. This is a work of Satan and he seeks to confuse those who would look to God for direction. The disciple John tells us not to believe every spirit, but try them, see if what we hear is of God. As he goes on to explain, there are many false prophets out there, all with their own version of what they call the truth. How do we try them? What steps do we take to discern God's truth from the lies of the false prophets? The Bible transforms how we know and believe.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. ~2 Timothy 2:15

There does not need to be any confusion concerning the truth, nor should we be fooled by the lies of false teachers. We can easily find the truth within the pages of Scripture. If we are daily reading God's Word and spending time in the study of what He has said, then we will know the truth when we hear it. We should take our cue from the Son of God. He did not call down fire from heaven when Satan tempted Him, nor did He ignore the lies and twisted use of Scripture. He relied on His knowledge of God's Word! The Word of God lives, transforms, pierces, penetrates, probes, and saves.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. ~Hebrews 4:12,13

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