Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Word That Lasts Part 3 - Martin Wiles

For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12 NLT

Like my parents before me, I attempted to instill in my children a love for God’s Word. Our nightly devotions weren’t as regular as when I was growing up. Life was hectic and busy at the time. Fitting in a nightly devotion was a challenge, but we read Bible stories often. I’m carrying on the same tradition with my firstborn grandson. Obviously, the need to digest God’s Word stuck in spite of my less-than-best efforts. Like me, my daughter and son both had their periods of rebellion. Both stopped attending church, and both involved themselves in questionable activities. In spite of their wanderings, they still know God’s Word and the right path—whether or not they choose it.  

Some aren’t of the same opinion. They question the validity of God’s Word. They discount the traditionally agreed upon authors, the miracles, the scientific and historical accounts, and perhaps even Jesus’ divinity. Rather than avoiding discussions with those who doubt, I can use the occasion to share my faith and why I believe God’s Word is profitable and accurate.

Others will use God’s Word to teach legalism. In addition to moral laws, the Old Testament contains ceremonial and civil laws. Both related to the nation of Israel and God’s interaction with the Jewish people. Some attempt to bind me by what Christ has freed me from. Grace brings liberty. Legalism majors on the things I can’t do rather than on the things I can do because of my newfound liberty in Christ. It repeats the mistakes Jesus rebuked the religious leaders for. I’m bound only by the moral laws the New Testament reiterates. I don’t have to keep bringing the old sacrifices. 

God’s Word has the power to change my life. Believing it changed me from a condemned sinner to a forgiven sinner. By reading it, I learn doctrine—the “whats” I need to believe as a Christ follower. I’m encouraged with the promises and corrected by the commandments. Like a knife, God’s Word slices into my conscious. God’s Spirit then gives me the power to make the necessary changes. 

Is God’s Word having a lasting effect in your life?

Prayer: Father, turn us toward Your Word so we can follow Your path with joy and confidence. 

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