Week of Dec. 16
The Living and Active Word
Imagine that you have just received a love letter from your beloved. What would you do with it? Would you open it, read it, reread it, and keep it someplace safe? Or would you leave it on a shelf, unopened and collecting dust?
The Bible is God's love letter to humanity, telling us about Himself and how He loved us so much that He sent His Son to redeem us. Through the Scriptures, God reveals His heart to us; we can learn about His goodness and love through His letters to us. We should treasure God's Word as we would a cherished love letter that captures our heart.
The Bible has the power like a sharp sword to pierce through to our very hearts and speak to us like no friend, teacher, or other book can: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
The Bible is not merely words on pages in a book, but it is God's living Word. These words contain God's authority. These words contain God's power. These words contain God's strength. When we read the Bible—and believe and obey it—Scripture has the ability to stretch us on God's operating table, to cut out the tumors of sin and then to heal and restore us.
When we are stretched out on God's operating table, everything about us is revealed. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:13). The Bible points to our blind spots - things we cannot see on our own. We may think we are doing fine spiritually, but then the Bible shows us where we are lacking.
The Word of God is sharp like a surgeon's scalpel, capable of cutting out the sin and disobedience in our lives. Surgery is never easy, but it is necessary for good health. The double-edged sword of God's Word can cut straight to our hearts and souls. It penetrates deep into the inner recesses of our spiritual being. It can judge our motives and attitudes, and all of our hidden thoughts. We may try to deceive others and even ourselves, but we cannot deceive God. He knows everything about us.
Yet after having been cut open, God does not leave us there to bleed. He heals us and restores us. He wants to fulfill us and bless us. God not only uses His Word to rebuke us but also to enrich us and pour His grace upon us.
As the psalmist declares, "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb" (Psalm 19:7-10).
But God does not want us to keep our renewed spirits to ourselves. As we allow God's Word to transform us, we become better equipped to do His work. "From infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:15-17).
Pray for the Holy Spirit to remove your blind spots as you read the Word of God. Allow Him to convict you of your shortcomings so that you can repent and be restored. As He renews your spirit, begin to turn your thoughts outward to sharing His love with others.
"Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me."
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