At New Life we are currently enjoying the series 40 Days in the Word. It's great series encouraging us to receive the Bible as God's word and spend time reading, studying, meditating and memorizing God's word. Our topic this Sunday will be "The Power of the Word" based on Hebrews 4:12. One of the key questions I'm thinking about as I prepare for the message is . . . "How does the Bible change lives?"
Before we answer that question, let's take a look at Hebrews 4:12. In the New Living Translation it reads like this: "For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires."
The word of God is the "message of God"; the good news of Jesus. Paul refers to the power of the good news in Romans 1:16 as he opens up his theological letter to the believers in Rome, writing, "I'm not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes . . ."
Words matters, especially the words of God! God's word is powerful producing a spiritual result on everyone who hears it. The prophet Isaiah says it like this: "It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." (Isaiah 55:11, NLT) Have no doubt, God's word is powerful and productive! But how does God's word change us?
Hebrews 4:12 gives us an idea of how God's word changes us by using an analogy of a sword piercing past the natural human person to the spirit; penetrating past the joints all the way into the marrow of the bones. Hebrews 4:13 summarizes the effect of God's word, saying, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight."
So how does God's word change us? Well for starters . . . God's word reveals what's in our heart and what's really going on in our lives. You can fool most people most of the time, but you can't fool God or His word any of the time. God's word reveals your heart. That's both good news and bad news, of course! the good news is that God's word changes us by . . .
1) Revealing the sinful attitudes and thoughts of our heart with a skillful scalpel,
2) offering us life and healing for our wounds, and
3) bringing us into the "rest of God" as we receive God's word in faith and obedience (See Heb 4:1-13).
I'll leave you with James 1:23-24, "Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."
Join us Sunday as we focus on the power of Gods word to change our lives! Pastor Tom