Monday, June 4, 2012

Do You Realize What You're Holding?

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

First of all, let me start with this: If you’re reading this before you’ve spent time in God’s Word, stop it right now. Don’t put it off; don’t keep reading on.  First go and get your nose in the Bible for a while, then you can come back and finish this, ok?

The biggest problem the church has had in the last 200 years is the turning away from God’s Word. We simply haven’t realized what we’ve held in our hands what we’ve carried to church (or at least what we used to carry to church), and what we’ve left on the kitchen table week after week. Read John 1:1 again very you see it? Those words on those pages are more than ink on paper....those words are God Himself, revealed to us!

You see, Jesus is the Word made flesh. But if you remember, Jesus is God! So, if Jesus is the word that became flesh and blood and dwelled among us (John 1:14), and Jesus is God Himself...what does say about that book you’ve been ignoring?

The Bible is so much more than what we’ve made it out to be! God’s exact nature is revealed to us on every page. Every time God speaks to us, works through us or meets with us - it always begins with His word! How many
Christians are out there crying about wanting to hear God speak to them, yet never open His Word? Every aspiring disciple needs to remember this one thing, God always speaks to us through His Word before He speaks to us through His Spirit.

Every believer knows about the power of the name of Jesus. It’s the only name given under heaven that saves us (Acts 4:12). Hebrews 1:4 tells us that Jesus’ name is far above even the most powerful angel’s name. Philippians 2:10 goes even further and says that every knee bows itself at the name of Jesus. So we can see that His name is a very powerful thing, right? But in Psalm 138:2, David declares “For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.In God’s eyes, it is more important for a believer to hold on to His Word than it is to confess His name!

In Acts 17:28, Paul said this about God, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” But it says in Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man shall not live by bread alone but [man lives] by every Word of God.” Do you see this? God’s own life-giving attributes are in our hands when we hold our Bible!

Just look at what Psalm 119 says about the Bible. It cleanses us (verse 9). It frees us from sin (verse 11). It revives us (verse 25). It strengthens us (verse 28). It establishes us (verse 38). It gives us every answer (verse 42). It comforts us (verse 50). It gives us mercy (verse 58). It guides us (verse 105). It gives us hope (verse 114). It gives us understanding (verse 130). It brings joy (verse 162). Do you realize what that book you’re holding is?

I don’t think we get this yet. God’s Word is more than letters written on paper - it’s alive. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The reason this Book is more than any other book is because it’s not some lifeless thing - it is a living Spirit! Look at what Jesus said in John 6:63: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”

We started by reading in John 1:1 that the Word is God. What we need to see is that, while Jesus is God’s Word in human flesh, the Bible is God’s Word in written form. They both have the same nature! Jesus is God the Son, but He is also God the Word! This is why Jesus could say John 14:15, “If you love me, keep (hold to, cling to, never let go of) My commands.” Those two - Jesus and His commands - are one!

This is extremely important for every believer to understand, the way you treat your Bible is the way you’re treating God! The believer who lives his life in God’s Word - reading, studying, meditating and guiding his decisions by it - is living in a close relationship with God! But the believer who forgets about his Bible, never opens it just to read, leaves it sitting on the table from Sunday to Sunday is neglecting the very One he’s claiming to serve. Think about this - do you realize that your relationship with the words on those pages equals your relationship with God Himself?

Psalm 50:16-18 - Message Bible
"What are you up to, quoting My laws,
     talking like we are good friends?
  You never answer the door when I call;
     you treat My Word like garbage.

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