The Bible is the most published, most bought, most translated, and most read book ever written! And if that’s not enough - it’s unlike any other book because it is holy. It has the power to change the life of who ever reads it!
Psalm 33:6 proclaims, “The Lord merely spoke and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born!” And that is why the Bible is so powerful! This is the Word of God - with the power the call the stars and heaven into existence! And this power of God is available to you and I through His Word.
Let’s look at our text again this morning. “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit,” (Heb. 4:12). This is one of the most amazing differences this Book has over other books. It was not written to simply increase our knowledge, but to change our lives!
How does the Word of God change us?
IT REACHES YOUR SOUL
Have you ever read a book and been moved by the themes and characters? Sure - most of us have. The writing challenges your presumptions. You identify with the characters and story, understand the motives of a villain, and even empathize with others because of what you’ve read. Lots of classical literature does that - BUT the Bible does more! It touches our very soul, and can change our life. The fact that it reaches you so deeply is what sets it apart from other good books.
James 1:18, “He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word...”
Tom Smith is a Christian writer who shares an experience of a Christian from China who shared her testimony. Her story illustrates the power of God’s Word to reach our soul and change our lives. She grew up in an atheists home; knowing nothing of God. She left for college to major in math and science. While working in the library one day she decided to take a break from her studies and explore other sections of the library. That’s when she came across the religion section and at the bottom of one of the shelves she found a large, white-covered book, with the title “Holy Bible”. She opened it and began reading it from the beginning - Genesis 1. She repeated this practice for a few days then stopped. After a week or so she felt something missing was missing in her life; something was not right. She had a strong desire to continue reading the Bible. She made it all the way to Genesis 8:11. At that very verse she had an overwhelming desire to become a Christian. Now - here’s what interesting - no one told her she needed to become a Christian. She wasn’t attending a Christian study group; didn’t have any Christian friends; wasn’t listening to Christian radio…and the subject of the verse is not about becoming a Christian. “And the dove came to him toward evening time, and there in her beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the waters had abated from the earth.”
How does this happen? The Word of God has transforming power! It is unlike any other book in the world, because it has the power to reach our soul.
IT ANIMATES YOUR FAITH
I have been so impressed with The Upper Room devotionals. On one level they are a simple, short spiritual reading that can help get your day off on the right track. But on another level, it is a testimonial index of Christians whose faith has been animated by the Word of God. This is precisely why we have moved to reading them during Sunday School. (At some point Christians have to get past wanting to gain more Biblical knowledge and begin applying the Bible knowledge they have.)
Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
August 5, 2018 devotion was a great example. The author, Judy, wrote about an experience when she became overwhelmed about her families struggles. She felt her faith and peace weakening. Judy decided to pray and ask God for help. She then opened her Bible and began reading Mark 4. Jesus commanded the storm, "Peace! Be still!" A sense of peace washed over her and she realized that God was bigger than her problems.
Early Methodist used to ask John Wesley “What is the key to sanctifying grace?” How do I get more of Jesus? And his response was simply keep doing what your doing. Faith in Jesus got you here, and faith in Jesus will get you there! Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
IT ACTIVATES YOUR GROWTH
2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…”
Let’s look at each of these qualities a little closer.
- Teaching = teaching you the right path
- Rebuking = warning you of the wrong path
- Correcting = instructing you how to get back on track
- Training = enlightening you on how to stay on the right track