GOD’S LIFE-CHANGING WORD
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”
Everything that I might have to say about the life-changing power of God’s Word is based on the premise that we are not just reading it as an exercise of duty, but that our intent is to put the Word to practice in our lives . . . that we are, as James says, “doers of the Word.” It is when we become performers of Scripture and not just observers of it that things in our lives begin to change. Our self-image begins to change, our worldview begins to refocus, our motives are redirected, and our ways become empowered.
Self-image – The Revelation of God teaches us that we have a Creator and a purpose. It teaches us that we are not simply temporal beings, but that we have an eternal destiny. It increases our sense of worth because it becomes clear that, while God is great and awesome and transcendent He also cares about us and loves us and has called us to be His own. The Word of God diverts our thoughts and hopes away from the mundane things of this world and redirects them God-ward. “. . . Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.” (Php. 3:13-15).
Worldview – If you think about the world and the events of modern history only based on what you read in the newspaper or hear on TV or radio you may arrive at the conclusion that everyone is crazy, the world is in chaos, and there is no point to anything. That is a fuzzy view – like seeing the world through a distorted window pane. God’s Word presents a different picture. There we learn to see the world in the hands of a sovereign God who is directing the path of history according to His own will and purpose. Yes, there is sin in the world, but it cannot create chaos because a holy, just, righteous, purposeful God rules.
Motives – Without the instruction of God’s Word men simply live to exist. Everything is about finding a way to meet immediate needs and to satisfy desires for pleasure and power. The revelation of God, however, shifts our purposes from selfishness to godliness; from existence to “real life” (SEE 1 Tim. 6:19). To live by the Word is to think and act according to the calling of God. Through the Scripture we learn that in order to be truly free from a life of useless bondage, we must become servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ways – Through God’s Word we find that He not only has purpose for us and has called us to serve Him, He has also given us every tool, every talent, and every spiritual gift we need to accomplish that service. Our natural and fleshly weakness is replaced by His power and our foolishness is replaced by His wisdom. (SEE 2 Cor. 12:10).
How we think about ourselves, how we see others in the world, what moves us to action, and what we do to serve our King; these things are all tied up in our understanding and application of God’s Word – the Christian’s only standard for faith and practice.