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Christ Loves

 

The Living Word of God

 

This article was written in response to a discussion group of Christians. They would always get together once a week and "discuss" the word. Some of them were studying the bible in university and displayed great knowledge of the scripture, but it just seemed to me that they were intellectualising a lot and that the word was not reaching into the core of their hearts, that it was not alive within them, as I believe it should be.

Deut 8:3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. [4] Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. [5] Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

Deut 32:47 They are not just idle words for you--they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess."

PS 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your [Godís] word.

PR 4:4 "Lay hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands and you will live.

JN 14:9 Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father'? [10] Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. [11] Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

AC 7:37 "This is that Moses who told the Israelites, `God will send you a prophet like me from your own people.' [38] He was in the assembly in the desert, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us.

1TH 1:4 For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, [5] because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction.

HEB 4:12 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.

1PE 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

1 JN 2:14 I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God lives in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.

JAS 2:17 Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

1JN 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. [2] The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. [3] We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. [4] We write this to make our joy complete.

1JN 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. [6] If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. [7] But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

JAS 1:18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth.

EZR 9:8 "But now, for a brief moment, the LORD our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage. [9] Though we are slaves, our God has not deserted us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem.

AC 5:17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. [18] They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. [19] But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. [20] "Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people the full message of this new life."

RO 6:3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? [4] We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

I say this because we should try to keep the word "alive" in us.

MT 5:14 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. [15] Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. [16] In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

LK 8:16 "No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. [17] For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. [18] Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."

The word of the new life is the gospel preached to us by Jesus. It is the word of the new life from which we receive the life of Jesus. To keep the word alive in us, we walk in the way of Jesus. If we receive the word, the seed planted by God (or let us say by one of his disciples), and do not produce a crop with it, we risk that it dies within us. The living word is not some little secret that we take home with us and hide and cherish under our pillow. It is something which should shine and radiate within us and that can be passed on to others. Not passed on in the sense of some obligation through the fulfilment of which we may attain confidence and security of our passage to heaven but passed on in the sense of how we live it. It is not our obligation to save the world, although we would naturally try out of love for our fellow human. But we should live the word so that others may see how it lives within us; to speak freely of the beautiful gift we received from Jesus; to live according to the Way so that we do not cause others to fall. Living the word is a good way of putting it because, when we do, we feel the life of Jesus radiate within us. Otherwise, if we hide it for ourselves and do not share it with others, it cannot grow within us.

Furthermore, it should not be a concept rehashed and intellectualised over amongst believers alone, such as:

ECC 1:16 I thought to myself, "Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge." [17] Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.

ECC 1:18 For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
the more knowledge, the more grief.

ECC 7:12 Wisdom is a shelter
as money is a shelter,
but the advantage of knowledge is this:
that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.

Such discussions (as mentioned in the beginning of this lecture) are good to empower our knowledge of the word and to embolden us within it, but if we do not take these skills to create a larger crop, meaning by taking it to the outside world, we risk that it becomes stale and once again fall short of its glory.

We will always fall short of the glory, but I would like to encourage you to consider it as "living" it - an opportunity to experience its greater glory.

Jesusís last command was for us to "make disciples of the nations". Like the love of Christ within us that we share with others and which replenishes within us in ever greater degrees, so should be Godís word, a living entity which spreads the living light and love of God to all the dark places in the world.

 

 


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