Words are practically living things.
Parents wait for the first words spoken by a baby, usually some variation of ‘Momma” or “Dadda.” If there is an older sibling, “No, No, No!” will soon be added to the child’s vocabulary. Young lovers are quick to say the magic words, “I love you” while, a few relationships later when it is time to choose a mate for life, the same words are much more carefully said.
Words are connectors. They connect ideas with actions.
- They summarize complex systems into simple rules.
- They crystallize belief systems into propositions and conclusions.
- They connect people with people, certain people. Well-chosen words draw those we love closer or send those we do not love away.
- Words connect the generations as values and beliefs are expressed in words to those who follow us.
- In our minds, thoughts may race like stock cars on an oval track until we “find the words” to stop the race and share what is on our heart.
Good Words and Bad
Some people scoff at the idea that words can be good or bad, but like people, words can be holy or they can be evil. Dictators take over countries with evil words. God communicates His love for people with holy words. Souls are damaged or healed with the power of words. Why? How? Because words express ideas and Creation runs on ideas, not gravity or centrifugal forces, but on the words, “Let there be….”
So far we have been dealing with the plural. John begins His Jesus Story with the singular—The Word. All of these definitions and functions apply to the Gospel.
- As newly re-born babies we learn to speak the name of the Father in prayer and tell Jesus our inmost thoughts and concerns.
- As siblings in the Family of God, we learn how to properly speak to our brothers and sisters.
- In worship we learn how to express our love to the Lord, so easy at first, but sometimes so difficult when troubles pile on us.
- Words help us understand and express spiritual truths, often using metaphors and analogies to define abstractions like holiness, faith, eternity, and the Love of God.
All of these highly functional words spring from –The Word.
The Written Word
One of the greatest gifts of God to mankind is His Word. It is a supernatural book with a supernatural history. It must be approached with an expectation of supernatural enablement by the Holy Spirit. Purely academic or scientific study of the Bible is not enough; so much error has entered the world through Bible study by human means alone. This is the meaning of “the letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life.”
The Written Word is a treasure, as ancient as it is current. There are two ways we approach the Written Word:
- To prayerfully read it is a flow of grace into our souls each day and,
- To study it is a fountain of wisdom for our lives.
The Living Word
The greatest benefit of the Written Word is this: in it we encounter the Living Word, the Lord Jesus Himself. He was with God in the beginning and was God and through Him everything was made. Life was and is found in Jesus and that light is the light of men. Want more good news?
“And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].” (Amplified Bible)
John 1: 1-5 NKJV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Hebrews 10:5-7 NKJV
Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, But a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come — In the volume of the book it is written of Me —To do Your will, O God.'”
2 Corinthians 3:4-6 NKJV
And we have such trust through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
Lord Jesus, Thank for the unquenchable light of Your Word! Indeed, the darkness of this world has never understood Your Light and certainly has never put it out. Indeed, You have come to me “in the volume of the Book written” of You. You are more than words on paper, You are light, powerful, life-changing, with healing in the sound of Your Truth. Thank You for the Written Word. It is as secure as heaven and earth. Thank You for the Living Word, so alive in my heart by the Holy Spirit. I rejoice in Your Word today! Amen and Amen.
Holy Bible, Book Divine
Words: John Burton; Music: William B. Bradbury
1. Holy Bible, Book divine, Precious treasure, thou art mine:
Mine to tell me whence I came; Mine to teach me what I am.
2. Mine to chide me when I rove, Mine to show a Savior’s love;
Mine thou art to guide and guard; Mine to punish or reward.
3. Mine to comfort in distress, Suffering in this wilderness;
Mine to show by living faith, We can triumph over death.
4. Mine to tell of joys to come, And the rebel sinner’s doom:
O thou holy book divine, Precious treasure thou art mine.
© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved
TheJesusStory devotions are also found at KingdomWinds.com.