More Than Just a Book
In the sermon this past Sunday, the focus was on the power of God’s Word in our lives and how it brings us together. In the message, I shared examples of the bibles I used growing up — from a Children’s Bible (which was similar to one I had as a child) to the Ryrie Study Bible (which I used as a young adult) to my current Urbana Bible (which I received at the Urbana missions conference). These bibles represented my spiritual growth during various times in my life. You may have old bibles like this as well that represent your past. As you can see from the picture, two of the bibles are pretty worn out. The covers are starting to fray and the bindings are coming apart. Physically these bibles are nothing more than books. Right? They wear out and disintegrate like everything else we own. They’re like my favorite t-shirts. I wear the same ones over and over again until they start to fray and get holey (not holy). And then I still wear them around.
But as Christians, we know that the bible, spiritually and historically, is much more than just a book or any object we own. The bible is the inspired Word of God and the truths it bears will stand forever. Isaiah 40:6-8 says “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever.” The prophet Isaiah is saying God’s Word is timeless and it transcends humanity and history. The truth of God’s Word will remain long after man’s glory has faded. We see this all throughout history as regimes, governments, empires, and kings come and go. Even the popular Harry Potter book series and J.K. Rowling will be forgotten in a generation or two.
Many people think that the bible’s teachings are archaic. They reject the bible as irrelevant to our culture today. But it’s not that the bible is irrelevant, it’s that our culture has rejected the values and principles of the bible. The truth of scripture, the sinfulness of man, the need for a savior, the coming judgment, the love of God applies equally to mankind when it was first written as it does today. God’s Word continues to impact people and change lives as it has done since Old Testament writing began over 3400 years ago. How can a book do that? Again, it’s not just a book.
Have you ever felt like God’s Word is speaking directly to you, that the scripture or a message is aimed directly at you? Boy I have, and I realize over time it’s because it is! Hebrews 4:12 says “For the Word of God is alive 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.” God knows our hearts and what’s needed to bring our lives in alignment with Him. The psalmist says in Psalm 139:23 “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Beloved, let this be our prayer. The Word of God is alive and active! Read it, don’t neglect it, let God speak to you, and lead you in the way everlasting.