Psalm 119:11 "I have kept Your Word hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You."
How often have you started a new year wanting to make a positive change in your life? While our culture emphasizes improving your outside, donít we all really want to make a change to who we really are, on the inside? God says His Bible has the power to look into each of our individual hearts, and show each of us exactly where He can work within us to make 2014 the year of our transformation. As you read through these eight pictures, where is God speaking to you?
#1. The Bible is FIRE - Jeremiah 5:14 "Thus says the Lord God of hosts: ĎBecause you speak this word, behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them." The Bible is like fire because it consumes peoplesí hearts. When I read the Bible, it has the power of God to burn the useless things out of my life.
#2. The Bible is a SWORD - Hebrews 4:12 "The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any 2-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Sometimes, the fire of Godís word doesnít get our attention. But the sword will, because God says it quickly cuts to the heart of the matter. Thatís because God knows my very thoughts and intentions. His word exposes them to me if Iím too blind or in denial.
#3. The Bible is a HAMMER - Jeremiah 23:29 "Is not My word likeÖ a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?" If you are thinking "The Bible has never been a fire or a sword to me", itís because your heart is so hard that Godís words bounce right off it! Proverbs 28:14 says "Happy is the man who is always reverent, but he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity." I may not be in conscious rebellion against God, but my heart no longer feels Godís conviction (my heart has grown insensitive to His voice). The Bible will has the power to break your rock-hard heart.
#4. The Bible is SEED - 1Peter 1:23 "Öhaving been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever." A seed starts very small and takes time to grow, needing continual attention. Godís Word starts to work in my heart, but it takes time (sometimes, I have to hear the same thing many times before it takes hold and I get it). Planted in my heart (memorize, meditate), the Bible will bear fruit and transform my life, but I must have a willingness to plant the seed within me by my faith that He, in time, will keep His promise to work in my life.
#5. The Bible is MILK - 1Peter 2:2 "Öas newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow therebyÖ" Newborn babies donít need to be taught the fact that they need milk Ė theyíre born with their mouths open. What momís milk is to a newborn, the Bible is to a sincere person of faith.
#6. The Bible is MEAT - Hebrews 5:13-14 "Öeveryone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age; that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil." As I grow, I canít live only on milk Ė I need meat. Itís the same with being a Christian. Once I have that sure foundation of milk, the meat is where I grow in my walk (I practice discernment and holiness in my daily living).
#7. The Bible is LIGHT - Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path." The Bible works in my life so that I donít walk around blind to lifeís dangers, making dumb mistakes that could have been avoided if I simply had known the way I should go. Anyone who has been unsure about an important decision knows the value of Godís Word to light their path
#8. The Bible is a MIRROR - James 1:23-25 "Öif anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does." The true value of a mirror isnít just in showing us an imperfection Ė it reveals the thing needing to be fixed, so now I can act on it (how stupid is it to see in a mirror that I have ketchup on my face, and then I just leave it there?)
Are you reading His Word everyday? He canít work in your life if you donít let Him in.
Ed Croteau is a resident of Leeís Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called "Faith: Substance and Evidence." He can be reached with your questions through the Leeís Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.