Word of God - Day 1 - Are You Reading?
It is so important for the Christian to be in God's Word! (Psa 119:11) Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Being in the Word keeps us from sin! Compromise has set into the heart of the believer in today's church. We see it all around us. The world has come into the church through music, various "versions" of the Bible, manner of dress, etc. These compromises could only have entered because the believer was not prepared. If being in the Word keeps us from sin, then what does this mean of those who have allowed compromise to settle into their hearts and, as a result, into their churches? Compromise is sin, therefore, it means that the believer is not in the Word of God the way he ought to be.
The next 30 days will be spent encouraging you to be in the Word - whether you are saved or not, you cannot build your faith unless you have the Word of God as the main part of your life. To the lost, my goal is to encourage you to get into the Word so that you may be saved. To the born-again Christian, my goal is to renew that zeal to be in God's Word, and enjoy it like we once had when we were first saved.
There are many names for Jesus recorded in the Bible: the Good Shepherd, the King of Kings, the Word of God, etc. Why do you think Jesus called Himself the Word of God? The Word of God draws us to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (Rom 10:17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. The Word brings salvation to the unbeliever! The unbeliever does not instinctively go to the Bible on a daily basis. His faith cannot be built because he is not in the Word. It is not until he is led to the Word or he hears the Word being preached by a preacher or soul winner that he comes to a saving knowledge of Christ.
However, if the devil can hinder someone from being in the Word, then he can stunt his spiritual growth or keep him from getting saved. Just as you would start suffering from various illnesses if you were undernourished, you will suffer at the hands of the devil if you are spiritually undernourished. To the unbeliever, this means you will suffer burning in hell for all eternity along with the devil. To the believer, this means you will encounter problem after problem and live a defeated life because you will no strength to endure your fiery trials.
If we are not growing in the Lord by reading and studying the Bible, we open ourselves up to false doctrine. Going to church or having a ministry does not keep the devil from attacking you. The devil wants to devour us, my friend. Peter was speaking to believers when he said, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Pet 5:8) Peter could have used any other analogy but chose to use roaring lion. Why, do you think? Have you ever watched a nature show on lions and the way they hunt for food? If their prey is a larger animal, they go immediately for a leg to take them down and then they go straight for the throat. Satan is no different. If you are not in your Bible, arming yourself, ole slew foot will take you down - slowly but surely. Then he will go for your throat. The Christian who is in his Bible is prepared for the unexpected. He is armed with verses in his heart ready to meditate on when they are needed. He knows what to do when a difficult situation comes up. He does not have to run to his Pastor or his best friend to find out what to do because God already gave him what he needed through His Word. (Eph 6:11) Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. This verse does not say to gather your Christian friends around you to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. It says to put on the whole armour of God.
1 Peter 5:8 is a beautiful verse and it is quoted frequently. However, when you read the two verses before it, you find that God does not intend for us to be prey for Satan. Our Shepherd is watching and caring for us. (1 Pet 5:6-7) Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (6) Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (7) The flesh is what keeps one from the Word of God. A humble Christian submits to God and what the Word commands of him. Noah Webster defines humble as:
Lowly; modest; meek; submissive; opposed to proud,haughty, arrogant or assuming. In an evangelical sense, having a low opinion of one's self, and a deep sense of unworthiness in the sight of GodYou may not think you are prideful but you are if you are not spending time in the Word. You are making a statement: "I can live today without the help of God - I can do it on my own!" That's exactly what the devil wants you to do. That is why Satan can attack the believer like a roaring lion! When we submit to the Lord and spend time in His Word, He guards us from the enemy, He gathers us to Him and hides us under His wing for protection, and He guides us in the path that we should go. His guidance can be found in His Word - He promises us that He will not leave us in the dark. (Psa 119:105) NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Your path will be a dark one if you don't spend any time in your Bible. This is when you will begin to wonder where God is. You will begin to doubt that you are His child. You will begin to fret over life's problems and you will waiver in your faith.
So why do you think spending time in the Word is one of the hardest areas for a Christian? The roaring lion does not want you in the Word because he knows that this is where your power from on high lies. (Eph 6:17) And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Your Sword (the Bible) is what will keep temptation at bay. Prayer is another area that Satan tries to hinder in the believer's life, but that's a whole other devotional series! Satan will do his best to keep you from your power, the Word of God. How has he succeeded in his efforts? Some of you don't believe that you have the true Word of God in your possession. If you knew that you were to receive a letter directly from God in the mail, wouldn't you run to your mailbox to retrieve it? You do have letters from God right there in the pages of your Bible! Right in front of you! The devil has managed to have over 100 different "versions" on the shelves so the believer doesn't know which one to choose. Words have been twisted and removed to form a watered-down version of God's Word - one without power. The devil's minions have managed to convince man that there is no "true" Bible.
Also, by attacking God's Word, the devil has succeeded in convincing many that Christ is not God. This is nothing new. He started his attack in the Garden of Eden with "Yea, hath God said" Gen. 3:1 If he can cause people to question the very Word of God, then he can remove the focus on salvation through Christ, the Son of God, the second in the Trinity. That is why it is so important for you to be in the Word, my friend. Christ knew just how important the Word was to us that He made certain that it was recorded in a Book for us to have. We are so blessed to be able to have a Bible in each household today - some households have several! It was not so in the days prior to the printing press. We ought to be grateful!
Let's go back to why Christ was referred to as the Word of God. He was the mouthpiece of God the Father while He was on earth. When He left to go back to Heaven, His words were then recorded in a Book, our blessed Bible. This was not a new thing. Recording God's words in a Book is seen throughout the Old Testament as well. Christ lives on in His Word. Salvation was from Him in the Old Testament (Jonah 2:9) and it is still from Him in the New Testament. (Act 4:12) His Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us at the moment of salvation and reveals what the Word of God has to say to us. (Joh 14:26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Why would Christ leave His Holy Spirit with the born again believer if it weren't important to remember what He had said? The Word is important! Don't let the devil fool you!
Do not take this lightly, dear Christian. Having God's holy Word in our possession is not an insignificant matter - He left us His Word in Book form for a reason. (Exo 17:14) And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. and (Rev 1:11) Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea. God is a firm believer of having His Word in book form. He knew how important it would be for us!
Christ left us with the very armour that will help us through our pilgrimage here on earth. To trivialize our Bible reading time into a 5-minute devotional, or "one minute with God," is to allow Satan access to our very throats! He is not out there waiting to devour unbelievers! After all, he already has them. However, if he can cause Christians to have no power or strength, he can bring them down - then he can go for their throats! Our power and strength lie with the Word of God. The more you are in the Word, the less you will fall to temptation. Satan knows this and that is why he attacks the Christian's Bible reading time. The better you eat and exercise, the healthier you are and the better your body functions as a whole - your mind is even clearer and you feel as though you have purpose and direction. It is the same with the Word of God. The better you are at your Bible reading and exercising what you are taught, the healthier you will be spiritually as a Christian - your mind will be clearer, no doubts, and you will have clear direction.
In closing, here are a few verses that describe Christ as the Word. This should compel you to read and to study, knowing that His Word is vital in your life. Please, Christian, ask yourself why God would put this particular description of Christ in His Word. It is because He knows how important it is for His children to read, study and grow. (2 Ti 2:15) Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. He did not say that you should study to show yourself approved to yourself, your Pastor, or to others but to show yourself approved unto God!
(Joh 1:1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
(Joh 1:14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
(1 Jn 1:1) That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
(1 Jn 5:7) For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
(Rev 19:13) And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
(Rev 19:16) And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
You will have to stand before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords one day and explain why you were spiritually weak. It won't be because He did not leave you with the tools to be a strong Christian. My friend, you can't build a car engine with a Q-tip. God did not leave you here on earth with a Q-tip. He left you here with the Sword of the Lord - His Holy Word - through Christ Jesus! You have no excuse, my friend. If you are not born again, it's not because there isn't a preacher or a Bible everywhere you turn. If you are saved and defeated, it's not because you don't have the tools. God has left you His very words breathed onto every page of the blessed King James Bible.