Embracing Godís Word
 By Rich Carmicheal

   The quality of a Christianís spiritual life is directly related to his/her interaction (or lack thereof) with Godís Word. Christians who devote themselves to His Word through disciplined reading, study and application, as well as through a healthy exposure to godly preaching and teaching, gain vitality in their walk with the Lord. On the other hand, Christians who neglect the Scriptures deprive themselves of the spiritual nourishment that the Word of the Lord provides. In essence, these Christians starve their faith. How tragic that these Christians do not embrace the precious gift of Godís Word.

    Hopefully, you are counted among those Christians who devote much time and effort to the Lordís Word. However, if you are like many Christians, you are not spending a sufficient amount of time reading, studying and applying the Word of God. In either case, I want to challenge you to renew your commitment to the Word of the Lord. With that purpose in mind, I want share some of the many reasons to devote yourself to Godís Word.

The Word of the Lord

    At the risk of stating the obvious, one of the primary reasons to devote yourself to Godís Word is because it is Godís Word. The Apostle Paul states it this way: "All Scripture is God-breathedÖ" (2 Tim. 3:16). The Apostle Peter adds that "Öno prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophetís own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (2 Pet. 1:20-21). Scripture is Godís Word. Therefore, each time you read and study Scripture, you are interacting with Him. He has given us a precious gift!

    Many things in which we invest are temporary (for example, houses, money, possessions). The Word of the Lord, however, is eternal. Jesus declares that even though heaven and earth will pass away, His "words will never pass away" (Matt. 24:35). Peter states that "the word of the Lord stands forever" (1 Pet. 1:25). Each time you open the Word of the Lord and allow it to penetrate into your life, you are placing something eternal within you.

    Because the Word of the Lord is the Word of the Lord, it has divine power and is able to transform those who receive and accept it. The Lord makes this declaration concerning His Word: "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so it is with my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isa. 55:10-11). The Lordís Word works powerfully and produces spiritual life.

    The writer of Hebrews teaches that "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 thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Heb. 4:12). It has the power to teach, rebuke, correct, train in righteousness and equip (2 Tim. 3:16). How unfortunate it is that many Christians neglect the Lordís Word and do not give it the opportunity to deeply penetrate their lives. How wonderful, on the other hand, for those who devote themselves to Godís Word. As the Psalmist states, the man who delights in Godís law and meditates on it day and night is "like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers" (Psa. 1:2-3).

    Through the prophet Hosea, the Lord declares, "Ömy people are destroyed from lack of knowledge" (Hos. 4:6). In a similar tone, Jesus informed the Sadducees that they were in error because they did not know the Scriptures (Matt. 22:29). These two passages illustrate the fact that a lack of knowledge of Godís Word can lead to destruction and error.

    Unfortunately, many Christians are susceptible of being "Ötossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teachingÖ" because they do not have a solid foundation of knowledge of the Word. On the other hand, believers who devote themselves to the "solid food" of Godís Word are able "to distinguish good from evil" (Heb. 5:14).

   There are many other benefits that you can receive as you embrace the Word of God. For example, do you need revival? "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soulÖ" (Psa. 19:7).

    Do you need counsel? "Your statutes areÖmy counselors" (Psa. 119:24).

    Do you need joy? "The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heartÖ" (Psa. 19:8).

    Do you need encouragement and hope? "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope" (Rom. 15:4).

    Do you need faith? "But these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:31). "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ" (Rom. 10:17).

    Do you need assurance of your salvation? "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:13).

    Do you need help in overcoming sin? "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Psa. 119:11).

    Do you need to be made holy? "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17).

    Do you need help in spiritual warfare? "TakeÖthe sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17).

    Do you need wisdom? "Öthe holy ScripturesÖare able to make you wise for salvationÖ" (2 Tim. 3:16).

    Do you need direction and guidance? "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path" (Psa. 119:105).

    Although the list could go on and on, I hope the preceding material is sufficient to renew your hunger and desire for the Scriptures. The Lord will certainly bless those who embrace His Word!