The lion has roared—so who isn’t frightened? The Sovereign Lord has spoken—so who can refuse to proclaim his message? ~ Amos 3:8
Part of the Christian faith is the belief that there is power in God’s word. When he speaks, things happen. This idea saturates the Bible from the opening chapters when God speaks creation into existence to the closing chapters where Jesus defeats the enemies of his people with the words of his mouth.
Through Isaiah, God said that his word will accomplish all that he intends and will not return empty (Isaiah 55:11). In Ezekiel 37, the prophetic message brings dry bones back to life. Paul wrote that all scripture was breathed out or inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s word is “alive and powerful,” cutting into the very depths of a person. Peter wrote that the word of the gospel causes new, everlasting life (1 Peter 1:23-25).
When we truly believe this, it changes how we view the Bible. When we see the great power behind God’s word, we will:
1. Long to read it. Our hearts will seek out fellowship with God, the message that comes from his word. We will make it a part of our lives, longing to know the story of Jesus, and praying for the change that it creates in us. Through the word’s powerful work driven by the Holy Spirit within, we will experience the renewing of our hearts and minds to make us more like Jesus.
2. Long to hear it taught. Preaching and teaching have been a vital part of church life from the beginning. Paul told Timothy to give careful attention to the corporate reading of the word and then also to preach it (1 Timothy 4:13, 2 Timothy 4:2). Yes, the Spirit leads us in a deeper understanding of scripture each time we read it; but having someone help to guide us, remind us, and give us accountability in our understanding is also of great importance.
3. Long to share it. In the quote above, Amos envisioned God speaking being like the roar of a lion. It should cause people to stand up and take notice. But if God has so spoken, then surely we must also share what he has said. This was the experience of Peter and John. With the religious leaders of their day threatening them and telling them not to talk about Jesus, they replied, “We cannot stop telling about everything we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). So it should be with us.
God’s word changes his people. Experiencing its power will change how we view it and what we do with it.
This post is part of our ongoing journey through the Bible as a church.