Devotional

Greg Huston, Pastor at Calais Christian Fellowship

“The Power of the Bible”

It is  amazing to me how little attention is given to God's Word (the bible) in our current culture and world today. As I am sure you know such was not the case in the founding/early years of our nation. The Bible was THE text book in class rooms, nearly every home devoted much time in reading it. Despite what more modern critics are saying the Bible was used to frame our declaration of independence and constitution. Why was the Bible so popular in early America? they simply knew the message and morals in the Bible were powerful and life changing. Verses like this show us the power in our Bibles. “For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.: -Hebrews 4:12-.

 If you are not familiar with the King James version, you may not recognize the first word to describe what the Bible is like. “Quick” in our modern English that means alive, unlike any other book we might read the Bible is Living! Every time I read this verse I go back to my early days as a Bible teacher. I was preparing for a Sunday morning Bible study when suddenly I felt no inspiration at all. I said something to God, I have heard many great men say, "LORD your word is dead to me and I am asking you to breath life on it now.” I no more than said that when God spoke to me "Greg, my word is not dead. I have told you it is alive already, the truth is you are dead", It was a healthy reminder that if we are not "inspired" when we come to the Bible, we are lacking not the Bible. 

The next word used to describe the Bible is “Powerful” The Greek word here is energes, you guessed it, that is where we get our English word energy. So not only is the Bible alive but it has energy. Someone recently came up to me after a church service and mentioned how they felt the message really had energy. If you ever heard me teach it is not the first word that comes to mind I am sure. I took the opportunity to point out to that person, that the Bible naturally has energy. we don't have to pump it up or really press in hard to get something out of it. If we simple read it for what it is we find it work dynamically in our lives.

“Sharper than any two-edged sword”. You probably know Hebrews was written when Rome was the most superior empire in the world. That is important because the writer here is referring to the short sword used in close up combat. It simply speaks of that awesome reality, that when we get close to the Bible. It will cut us up. If you attend church regularly you know the feeling after the worship is over and either during the pastors message or in time of fellowship you feel "cut to the heart" by something either your pastor or friend has shared with you from the Bible. Well, that is very appropriate according to Hebrews 4:12.

“Dividing asunder of soul and spirit.” Literally it separates that which is soulish and spirit. Soulish means natural, as many great commentators have pointed out. In other words The Bible gives us the council we need to determine what is our nature as a human and that which is spiritual between us and God. Man with out God is nothing less than an animal. I do not believe in the theory of evolution, but the concept that man is just another breed of animal is not far off when a man or women doesn't have life that comes from God. Consider this, basic animal instinct is eating, "going to the bathroom", sleeping,fulfilling its sexual appetite and survival. The good news for us is when we find ourselves at a loss as to what God is trying to work in our lives. We can't seem to determine between our soul and spirit because at times they are so closely related. We have the Bible to help us determine what is natural and what is spiritual.

“A discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Now we are told Gods word helps us discern between our feelings and facts. This is important in light of the growth of psychology in our life time.I am not totally opposed to psychology, particularly the side that studies trends and patterns in human nature, but the other side of psychology that tries to define man with out God is another story. Most kids growing up to day under modern psychology are being told we are a products of our environment. I know because I was one such kid, and given my rough childhood I was encouraged to acknowledge we are products of our past. Trying to sift through our feelings of what has taken place in the past often only leads to depression,guilt and even suicide.Instead of trying to find answers in our past, the Bible in 2nd Peter 1:3 declares God’s word has all the answers to life and godliness. We don't need to try and define our past experience or life without him. 

According to statics, most people even christian, are willing to say the Bible is not accurate in all its claims,or that it doesn't have all the answers, to our current culture. Lets look at one example of a common problem among our culture. Consider this, when someone is overwhelmed in emotional thought or depression, often the advice is to realize it is natural to feel this way given the circumstance and get the appropriate medication. The answer the Bible gives is completely different. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says we need to "take our thoughts captive unto the obedience of Christ". So the Bible is truth and fact and discerns between our feeling and what is real. No other philosophy, thoughts and council is to be compared.      

If the Bible has all the answers to life, it is alive and active. I think it is fair for us to consider how much of The Bible determines who we are and what we do? The way we can be totally honest with ourselves is look at an average week of our lives and see how much time we give the Word of God to dictate our lives, virtues and morals. A simple question would be, do we spend more time on Facebook and channel surfing than Bible study? 

If you are a pastor happening to be reading this, without trying to offend you, I want to challenge you with something I have been challenged by recently, from some notable pastors.How do you handle God’s word especially behind the pulpit. The best question someone ever asked me was, “Do you teach from the Bible or do you teach the Bible?” There is a big difference. If you are a topical preaching pastor, consider when America was being established and how every Pastor was a topical preacher, in a day when every home avidly studied the Bible personally and kids learned the Bible early in life. Our culture has changed and I am all for a topic once in awhile but please note that today most Christians can't tell you what book or chapter the ten commandments are in or the sermon on the mount.

I pray God has reminded you of the power of his word. Please pray with me that God would stir our city of Calais and surrounding areas by the power of his word as we believe it, read it and proclaim it to this generation.