Occasionally, I depart from my usual story-telling format to share a Bible study or devotional I prepared for the women in my church. Such is the case this week.
Earlier this summer, as I thought and prayed about my designated topic, Scripture, verses started coming to my mind. I realized Scripture has plenty to say about itself, so I let some beloved passages teach the lesson with minimal comment from me.
I pray reading the following verses (still with minimal commentary) will remind you how blessed we are to have the incomparable Word of God to guide, nourish, and protect us.
The first passage that came to my mind was Jesus’ response to Satan’s temptation to satisfy His hunger by changing stones into bread. Recorded in Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4, Jesus’ reply, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God,’” hearkened back to an event recorded in Deuteronomy:
And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
The Armor of God
In using Scripture to rebuke Satan, Jesus gave us an example of putting on the armor of God as described in Ephesians:
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil . . . and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God . . .
Ephesians 6:11, 17
Living and Active
Hebrews also describes the Word of God as a sword, and it goes on to proclaim it is alive.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Have you ever read a passage you know you’ve read many times before, but this time it comforts, convicts, or informs you in a whole new way? I know I have! God’s Word is indeed living and active.
The night before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed for His disciples, those who were with Him then, and all those to come, including us.
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul described the all-encompassing role of God’s Word in our sanctification.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
To Be Obeyed
James never minced words. He made it clear that reading the Word isn’t enough. We must do as it says.
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Think about footlights in a theater or airplane cabin when the lights have been dimmed. They provide enough light to safely take the next step or two, not see great distances. And so it is with God’s word. Though Scripture describes the end of the story (see Revelation 21 and 22), we sometimes wish to know the details of how our lives will play out. Instead, the Lord leads us step by step as we live by faith and endeavor to follow Him.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55: 10-11
I used to think I needed to share the whole plan of salvation to be an effective witness. God has repeatedly shown me that isn’t the case. Even when I use words like “blessed” or mention I attend Bible study or quote a snippet of Scripture, it can open the door for me to share more, knowing that God’s word will accomplish His purposes.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
Pure, Perfect, Desirable, Sustaining
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. God’s word is like honey.
The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.
Jesus – The Word Made Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-5; 14
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
With these verses, we come full circle. Jesus, the Word, provides the very life alluded to in the passage in Deuteronomy. As the second Person of the Trinity, He has existed from eternity past and will exist for all eternity. In Him, we have all we need for life and godliness – spiritual nourishment, guidance, protection from the evil one, and victory over death.
So, dear readers, I hope you’ll revisit the passages I’ve included and maybe even add some more (this list is far from exhaustive) as you contemplate the beauty and sufficiency of God’s incomparable Word.