Words have power

419 words have powerI can not remember the name of the movie. I can not remember the plot or the names of the actors. But I remember a certain scene. The hero had escaped a POW camp, and hot pursued by soldiers he fled to a nearby village.

Desperately looking for a place to hide, he finally plunged into a crowded theater and found a place in it. But soon he realized that four or five prison guards had invaded the theater and started locking the exits. His thoughts were racing. What could he do? There was no other way out and he knew he would be easily recognized when the visitors left the theater. Suddenly he had an idea. It jumped up in the dim theater and screamed, "Fire! Fire! Fire! "The crowd panicked and rushed to the exits. The hero seized the opportunity, mingling with the crowd and slipping past the guards and vanishing into the night. I remember this scene for one important reason: words have power. In this dramatic incident, a small word made many people afraid and ran for their lives!

The Book of Proverbs (18,21) teaches us that words have the power to bring life or death. Badly chosen words can hurt, kill enthusiasm, and hold people back. Well-chosen words can heal, encourage and give hope. During the darkest days of 2. World War II Winston Churchill's cleverly chosen and magnanimous words encouraged people and restored the stamina of the beleaguered English people. It is said that he mobilized the English language and sent them to war. So strong is the power of words. You can change lives.

This should bring us to pause and think. If our human words have so much power, how much more the word of God? The Letter to the Hebrews shows us that "the Word of God is alive and strong" (Hebr 4,12). It has a dynamic quality. It has energy. It makes things happen. It does things that nobody else can do. It does not just inform, it does things. When Jesus was tried in the wilderness by Satan, he chose only one weapon to fight Satan and ward it off: "It is written; it is written; it is written, "replied Jesus - and Satan fled! Satan is powerful, but the Scriptures are even more powerful.

The power to change us

But the Word of God not only accomplishes things, it also transforms us. The Bible was written not for our information but for our transformation. News articles can inform us. Novels can inspire us. Poems can delight us. But only the potent word of God can transform us. Once received, the word of God begins to work in us and becomes a living force in our lives. Our behavior is starting to change and we are bringing results (2T in 3,15-17; 1Pt 2,2). Such a power has the word of God.

Are we surprised? Not if we are in 2. Timothy 3,16 read: "For all Scripture is God-given", ("God-breathed" that is the exact translation of the Greek). These words are not just human words. They are of divine origin. It is the words of the same God who created the universe and receives all things through his powerful word (Hebr 11,3, 1,3). But he does not leave us alone with his word as he goes off doing something else. His word is alive!

"Like an acorn bearing a thousand forests, so the Word of God in the pages of Scripture is like a dormant seed in a silo waiting for a diligent sower to sow the seed and a fertile heart to receive him "(The Preeminent Person of Christ: A Study of Hebrews by Charles Swindol, p. 73).

He still speaks through the spoken word

So do not make the mistake of just reading the Bible because they have to, or because it's the right thing to do. Do not read them in a mechanical way. Do not even read them because they believe that they are the word of God. Instead, see the Bible as the word of God through which he speaks to them today. In other words, he still speaks through what he said. How can we prepare our heart for it to be fruitful to receive its powerful word?

Of course, through prayerful Bible study. In Isaiah 55,11 it says: "... the word that comes out of my mouth should be like this: it will not come back to me empty-handed, but will do what I like, and it will succeed, to which I send it." John Stott tells the story of a walking preacher walking through the security gate at an airport. This was before the time of electronic scanning and the security bureau rummaged in his pocket. He found a black cardboard box containing the preacher's bible and was curious to find its contents. "What's in this box?" He asked suspiciously and received the startling answer: "Dynamite!" (Between Two Worlds: John Stott)

What a fitting description of God's Word - a force, an explosive force - that can "explode" old habits, break false beliefs, ignite new devotions, and release enough energy to heal our lives. Is not that a compelling reason to read the Bible to be changed?

by Gordon Green

pdfWords have power