Words have power
I 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.
When he was desperately looking for a place to hide, he finally plunged into a crowded theater and found a place in it. But soon he became aware that four or five prison guards entered the theater and started to block the exits. His thoughts were racing. What could he do? There was no other way out and he knew he would be easily recognized if the visitors left the theater. Suddenly an idea came to him. It jumped up in the half-dark theater and shouted: «Fire! Fire! Fire!" The crowd panicked and hurried to the exits. The hero seized the opportunity, mingled with the crowd, slipped past the guards, and disappeared into the night. I remember this scene for one important reason: Words have strength. In this dramatic incident, a little word made many people frightened and ran for their lives!
The Book of Proverbs (18,21:2) teaches us that words have the power to bring life or death. Poorly chosen words can hurt, kill enthusiasm and hold people back. Well-chosen words can heal, encourage and offer hope. During the darkest days of World War II, Winston Churchill's skilfully chosen and magnificently recited words gave people courage and restored the endurance of the besieged English people. It is said that he mobilized the English language and sent it to war. That's how powerful the power of words is. You can change lives.
This should make us 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 powerful" (Hebrews 4,12). It has a dynamic quality. It has energy. It makes things happen. It does things that no one else can do. It doesn't just inform, it does things. When Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, he only chose a weapon to fight and ward off Satan: “It is written; it is written; it is written, »replied Jesus - and Satan fled! Satan is powerful, but Scripture is even more powerful.
The power to change us
But the Word of God not only accomplishes things, it also transforms us. The Bible was not written 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 beginning to change and we are bearing fruit (2 Timothy 3,15:17 - 1; 2,2 Peter). The Word of God has such power.
Are we surprised? Not when we read in 2 Timothy 3,16: "For all Scripture is entered by God", (“God-breathed” is the exact translation of Greek). These words are not just human words. They are of divine origin. They are the words of the same God who created the universe and receives all things through his powerful word (Hebrews 11,3; 1,3). But he doesn't leave us alone with his word while he goes off and does something else. His word is alive!
"Like an acorn that carries a thousand forests, the word of God lies in the pages of Scripture like a slumbering seed in a silo that is just waiting for a hardworking sower to spread the seed and for 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?
Through prayerful Bible study, of course. In Isaiah 55,11 it says: "This is how the word that comes from my mouth should also be: It will not come back to me empty, but will do what I like and he will succeed in what I send it to . » John Stott tells the story of a wandering preacher walking through the security gate at an airport. This was before electronic scanning and the security guard was rummaging in his pocket. He came across a black cardboard box that contained the preacher's Bible and was curious to find out what it contained. "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 devotion and release enough energy to heal our lives. Isn't that a compelling reason to read the Bible to be changed?
by Gordon Green