God’s Word and Your Life
What does it mean for the Bible to be “living and active”?
Hebrews 4:12 makes this statement and it sounds pretty important. While scholars believe this reference to the word of God refers to larger statements of God, such as the ongoing declaration of His will and other commands and decrees, it certainly doesn’t mean any less than the Bible. Words like living and active make us think of words like relevant and meaningful. We pay attention to things that are relevant and meaningful.
If you’re trying to make a decision and someone makes a relevant statement you take their advice.
If you’re stumbling in life and someone provides meaningful encouragement you are redirected.
God’s Word should be seen this way.
There are dozens of passages across the Bible that speak of the relevance of God’s Word. Another is found in 2 Timothy 3:16 where Paul says God’s Word is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness. These simple phrases carry huge implications as we consider how they penetrate our lives when we open ourselves to God in His Word.
God’s Word Teaches Us
First, God’s Word teaches the reader. This means we learn who God is in His Word. We can make observations about God’s character in the world around us. But in His Word, God gives us clarification about Himself. He teaches us about His character. His desires. His goals. Not only those, God also teaches us what He expects of us in His Word. How can live at peace with God? How can we find joy in God? How does God view the world? Does God bring justice? All of those questions (and many more) are answered in God’s Word.
God’s Word Reproves Us
Then, we turn to the word reproof. I once heard a teacher refer to the Bible as a mirror. Seeing God in His Word helps us see ourselves more clearly. Once we begin to understand who God is and what He desires then we can see what we look like. No one likes to be rebuked but when we handle it correctly it brings great reward. What am I pursuing in life? How am I faithless? How am I faithful? What are my flaws?
God’s Word Corrects Us
The next word Paul uses is correction. This makes logical sense. Sometimes I think of this word in the sequence as an equation or comparison. First, I should see God, then take an honest look at myself and what do you think should follow? Correction. How can I get on God’s path with Him? What must be changed so I can walk with God? What must be implemented so I can move forward with Him?
Paul doesn’t stop here through. He goes one step further. Not only is God’s Word helpful for learning, examining and changing, it is good for training. God wants lasting results for you.
God’s Word Trains Us
Paul’s last word in this sequence is training. In fact, it is training for righteousness. In the Old Testament and New Testament the word righteousness is defined as living in a way that pleases God. Because we are fallen sinners we require Jesus to provide our perfect righteousness. However, in Christ we are given the power to live in ways that please God. He empowers us through His Spirit and His Word for long term living that please Him. A final thought helps us think about this training. Saying, “I exercised today,” brings a short term thought to mind. But saying, “I trained today,” brings a long term thought to mind. God wants us to go the distance with Him.
Isn’t it encouraging to know that God’s Word is living and active for you? What will you learn today about God in His Word? What does your reflection against God’s Word reveal to you? How will you be trained in righteousness through God’s Word today?
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