The Word That Penetrates
“His word can cut through our spirits and souls and through our joints and marrow, until it discovers the desires and thoughts of our hearts.” (Hebrews 4:12, CEV)
Some years ago, there was a series of well-known TV advertisements for a brand of lager. Whatever the scenario, it always ended up with someone being refreshed by a glass of their lager; and the punch line was always same: “[X] refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach.” Well, if you will forgive the analogy, God’s Word does exactly the same – but in a rather more substantial way!
The Bible reaches parts that no other book can reach. Other great works of literature can certainly stimulate us, move us, challenge us, or even stir us to action. The Bible does all of this; but then it does far more. For the Bible doesn’t just reach into our minds or our emotions; it cuts right through to the deepest parts of our being, discerning our heart and motivations and revealing things that even we ourselves have missed. It reveals what is going on deep down inside, beneath the veneer we put on for others, discovers what is going on down there, and then passes judgment on “what makes us tick” (sometimes leaving us very uncomfortable as it does so!)
Such judgment, however, is not designed to leave us in condemnation, but rather to bring us to the God Who loves us. He reveals what is wrong, only so we can bring it to Him, Who alone can put it right. He shows us what we are, only so that we will come to Him, Who alone can make us what we should be.
But for this to happen, we need to let the Bible be what it is: the Word of God. We need to remember that it is there to judge us, not the other way around. This means that we cannot lay aside the bits we don’t like, or rationalize certain parts as relevant only for a bygone age, or “theologize” away God’s truth. This book is God’s eternal Word, expressing His unchanging truth for each changing generation. Let it do whatever work God wants it to do in your life today. Let it refresh the parts no other book can reach.
“Humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” (James 1:21)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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