I get a kick out of reading instructions for things......especially instructions for appliances. Take for example a curling iron I bought recently. Tucked somewhere between how to turn it on/off and how to plug it in were the careful instructions, "Do not use while sleeping".
Some other favorites would be "Do not use while showering" found on my hairdryer cord label, or "Do not drive with sun shield in place" found on the cardboard sun shield that keeps the sun off the dashboard of my car.
If the Bible came with instructions, what would they say? Could Heb. 4:12 be God's way of giving us some useful instructions for using His word? A playful paraphrase might read, Warning: The substance you are about to injest is living and active. Caution! It can be sharp like a sword. Once injested it goes deep inside you forever and is able to judge the thoughts and attitudes of your heart. Prepare to be changed.
I'm so thankful that the word of God is alive and active. I'm not sure what that means to you, but to me it makes the scriptures a one-of-a-kind phenomenon. I've had the benefit of having a life-long relationship with the word of God. I grew up memorizing scripture, playing Bible games, and doing 'sword' drills. What I didn't understand as a child, and still don't completely, is that the word of God is alive. Once inside you, it goes to work. The words on the page are not just ink but the spoken words of God. 2 Tim. 3:16 says that all Scripture is God-breathed. We know that His words are powerful. Very powerful. In fact, the very universe was set into place and now sustained by His words.
But, we can't help but remember the Pharisees. Here were some guys who knew the word. And yet, they did not experience the life-changing benefits that many of us experience today. The reason? They knew the word, but not The Word.
It's always been interesting to me and kind of mind boggling, that Jesus is called, "The Word". Surely there could have been a better description of our Savior? But, a closer more thoughtful look reveals that 'The Word' is an absolutely marvelous and fitting title. Words convey thoughts and a message. Jesus coming and His very life and death here was His message, but even more, it was the Father's message. It was in the Father's thoughts to send His only Son as the perfect sacrifice to redeem His lost children. Set in full motion, those thoughts became words. Not just any words, but THE WORD.
Though I've been taught that I'm to value the written word of God, I've also been taught that my real relationship is with the Author of the book. But, I'm finding sometimes that the lines get a little blurry. This is no ordinary book, the words are 'active and living'. When we read it and partner with The Word, allowing Him through the Holy Spirit to interpret His message and thoughts to us, the results are explosive. The Word empowering the word in us. Amazing!
The word of God. Warning: Live contents enclosed. May cause radical change in anyone who comes in contact. Use with extreme anticipation and excitement.
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. - John 1:14