June 9

The Living and Active Word

Bible Reading: Hebrews 4:11-13

Over the course of her 5½ year cancer journey, Laura has had hundreds of doctor appointments. Every month, she sees her oncologist and palliative care specialist. And every month there’s a blood test. These tests produce an amazing array of data regarding things like her tumor markers, liver function, neutrophils, white and red blood cell counts, sodium level, etc. Occasionally, the oncologist has scheduled Laura for imaging tests. These imaging tests have revealed both the location and size of various tumors in her body and are so accurate radiation treatments can then be targeted with precision to shrink them. Modern medicine has progressed so much, there are now noninvasive ways to examine the innermost places of a human body.

The spiritual counterpart to such imaging tests is the Bible. It is “sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Sin is the greatest of all maladies. It is a debilitating sickness which causes immeasurable harm both to ourselves and others. How thankful we are for the saving work of Jesus! The shed blood of Jesus is indeed “of sin the double cure,” cleansing “from its guilt and power” (Rock of Ages). Yet though the believer is forgiven, and no longer enslaved to sin, the fact is, as long as the flesh remains, he still deals with sin.

We aren’t always honest with ourselves when it comes to our sin problems. We’ve a tendency to ignore, cover-up, rationalize, or excuse things. It is as God spoke through Jeremiah: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the Lord search the heart and test the mind” (Jeremiah 17:9-10a). If sin is to be dealt with at the heart level, we need to go to the Great Physician. His Word is the tool He uses to examine us. It reaches into the innermost recesses of our being. People generally don’t like to go to the doctor, I don’t! But if there’s something amiss, it’s an important thing to do. How thankful we should be for the saving work of Jesus. God has purposed to save us from sin, and in every respect. Even now, He has indwelt you with the Spirit of God and provisioned you with the Word of God so sin will progressively give way to Christlikeness. That transformation is a miraculous work and anticipates your glorious, sinless destiny.

There is a great truth here… “The word of God is living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). It is not a dry academic textbook to be studied for the sake of gaining more knowledge of its contents. It is God’s word through which He is even now able to speak to each of us about things pertaining to our walk and relationship with Him. How many times have you heard a passage preached, or came across a text in Scripture, sensing God was speaking directly to you? God speaks to us through His Word! That’s why it’s so important that we be devoted to the Word, how else can we expect to hear what He has to say? For every reproof, there is correction. For every ugly sin put off, there is the beauty of Christlikeness to take its place. From “one degree of glory to another,” the Spirit patiently works through the Word to conform us to Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 8:29).

“The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me.”

Martin Luther


The Word of God is like a light
That shines serenely thro’ the night;
Its rays will light my weary way
To the realms of a fair, unending day.

The Word of God is strong and sure,
Forevermore it shall endure,
When oceans cease to kiss the shore,
When suns shall set to rise no more;
’Mid crash of worlds it shall remain
Unshaken midst the starry rain,
Upon its firm foundation strong,
I will plant my feet thro’ the ages long.

The Word of God is like a sword
That pierces hearts, thus saith the Lord;
And like a hammer, weighty, strong,
That can break up the rocks of sin and wrong. [Refrain]

The Word of God is like the bread
On which the hosts of old were fed;
From Heav’n it came to fill our need,
Hungry hearts it will satisfy indeed. [Refrain]

The Word of God is like a fire,
It kindles in our hearts desire
To see its Author face to face
And to know all the fullness of His grace. [Refrain]

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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