Do you believe that God’s word is powerful?
I do. I gave a Bible to a new friend not too long ago, after he told me he didn’t own one. I was trying to share the gospel with him and he expressed some interest in following up and reading the Scripture for himself, so I gave him a copy. I am still waiting and praying for God to do a work in his life through His word. And I believe He will.
Gaylord Kambarami, head of the Bible Society in the African nation of Zimbabwe, tried to give a New Testament to a belligerent man who at first said he wanted no part of a Bible. When Kambarami insisted, the man said he would tear out the pages and roll them to make cigarettes. “Okay,” said Kambarami, “I understand that, but at least promise to read the page of the New Testament before you smoke it.” The man agreed and the two went their separate ways.
Fifteen years later, the two men met at a Methodist convention in Zimbabwe. The Scripture-smoking pagan had found Christ and was now a full-time evangelist. He told the audience, “I smoked Matthew, I smoked Mark, and I smoked Luke, but when I got to John 3:16, I couldn’t smoke anymore. My life changed from that moment on.”
God’s word is like that. It is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword and able to penetrate even to dividing soul and spirit. It is God-breathed, and so it is helpful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. And, it is life-altering and transformative, when you make the decision to be more than hearers of the word, but doers.
According to a Barna survey from a few years back, almost every household in America (92 percent) owns at least one copy of the Bible–with the typical count being three Bibles per household. I would imagine the typical Shelby Crossings family has more than double that.
Yet, according to Barna, less than four out of ten adults (38 percent) read the Bible during a typical week. The saddest part is the study revealed that there’s little difference between how much those who call themselves Christians are reading the Bible and those who don’t. You might as well be smoking it if you’re not reading it.
Romans tells us that faith comes by hearing the word of Christ, and Jesus mentioned in John’s gospel that we are sanctified by the truth of God’s word. I want to challenge you to make a concerted effort to spend time daily in God’s word, allowing His truth to renew your mind and transform your life. Be assured, your growth as a disciple of Christ will only go as far as your commitment to His word. Please don’t neglect hearing it, reading it, meditating on it, or obeying it.
I am praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.