Two questions: during the last five years, what has had the largest spiritual impact in your life? Got it?
Now think about the last five weeks. What was a major spiritual influence in your life during this time? The answers will vary: a book, a sermon, or an interaction with a good friend may be some of the five-week answers. The five-year answers probably involve an event or big circumstance that shaped who we are becoming.
Now imagine those periods without the influence of God’s Word. Take away your devotional time, sermons, or any other ways you were influenced by the Bible. What do you have left? Who would you be? It is not possible to answer these questions, but it does help us think about how our lives are being shaped by the Bible. Of course, this is a very good thing, and hopefully we can allow God’s Word to influence our lives even more.
We know this Book is different; it is not an ordinary book. It is made of letters which make words on a piece of paper, but it is much more than this! These words are God’s words; He is the Author, and through the words we connect with Him. The Spirit moved the authors who wrote it down, and the same Spirit continues to speak through these wonderful words.
Jesus said, “The words I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life!” (John 6:63) God did not create the world in seven days and then stop speaking. His voice continues to go out. He is speaking through creation, through His people, and through the Bible. Jesus said His words are spirit and life. This was not just for those who were there; every generation since then can find life in His words.
He spoke, is speaking, and will continue to speak. Everyone hears Him, but not everyone responds the same way. His children hear and obey. As His children hear Him, they move toward Him in adoration and worship. The unbelievers are the exact opposite. They hear God and ignore it, reject it, or explain it away. Romans 1 gives the sad progression of this falling away. All hear His voice, but not all respond with faith.
We can’t quite imagine how our lives would be without God’s Word, but we know His Word has made a difference in our lives, and we want others to experience what we have. This gives us a passion for God’s Word, and our focus is doing all we can to grow the influence of His Word.
– Arlin Horst