Advent Flow #14 - NAME OF GOD: Word
NAME OF GOD: Word
by Diane Anderson
I've been part of a ladies' Bible study this fall. We just started the book of Revelation. Our very first lesson focused on John's vision of Jesus and I was struck by the image of a sharp, two-edged sword coming from His mouth. The sword is a metaphor used throughout the Bible for God's actual words. Yet John, in his Gospel, referred to Jesus himself as THE WORD. I had to research more—to get a better understanding of all that this Name of my Savior meant. (Imagine my awe, a few weeks later, when I saw that I would be writing a devotional on this very thing)! There's so much, it's hard to pare down what I learned. However, I do see three main ways that Christ, as The WORD of God, works in our lives through the Bible—the inspired spoken words of God.
First, we exist because "God said…"
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." (John 1:1-5, NIV)
It's hard to see a person as being a word printed on paper. I think John was a bit of a poet. He used a lot of metaphors and descriptive language in his writing. (Probably why God chose to reveal the visions in Revelation to him). But since Jesus was with God as the WORD, when "God said…" all of creation was SPOKEN into being through the WORD—through Christ! This simply proves Christ's authority over all creation—that He was and is the WORD that gives us life! We exist simply because of Christ.
Second, we have access to God.
"God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what." (Hebrews 4:12-13, MSG)
If you read the whole of Hebrews 4, you will see that its opening subject is entering into God's rest and the closing one is about being able to approach God through Jesus as the High Priest. Verses 12 and 13—a small section—are sandwiched between two pictures of relationship with God. The WORD is so sharp it cuts away the fluff and disease of sin to expose the unseen thoughts and attitudes of our hearts. It's only then that we are convicted of our sin and can repent and accept Christ's work of salvation from those sins. It's the acceptance of the WORD's entire work that allows us the fullness of life in fellowship with God.
Third, The WORD brings fully abundant life.
Because Christ spoke us into being and because we've accepted His work of salvation from sins, we are His people. In another metaphor, John pictures us as His sheep. I love this imagery. I love that the WORD is implied in a voice.
"The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice…The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:3b-5, 10, NIV)
When we know the Bible Word, we know Jesus' voice. He will not speak anything contrary to Scripture. So when the thief of peace, hope, life and love speaks we can tell it's not our life-giving WORD. Running away—rejecting—the words of our enemy keeps us safe. It doesn't limit our freedom to only follow Christ. It saves us for life—and not just any life. We have fully abundant and eternal life. Hallelujah!
How can you know more of the Word and the WORD?
What part of this devotion is a word for you?
Reword that part in a prayer to God.
What does God want you to do in response to today's devotional?
Pray: Dear Father God, Thank you for our existence. Thank you for your WORD—Jesus, our Creator, Savior and Guide. Please help us to keep our focus on Him so that we can continue to hear His words and voice and follow Him in trust. We want that fully abundant and eternal life you have planned for us. So keep us from the enemy who wants to destroy our souls. Praise you, Almighty Word. In Jesus's Holy Name, Amen.