Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Current Study: First Peter
Today’s Topic: It’s Alive
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 1:23-25 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.
In the “library” at my house is a cupboard that has a variety of things in it. One shelf of that cupboard is primarily for magazines. The selection includes In Fisherman, Golf Magazine, and a few Cabela’s hunting and fishing catalogues. I’ve been reading the golf magazines a lot lately because Thursday is the annual Young Life golf outing and I want to be ready to play my best. (By the way, if anyone has not yet had the opportunity to contribute to this important and life-changing youth ministry in the Chippewa Valley, you can contact me before Thursday.)
One thing I’ve discovered while reading magazines about fishing and golf is that everyone has their own tested and proven technique for success. Month after month, the tips keep coming to catch more fish, add more yards to your drive, or make more putts. The problem is that in any given month there will be at least three articles that contradict what last month’s “experts” said. Where does a person go to get solid information that never fails?
There is only one source of truth – God’s Word, the Bible. Here’s a quick synopsis of what Peter says about it in the verses printed above.
It’s alive. In Thayer’s Greek Definitions, the word living, when applied to something other than a person or animal, means, having vital power in itself and exerting the same upon the soul. Later in this same letter, Peter calls Jesus a Living Stone, and then says we are living stones also. Hebrews 4:12 says, For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Here’s the point – when something is called living, it carries the very essence of its Creator. It has the same power. It represents the same nature and character. So when God speaks, His words carry the very essence of His being. They are the exact representation of who He is. They are alive. That’s why John calls Jesus the Word in his gospel. In Hebrews 1, we read that God has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe.
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. God’s Word is alive, and will bring life to you!
- It’s enduring. Twice in this passage, the Word of God is said to be enduring. In the NIV version above, the second time the word is used it is translated as stands forever. The Greek word has three meanings that are significant to our understanding:
- The first application is in reference to place. When something endures, it remains in place. When you read, study, and apply His Word to your life, it will never leave you. It becomes a part of your living soul. Actually, it is what gives you life. God’s Word will never lose its place in you.
- The second application is in reference to time. When something endures, it never gets old. I wish I was enduring. Because God’s Word is the exact expression of His being, which is eternal, the God’s Word is eternal. It is not subject to time. It remains forever. Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.(Psalm 119:89)
- The third application is in reference to condition. When something endures, it never changes. The Word of God never changes. It cannot, because it is the living expression of an unchangeable God. It is constant truth. James, the brother of Jesus, says, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Every day we get to choose what light to let shine on our life. It may be the light of a golf or fishing expert. It may be the light of a spouse. It may be the light of a pastor. It may be the light of a boss. Every day we choose to walk in someone’s shadow. The trouble is, those lights are not consistent, and the shadows are always shifting. But God’s Word is the one true Light. Jesus came as the Light of the world, because He is the Living Word of God.
So the answer to our initial question is this – The Bible is where you will always find solid and trustworthy information that will never fail. Maybe it’s time you started spending more time reading it. My words are not alive. The books you are reading right now are not alive. But God’s Word is alive, and it will make you alive!