1 In The Beginning Was The Word
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1
Happy New Year! Many people will make New Year's Resolutions as they try to be better and live better. Some will decide to exercise and diet, or stop bad habits as they try to become healthier. Some promise themselves that they will work harder and be richer in worldly possessions or accomplish their physical goals. Some may promise God that they will be better Christians and become more spiritual. You may decide to read your Bible daily and "pray without ceasing". John 1:1 reminds us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." For our devotional time, I want us to look into the Word of God. There are many good verses in the Word, about the Word. Let's take some time to see what God says about His Word.
2 Happy New Year! The Word Was Made Flesh
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14
We have just celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior, who became flesh and dwelt among us. He came as a baby and grew up, sinless and blameless. He took our sin and shame on the cruel cross and died to pay our debt. He rose the third day and lives forever in glory. He made a way for us to live with Him. Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:1-3) Being saved is as simple as believing the Word. Trust in the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ and let Him walk with you daily this coming year.
3 A Lamp Unto My Feet
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105
This is the verse I chose for the theme of this web site. God's Word can be a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path. When we walk through the dark with a flashlight we can shine it down at our feet and see how to take each step. We can also shine it out in front of us and see the path ahead. The Word of God can be just like that. As we take time to read it daily, He can use it to show us what we need to do each day. And over time, His Word can show us the path we need to take for our future. Read your Bible and pray each day. Ask God to lead you in the right paths and He will show you the way. Pray for His direction in the little things you face every day. Then you won't forget to pray about the big decisions that will have a greater impact on your future.
4 Doers Of The Word
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." James 1:22-25
Not only should we read our Bible daily, we should also listen and do what we learn. God can show us the right path to take, but it doesn't help us unless we follow the path He gives. James compares the Word to a mirror. It doesn't help us to look in a mirror if we don't fix our hair, or wash the dirt off our face, etc. The mirror shows us the problem so that we can fix it. We can read God's Word and see problems in our lives, so that we can work to fix those also. In that way we can "be blessed" in our deeds. Open up God's Word daily. Read what He has to say to you. Then follow through with His direction and leading in your life. Be a doer of the Word.
5 Hide The Word In Your Heart
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible and it is all about the Word of God. One of my favorite verses in this chapter is verse 11. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." It is good to read God's Word daily, and it is great to hide the Word in your heart. When I was waiting for minor surgery I kept repeating the 23rd Psalm over and over in my mind. It was a great comfort to me. The Word can keep you from sin, just as the verse says. If you are having a problem with a certain sin, find a verse to help remind you to stay true to God. Memorize the verse and ask God to bring it to mind each time you are tempted. If you are struggling with answers, find a promise in the Word. There are many promises that can give you hope and peace. The Word can also give you peace when sorrow or death crosses your path. Memorize the scriptures. Keep His Word in your heart.
6 Hear The Word
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Revelation 3:22
Pastor Jeff Woods used this verse in his sermon Wednesday evening and it goes along with our devotions on the Word of God. We need to hear the Word. When you go to church do you really listen to the Word as it is preached? Do you hear what the Spirit is trying to say to you? At the end of each of the seven letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation Jesus says, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Christ wants us to hear His Word. He also wants us to heed His Word. "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip." (Hebrews 2:1) And we need to live what we hear, just as we saw in James 1:22, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." It all begins with hearing the Word.
7 Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone
"Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:1-4
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He quoted scripture. You can read this verse in Deuteronomy 8:3, "And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." Jesus was tempted again, and the devil quoted scripture to Him. "And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." (Matthew 4:6 & 7) Don't let anyone twist the meaning of God's Word to tempt you. I Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." Study the Word and pray for wisdom. Once again Satan tempted Jesus. "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." (Matthew 4:10 & 11) These verses show us the importance of Psalm 119:11. "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."
8 The Word All Day
"O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day." Psalms 119:97
I started this web site for my sons in college. I wanted to give them a source of inspiration from God's Word each day. We need to spend time each day reading our Bible. But the Psalmist goes a step farther in this verse. He says, "O how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day." Do we meditate on the Word of God all day long? We have so many tasks and cares throughout the day that we often neglect the Word. I like Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth." We need to turn off the noise of the world sometimes and "be still" as we meditate on God's Word. Exalt His name.
9 Wondrous Things In The Word
"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." Psalm 119:18
If you really want to see wonderful things in God's Word, take time to read Psalm 119. Verse 41 shows us salvation in the Word. "Let thy mercies come also unto me, O LORD, even thy salvation, according to thy word." In verses 49 and 81 we find hope, and in 114 a hiding place and shield. "Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word." Verses 50 and 82 teach us that the Word gives us comfort. Verse 54 tells us the Word is our song and 66 judgment and knowledge. Many of the verses remind us that we get wisdom and understanding from the Word. The Word gives us light (105 & 130), mercy (124) and strength (28). Verse 103 tells us the Word is "sweeter than honey to my mouth!" And the thing that makes these verses so important is found in verse 160, "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever." Open up the Word of God and look at all these wondrous things.
10 The Word Shall Stand Forever
"The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever." Isaish 40:6-8
God's Word compares people to the grass of the field that fades away. We see this comparison in Psalm 37:1-2 also, "Fret not thyself because of evil-doers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb." Several times in this Psalm we are told not to fret over the deeds of the wicked, but to "Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." (Psalm 37:3-4) And just as Isaiah tells us the Word of our God shall stand forever, this Psalm tells us, "The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever." (Psalm 37:18) Keep your eyes on the Lord, and in His Word. Don't get your eyes on the wickedness of the world. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Matthew 24:35) Trust Him with your eternity.
11 Sow The Word
"And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when afflication or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred." Mark 4:13-20
Jesus told the parable of the sower and then explained it to the disciples. We are to go about sowing the seed, the Word of God. Sometimes it is discouraging when we hand out tracts and try to witness and we don't see results. But we must continue to sow the Word. We don't have to answer for how the Word is accepted, we only have to answer for sowing the seed. Some seed will fall on good ground. We don't always see the end of our labor, but we must continue to labor for the Lord. Sow the seed. Spread the Word.
12 Jonah Did Not Obey The Word Of The Lord
"Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD..." Jonah 1:1-3
Many books of the Bible tell us what the Lord said to other people. In the book of Jonah we see the Lord telling Jonah to go preach to Neneveh, the wicked city. Jonah didn't want to warn the Ninevites because they were the enemies of the Jews and maybe he wanted God to destroy them. (Jonah 4:1) Jonah tried to hide from God, and we know the story... he was thrown overboard and swallowed by a great fish. After three days he prayed to God and the Lord spoke to him a second time with the same message. We need to listen to what the Lord tells us through His word. If He tells you to share His Word with someone you know, listen... and let Him give you the words to say.
13 The Lord Gave The Word
"The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it." Psalm 68:11
The Bible is an amazing book. "The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it." God used men and women of all ages, through thousands of years, and preserved His Word for us. God spoke to Samuel when he was just a young child. (I Samuel 3) God spoke to Moses out of the midst of a burning bush. (Exodus 3:4) God's voice thundered from Mount Sinai (Exodus 19 & 20) and yet He spoke to Elijah in a still small voice (I Kings 19:12-13). We have books of women, Ruth and Esther, and the wonderful letters of Paul. We can read of the wisdom of Solomon, and the weeping of Jeremiah. God gave us the story of the beginning in Genesis, all the way to the end of time in Revelation. He spoke and they listened, faithfully recording His Words. Many have tried to destroy the Word. King Jehoiakim cut the scroll with a penknife and cast it into the fire, but the Lord gave the words to Jeremiah a second time. (Jeremiah 36) When the maniac of Gadara was saved we read, "And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel." (Mark 5:20) We too, should publish all great things God has done for us.
14 Holy Scriptures
"But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." II Timothy 3:14-17
Timothy learned the scriptures as a child. II Timothy 1:5 tells of the faith of his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice. They trained him and brought him up with the Word of God. I am thankful that I was raised in a Christian home where the Bible was an important part of my up-bringing. Paul tells Timothy to continue in the scriptures. Don't stray away from the Word of God as you get older. Continue to read your Bible and pray and ask God for wisdom. The next verses remind us that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." I believe the Bible is the Holy, inspired Word of God and it is profitable for us if we will read and study. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (II Timothy 2:15) Stay in the word. Learn the scriptures. Continue in what you learn. And "study to shew thyself approved unto God..."
15 Let The Word Dwell In You
"And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Colossians 3:14-17
I think these are good verses to end our study on the Word of God and great verses to begin the New Year. Remember that love is "above all". "For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Galatians 5:14) Next Paul says, "let the peace of God rule in your hearts... and be ye thankful." Then, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom..." We have looked at reading the Word, memorizing the Word, and sowing the Word. Here Paul tells us to let the Word live in us. As you try to read your Bible daily, look for things that God is trying to tell you, and carry it with you. One of the ways you can do this is through spiritual songs. This will keep your mind on Christ. "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."