Her tears were real flowing not from physical pain, but from the anguish of her soul. As we talked together she spoke of failures and judgments, convinced by people in her life that she was worthless, taking up space in the world and offering nothing in return. It is her ‘reality,’ the place in which she lives. Can she learn to think differently? Can she replace the harsh words planted in her mind by others? Yes, not easily, not instantly, but it is possible. Truth transforms!
James, in his letter to us, reminds us of the power of God’s Truth. Read it. “He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.” (James 1:18, NLT) “Humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” (James 1:21, NLT) There is a wealth of life-changing information in those few words.
First is this – God gave us the gift of the Gospel message, not so that we would feel condemned, but to call us into a new place as His treasure. The human experience is full of sorrows, disappointment, pain, and difficulties. Oh yes, there are wonderful days of laughter, bright sunshine, and love and for those I am ever so thankful. But, surrounding us is a world of threats and the inescapable knowledge that our lives are defined by birth and death. What keeps us from despair or recklessly spending our brief days in an endless quest for some new sensory thrill? The Gospel! Christ Jesus announced the arrival of the Kingdom of God in our hearts and by His Resurrection declared to us that the grave is not our destiny. This is the true Word!
So, what is required of us? Accept the Word! When guests come to my home, I want them to feel welcomed, to realize that I have anticipated their arrival. I want them to feel valued because I have provided for their comfort. My aim is to be hospitable and accepting. James says that God has planted His truth in us, but it is up to us to welcome Him, to give His word a home in us. So how do you hear the Word? When the sermon gets close to something with which you are wrestling, do you get angry and throw up walls, or do you open your heart to the Spirit’s work? When you read the Scripture and the Spirit speaks you of some change that He desires, do you quickly move to obedience or offer excuses about the impossibility of it all?
Accepting the Word has the rich benefit of unleashing the power of God in our lives to ‘save our souls.’ This is more than just getting us to Heaven! Salvation is not just future, it is for ‘right here, right now.’ The full meaning is that the Word implanted and accepted restores us to full spiritual health, makes us whole where we are broken, and allows to find that ‘life to the full’ of which Jesus spoke. The Psalm says that the Lord “saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.” (Psalm 107:19-21, NLT)
Have you believed the true Word?
Have you invited the Word into your life?
Is the Truth shaping your decisions today?
Here is a word from the Word. Hear it, learn from it, love it. “Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13, NLT)
Beautiful words, Wonderful words,
Words of life and beauty!