December 7th

 

The Word & Faith

13And we also [especially] thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it].  1 Thessalonians 2:13 AMP 

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12 NKJV 

The word of God can be a powerful force for changing our lives.  Our belief in the word of God is the critical ingredient that releases the word’s supernatural power in us to produce superhuman changes in our lives.  I like the Amplified Bible’s translation of what it means to believe in the word:  “adhere to and trust in and rely on.”  If we don’t adhere to the word, trust in it or rely on it, it won’t be fully effective in working in us.  

Before we can trust in the word, we have to know what it says.  The Bible is packed with God’s promises, yet if we don’t know what they are we cannot lay claim to them in faith.  Just as a testament is a will of the deceased, so the Bible’s testaments reveal God’s will to us who are heirs through Christ’s death (Romans 8:17).  A daily Bible study during a quiet time can be a great way to learn God’s word.  Other ways might include listening to scripture CD’s or teaching tapes.  It can be a real challenge to make time in our busy schedules for the Word, but the benefits of doing so will be well worth the effort. 

Peter wrote that God has given us “exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” 2 Peter 1:3-4 NKJV.  These promises unlock our potential to become the new persons God made us to be and to escape the corruption of sin.  Paul confirmed our right to claim God’s promises in 2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.”  Here are just a few examples of the many promises God has made to us:

God’s promises are readily applicable to any situation we may face.  Consider what Paul wrote to Timothy about the word: 16All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV   

The key question we must ask ourselves is do we believe what God has said?  I personally can identify with the father who told Jesus that he believed, yet asked for help in overcoming unbelief (Mark 9:23-25).  Since Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith, he can impart the faith we need to overcome whatever we’re facing.  

When I set out to believe God’s promises, it seems like the devil always comes around to remind me of the times when it seemed like God didn’t come through for me.  Just as he did with Eve (Genesis 3), he poises his questions and comments to inspire doubt…“Did God really say…” Or “Go ahead, you can get away with it” or “How can you think God has blessings in store for you when nothing is happening?” or “If Jesus set you free, why are you still thinking bad thoughts?”  If I’m not sure about what God has said, I have nothing to counter with when the devil tempts.  When I know the promises, I can respond confidently with the appropriate scripture that contains the promise just as Jesus did when he faced the devil in the wilderness temptations (Luke 4).   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Heavenly Father, Thank you for the many powerful promises in your word that are mine in Christ Jesus!  Lord, I desire to receive your word without hindrance and put it to practice in my life.  Please forgive me for any sin that I’ve allowed to stifle or block the word from working in me.  (Take a moment to confess specific sins as the Lord brings them to mind)  Please help me overcome any unbelief in my heart, so that I may completely embrace your promises, participate in the divine nature, and escape the corruption of sin.  I commit to feeding on your word daily and learning your promises to me.  Thank you, Father!  I praise you and surrender my life to you anew today.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”