The Power of God’s Word
Introduction |The Power of Seed | God’s Word reveals the Covenants and Promises of God | The Word of God Has Power to Give New Spiritual Life | The Word of God Produces Faith | The Word Produces Spiritual Cleansing | God’s Word Speaks to the Heart | God’s Word Brings Guidance | God’s Word provides Reassurance in Times of Stress | God’s Word Brings Joy | God’s Word Converts the Soul | God’s Word Heals the Mind and Emotions | God’s Word Heals the Body | The Word of God Gives Hope | The Word of God Strengthens us during Severe Persecution | God’s Word Improves Society | God’s Word Betters Human Relationships | God’s Word Promotes Personal Success | God’s Word Defeats Demonic Harrassments
and more in following sections …
If you are privileged to be the owner of a Bible, you have a tremendously valuable treasure. How much you use it, how much you benefit from it, is up to you. The purpose of this booklet is to unfold for you a deeper understanding of just how much the Word of God can achieve – for you, for others and for God’s purposes. When you understand this, it is our hope that you will be motivated more than ever with the love of God to get this Bible, this Word of God, to as many lives as you possibly can!
The Power of Seed
There is an urban legend that seeds found in an Ancient Egyptian tomb were taken and planted in the ground thousands of years later and they grew. Whether this story is true or not, there is one kind of seed which is incorruptible, and never loses its power or its ability to produce life. I am referring to the seed of God’s Word, which is a spiritual, and eternal seed.
The Scripture says we should love others, “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23)
When we have a Bible in our hands, we have something which can communicate the incorruptible seed of God’s Word into our hearts, and the hearts of others. Where this “seed” is planted, and watered, we can expect there is going to be a result. The potential of the seed today is as great as it was when Jesus and the early church began planting it.
God has spoken many things, and each of them, if attended to, have the power to produce after their own kind. There are a variety of promises God has made. The most important ones concern our eternal salvation. All the promises of God were given for a reason however, and it is up to us to plant these seeds in our own hearts, in the hearts of those around us, and in the hearts of people around the world. In this way we can look forward to a great harvest of righteousness and blessing. We are planters of the best seed ever! Just how great your own harvest will be depends in a big way on the extent of your planting.
The great thing about the Seed of God’s Word is that it can be multiplied constantly. We can multiply it by printing it, typing it, speaking it or giving money so that others can do this.
When a person is spiritually and mentally transformed by the power of God’s Word, they themselves become a new source of seed to touch their world. If a person is a “good ground” hearer the impact of their lives should be 30, 60 or 100 times greater than the original investment of seed planting and cultivation that went into their lives (see Mark 4).
The more we plant the seed, the more “good ground” hearers it will reach, and the more we become partakers in God’s eternal plan to rescue those whom He has chosen.
God’s Word reveals the Covenants and Promises of God
It is important to realise that God defines His way of dealing with humanity in terms of Covenants or special agreements. God made a number of important covenants with people over the centuries. He made a covenant with Adam, with Noah, with Abraham, with David, with Jesus and through Jesus with us who are “in Christ”.
In the covenants of God our part is always to listen to God and obey His voice. One of the primary ways we hear God’s voice today is through the written Word of God. So its important for people to have access to the Scriptures.
“ I am talking about the agreement I made with your ancestors when I brought them out of that furnace called Egypt.’ At that time I told them, ‘Listen to me and obey all the commands I give you. Then you will be my people and I will be your God.’” (Jeremiah 11:4)
This requirement did not change in the New Testament. Jesus said,
“My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27 ERV)
One of the major blessings of the New Covenant is access to God and answered prayer. Jesus said,
“Stay joined together with me, and follow my teachings. If you do this, you can ask for anything you want, and it will be given to you.” (John 15:7)
In the New Covenant we have forgiveness of sins, new spiritual life, and access to the promises of God. The Bible says:
“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20 ERV)
To know all the promises of God, we need to read all of the Bible with attention. This is another reason why it is so important to get Bibles to people. With the right instruction, and with the right heart attitude, they will begin to realise what God has given them in Christ. And the massive results this will create will bring thanksgiving, honor and glory to God.
The Word of God Has Power to Give New Spiritual Life
Unless a person experiences spiritual regeneration, they will never enter God’s Kingdom. Without the new life that comes from receiving God’s Word, people will remain lost and condemned. So what value can we assign to that which causes this salvation? Can we put a price on it? Jesus said, “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:3). How can this happen? We learned earlier that we are born again of the incorruptible seed of the Word of God. It is the Word of God planted in a human heart which makes the New Spiritual Birth possible.
If you are unsure of your acceptance with God, the best thing to do is to find the promises of God in the Bible which have to do with God’s acceptance. Meditate on these. You will discover that God’s acceptance is not based firstly on what YOU do, but on what God has done through Jesus Christ in dying a cruel death IN YOUR PLACE. He took the consequences and substance of your sin – your wrongdoing – on the cross so that you could go free, and not only go free, but enjoy the Covenant Blessings of God for eternity. You will learn when you study the Bible that God raised Jesus from the dead after three days. This was confirmed by many human eyewitnesses. This rising of Jesus from the dead means that Death does not have the final say for a believer. It also means that God has accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins. If you study the Bible, you will learn that above all else, you must believe from the heart in Jesus and His Word. It is this kind of heart-felt faith that makes you a recipient of God’s favour, God’s grace, God’s life, God’s forgiveness.
The effective planting of God’s Word, and especially the message about Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death, causes people to be born again, to be spiritually transformed, to become adopted children of God, to receive forgiveness of sins, and much more.
Wouldn’t you like to be part of God’s team in getting this Word planted in as many hearts as possible?
The Word of God Produces Faith
The Scripture identifies two main enemies which can hinder, restrict or nullify the power of God’s Word in a local area or in an individual’s life. One is the Traditions of Men. The other is Unbelief. We have to be very careful about exalting man-made traditions of men above the Word of God. Jesus told the Pharisees, religious leaders of His day that they were “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down.” It is outside the scope of this book to speak of the many religious traditions of men which hinder the effective operation of the Word of God today. You will only come to realise what they are once you have deeply studied the Word of God for yourself in a spirit of humility before the Lord. But I will mention one tradition which is no longer so much enforced by sections of the church. This is the tradition that the Bible should only be available in language which is archaic or not understood at all by the majority of the people. On the contrary, God meant his Scriptures to be read and understood by the people. There is enough resistance to the messgae of the Word of God without the church adding an aura of incomprehensibility to the Scriptures by the kind of language they say it can be translated into.
The other major hindrance to the power of God’s Word is UNBELIEF. Concerning the Israelites, the writer of the Book of Hebrews says, “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” (Hebrews 4:2).
Without faith you and I cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6). Faith pleases God. Faith gets results. Faith takes the Word, receives it in the heart, begins to act on it, and seems to move the hand of God to bring about the result God intended when He gave the Word in the first place.
Unbelief can be a difficult thing to deal with. It is common wherever people have hard hearts, wherever people have been taught lies, wherever hypocrites speaking in the name of the Lord have damaged the faith and lives of young people or immature church people.
Thankfully, if you recognise unbelief in your heart, and want to get rid of it, so you can benefit from the various promises of God, there is a solution. Thankfully there is the Bible promise: “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). A hearing heart is the result when a person continues to incline their ears and their heart to the message of God, to the message of Christ. God’s Word has a supernatural power to produce living faith in God for those humble enough to truly listen for a while. This is a progressive work. Our faith grows as we keep receiving God’s Word. The faith of others will grow as they keep receiving God’s Word – all provided it is received with humility, honesty and meekness – a willingness to be guided by it. Thank God that His Word has power to produce faith. As faith and God’s message are mixed, any good thing that God wants is possible for you, me and others.
Can we see the value in sowing God’s Word so that faith increases around the world?
The Word Produces Spiritual Cleansing
Jesus said to His disciples in John 15:3, “You are already clean because of the Word I have spoken to you.” The Word of God found in the Scriptures has an amazing ability to spiritually cleanse our minds. Many people struggle with unclean thoughts in their mind. Satan is also very busy planting evil seeds in people’s hearts today. Sadly much of the mass media and entertainment industry plants corrupt imaginations in people’s hearts which lead them to think, do and say things which make them guilty before God. Even the education system in the world today often works to oppose the knowledge of God in various ways on occasion, for example to call evil things good, and good things evil.
This is why we and others need to spend time reading and thinking about the Word of God. People get a great spiritual benefit by reading their Bibles, if they have one. I find that reading my Bible over time changes my mindset and keeps dark and demonic forces at bay. This is the experience of Christians everywhere.
The Bible talks about how Jesus cleanses the church, which is referred to as His Bride. It says, “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:21). The Word of God has a cleansing effect. In another place (John 17:17), Jesus prays to the Father and says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth.” Sanctification involves cleansing, and more.
I think you will agree with me that the church, and the world will be much better, much healthier if we give much more attention to God’s Word. God’s Word acts like a demon repellent if used correctly. It dismantles the sinful thought patterns that defile people’s lives and make them far less than what they could be. God’s Word prepares people for Christ’s Second Coming and makes them spiritually and mentally clean so that they can walk with God. This aspect of the Word of God is very important.
God’s Word Speaks to the Heart
It can be valuable to study the Word of God academically, and to wrestle with theological issues, and research deeply on subjects that might seem a little obscure at first glance. However, the Scriptures were not given to us primarily as a plaything for our intellectual curiosity. God always desires to use His Word to speak to our innermost being – our hearts – which comprise our inner spirits, our emotions, our will as well as our intellectual parts. The Bible reveals:
“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:10)
The “heart” of man is the place where true biblical believing takes place. Believing with the heart and speaking God’s Word with the mouth is a very powerful thing. The Word of God does not profit us unless it is mixed with faith. This we learn from Hebrews 4:2
“ For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” (Hebrews 4:2, NKJV)
Thankfully, God’s Word can ultimately penetrate a hard heart if people are willing to continue to give attention to it.
It is also worth noting this verse in the Book of Proverbs:
“My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my ways.” (Prov. 23:26, NKJV)
God wishes to speak to us as beloved sons. He speaks to the heart, using His Word, the Scriptures.
The heart is the best place for the Word of God.
“Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11)
Again we see a Scripture that reveals the power of God’s Word in enabling us to stay away from sin. D.L. Moody is quoted as saying, “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.” This is true in the experience of all God’s children.
God’s Word Brings Guidance
“Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105 NLT)
The writer of this Psalm loved God’s Word very much. Here he is telling us God’s Word was a lamp to guide his feet – showing the right next step to take, and also a “light for his path” – giving understanding of where he is going after the next step. We now have the New Testament, the prophets and more inspired Scriptures than were available to the author of this verse. If the Scriptures available to this writer at that time could give him such personal guidance, how much more can the they do so for us today!
If you sincerely, without reservation are willing to do what the LORD God wants you to do, you may experience a special drawing to certain Scripture passages which give you answers to what you are asking God. I will give you a personal example.
My role takes me to many churches. Recently I was asking the Lord to speak to me about whether I should take up a role as a “life group” leader in my local church. I did not really want to do it, because of the responsibilities and commitments involved. I was resisting the suggestions of the senior minister of the church to do this. But I prayed and opened my ERV Bible straight to a verse I had never read before in this version – Jeremiah 17:16, which reads as follows:
“Lord, I did not run away from you.
I followed you.
I became the shepherd you wanted.”
I believe this was confirmation of the Lord to step up to a role of service according to God’s purposes for my life, not my own.
God’s Word provides Reassurance in Times of Stress
Another time when as a missionary in Romania I was concerned (we try not to say “worried”) about being thrown out of the country. But these words from the Bible reassured me:
For you shall not go out with haste,
Nor go by flight;
For the Lord will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard. (Isaiah 52:12)
God used these verses to reassure me, give me peace and take away anxiety. The truth is, countless of God’s people can testify how a promise in the Scriptures, even one taken out of context, provided confidence and reassurance to them concerning the plan of God for their well-being.
God’s Word Brings Joy
Joy is a form of deep spiritual pleasure which triumphs over natural pain, affliction and trouble. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy …” (Galatians 5:22)
The Holy Spirit of God works with the Word of God (see Psalm 33:6). So when the Word of God is received in the human heart, one of the results is often JOY!
Paul said to the Thessalonians:
And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,” (1 Thessalonians 1:6)
In some places it is very difficult for believers, because they can experience economic discrimination, rejection from family and society or even prison because of their faith in Jesus. In these places it is the Word of God which strengthens believers and gives them hope and joy in the midst of what would otherwise be very discouraging circumstances. Joy is a form of spiritual strength which enables us to enjoy God and enjoy doing the will of God when external factors oppose the operation of the Word of God in our lives.
The prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament had a difficult and unpleasant job. He had to keep warning the unfaithful Jews that they were about to be judged by God and taken captive by the Babylonians. He had to keep rebuking priests, kings and false prophets for their sins and idolatry. Very few people liked Jeremiah. But what sustained Jeremiah in the midst of all this? It is written:
Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. (Jeremiah 15:16. NKJV)
It was the power of God’s Word that gave Jeremiah joy in the midst of his difficult ministry – a ministry where few responded positively.
One of Satan’s chief tools is discouragement, which brings a negative emotional and mental state which robs God’s people of a lot of their strength and effectiveness. But God’s will for our lives is joy! Not all pleasure is joy, but all joy is pleasurable. As I said before, joy is a spiritual pleasure which can exist even in times of trouble and affliction. It is not God’s will for us to be discouraged. God said to Joshua, “Be strong and of good courage” (Joshua 1:9). He is saying the same thing to us today. It is the receiving of God’s Word in our heart that will make us strong, give us courage, and envigerate us with joy.
Psalm 19:8 declares “The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;”
It is true that for some of us reading the Bible can be something of a discipline and it can make us feel uncomfortable if our lives are out of line in some way. But if we have a soft heart, if we are willing to yield to God’s will, then the Word will become a source of incredible joy, strength and satisfaction for us. This is why we should invest in planting God’s Word around the world so people meet Jesus.
Ever since he can remember, Hasan, from a small province in Iran, was taught how to pray five times a day according to the precepts of the Islamic faith. Every evening his father would gather the whole family together and read a message from the Qu’ran.
But as Hasan grew up, he felt a growing emptiness in his heart – all of the rules he observed became meaningless to him.
Islam only left Hasan empty and confused. He somehow got a New Testament in Farsi, his native tongue. And he started attending a Bible study while living overseas in the home country of one of his Christian friends. He would stay up all night reading the Bible and other materials, including some from the Bible League.
He says that as he read the Bible, he felt a special joy springing up in his heart. It was so different to the Qu’ran. This is just one illustration of the truth that God’s Word brings joy to the heart.
God’s Word Converts the Soul
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; (Psalm 19:7)
When this Psalm was written, they did not have the New Testament. They had mostly just the Law of Moses – the first five books of the Bible. If paying attention to that law could convert the soul, how much more the fuller revelation of Jesus Christ that we have in the New Testament! Indeed, we need to get the Word of God out to people because unless people are converted, they will be lost, and they will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. And in order for people to be converted, they must hear the Word.
Saman was the commander of a small terrorist cell in Northern Iraq that often raided non-Islamic communities. On one such raid, his team killed several men. As they searched the dead bodies one of his team found a small booklet in a shirt pocket entitled The Book of Luke and gave it to Sama for him to read aloud so that they could all mock the Christians. That night at home he began to read it again with the intention of further ridiculing the Christian faith. However, as he read he was impressed by what Jesus said and did and especially how he showed kindness and compassion to people as he went around healing and preaching. As he read about the Pharisees he said to himself, “I am a Pharisee – that descrived me!”
When he got to chapter 6 of Luke, he read, “I say to you, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
Those words struck him with tremendous force. [Observe here the power of God’s Word].
As he wrestled with his thoughts, he prayed, ‘Allah, I need you to show me which is right, Islam or Christianity?’
That night, the Lord spoke to him in a dream. He saw a long wall and a line of men riding by on horses. One by one, he recognized them as the prophets mentioned in the Qu’ran – there was Abraham, Moses and David. Then finally one came by on a white horse riding side saddle and waring a white veil over his face. In his dream, Sama pointed his finger at the man and asked, “Sir, who are you?” Lifting the veil, the kind face of Jesus appeared and with glowing eyes He said, “Saman, I am Jesus and I love you!”
Saman immediately awoke from his dream and with tears streaming down his face, he yelled out – “I met Jesus! I met Jesus!”
He knew he had to find out more but where could he find a Christian who would dare speak to him? Later as he was walking the streets of the city, he found himself staring into the front window of a Christian bookstore where books with the name of Jesus on the covers were displayed. He entered and met the bookstore manager who invited him to sit and read as much as he wanted. After several days of returning to the bookstore, the manager asked him, “Saman, you have read many of our books and I have answered many of your questions. Would you like to give your life to Jesus and become a Christian?” “Yes, yes, that is what I want!” he said excitedly.
Saman’s story shows the power of God’s Word to transform the heart of even a hardened muslim terrorist.
Multitudes of people today are being converted to Christ. Their lives are being turned around because of the power of God’s Word.
God’s Word Heals the Mind and Emotions
The Bible teaches what we should do in response to God’s mercy. It teaches that we should offer our bodies to God. What follows then is that we will be “transformed by the renewing of our minds”.
The ERV version of the Bible put out by Bible League International puts it like this:
“So I beg you, brothers and sisters, because of the great mercy God has shown us, offer your lives[a] as a living sacrifice to him—an offering that is only for God and pleasing to him. Considering what he has done, it is only right that you should worship him in this way. 2 Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2 ERV)
The Lord wants to change us in many ways so that we become more and more like Him. Jesus is not mentally ill or emotionally disturbed. So part of becoming more like Jesus is to receive healing for our mind and emotions through His Word. King David said concerning the LORD:
“He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)
The way the Lord often restores our soul is by speaking His Word to our hearts and minds through the Bible. The Scriptures if received correctly will teach us to forgive others and receive forgiveness, they will impart peace to our souls, take away the sense of guilt and condemnation many struggle with, deliver us from anxiety, worry, fear and depression and impart to us a wise and sound mind with an emotional life characterised by the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
Paul, in farewelling the leaders of the church at Ephesus said:
“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32 NKJV)
In the ERV this verse says: “Now I am putting you in God’s care. I am depending on the message about his grace to make you strong. That message is able to give you the blessings that God gives to all his holy people.”
God’s Word – God’s message – communicates to us these days much about God’s grace. It is the grace of God which makes us strong. This strength touches and affects our entire hearts – our spirit, our mind, our emotions. It builds us up. Even if someone’s mind was broken down by drug addiction like alcoholism, God’s Word can restore it.
Moses, a prisoner in Mozambique wrote these words:
“Before I never went to church and my life was about drinking only. Through Project Philip [Bible League’s discipleship program] I learned to worship the Lord and became dedicated to the Word of God! I would like to urge others to listen and to study the Word of God and obey it; to follow the way of light and not follow the way of darkness.”
Fernando was a young Mexican adolescent who admits, “Since I was 13, I was addicted to drugs. My family split apart, so I went to live with a girlfriend. By the time I was 16, we had 4 children.” Fernando’s bad choices eventually landed him in prison but God had a different future in mind for him. “I began reading the Gospel in prison,” he notes. “Night after night, I called out to the Lord. I promised Him that if He would show me mercy and deliver me from my pain, I would serve Him with my life.”
When released Fernando kept his promise.
“God restored my life,” he says, giving the Lord the glory. “My broken family is no longer broken. We have connected with a church, and we have joined a Bible study.” Today, using Bibles he receives from Bible League International, Fernando is leading a prison ministry. As he sows the see of the Gospel into the hearts of inmates Fernando continues to be in awe of the part the Word of God has played in making him a new man.
Faoud lived as a child in the Middle East and learned to hate muslims, Palestinians and Syrians. However, He encountered the ministry of the Word of God in Cypress and came to know the Lord Jesus. Faoud experienced a radical life change. Turning away from a life bred in violence, Fouad’s hated for Syrians and Palestinians dissolved. His spiritual healing led him to return to his home region where he joined Arab Ministry. “The Lord healed me, so that I could begin ministering to Arabs,” Fouad shared. “The people I now help are Palestinian and Syrian.”
God’s Word Heals the Body
There will probably always be controversy about this issue in the church because as we know not all we pray for are healed in this life. Even so, there are still so many people who have been healed by God even when there seemed to be no hope for them medically.
The Word of God says concerning itself the following:
“My son, pay attention to what I say. Listen closely to my words. 21 Don’t let them out of your sight. Never stop thinking about them. 22 These words are the secret of life and health to all who discover them.”(Proverbs 4:20-22 ERV)
Or as it says in the New King James version:
My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
Before anyone says that this promise doesn’t mean “health to the body” I would like to ask them if THEY or the people they know have MET THE CONDITIONS of healing mentioned in this verse. It is not talking about consenting for people to pray for your healing. It is talking about such a willingness to LISTEN OBEDIENTLY, to RECEIVE, to FOCUS ON and INTERNALLY MEDITATE on God’s Word that a person’s life is given over to the Word of God. Then, with faith and patience, we may inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:12 says
“do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Psalm 107:20 says
“He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions.”
The Word of God Gives Hope
The Bible says,
“Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. Those things were written so that we could have hope. That hope comes from the patience and encouragement that the Scriptures give us.” (Romans 15:4)
Hearing the promises of God and the history of God’s dealing with people produces hope in people’s hearts. There are many depressed people who live discouraged and without hope. Many are fearful and anxious. One of the strongest effects of the Scriptures on the heart of man is that of giving HOPE.
“Remember your promise to me, your servant. It gives me hope.” wrote the Psalmist in Psalm 119:49
People who do not know the Covenants or Promises of God are actually without solid hope.
“Remember that in the past you were without Christ. You were not citizens of Israel, and you did not know about the agreements with the promises that God made to his people. You had no hope, and you did not know God.”
Many more Scriptures could be used to illustrate the connection between the Word of God and hope.
Genuine hope is very much needed in today’s world. That is why there is GREAT VALUE in getting the Word of God out to people all over the world today.
Sokrasan was brought up as a Buddhist in Cambodia. He says: “I did not understand about God and His Son Jesus. I lived in spiritual darkness. So my life was spent living in fear and hopelessness.”
One day a Bible League trained Church Planter named Boram came to visit him at his house. Boram used the Bible and stories about Jesus to answer Sokrasan’s many questions about God. “He told me: God can make me a new person.” When Pastor Boram prayed and asked a blessing from God something miraculous happened. Sokrasan continues: “I was healed and the Lord Jesus Christ is now my Lord and Savior! I have changed and have been forgiven for all the bad things I did in the past.”
The Word of God Strengthens us during Severe Persecution
Affliction, trials and difficulties do come to the children of God. In many countries today, there is always the risk of being put in prison and even tortured if you are a bold witness for Jesus Christ.
Grace was a pastor’s wife in Northern Sudan where Islam predominates. She set up a school for poor children in which she gave education, food and the Good News of Jesus. However, one day she was confronted by antagonistic muslims who asked her many hostile questions and eventually she was thrown in prison.
Grace suffered much mental anguish while in prison – she was insulted, ridiculed and placed in a room with a demonically oppressed woman whose very presence hung like a heavy cloud over the prison. However Grace was a very effective witness in prison and this lady came to the Lord and was freed, and many other people were touched.
When Grace was released from prison, a guard that had treated her harshly came to her and asked for forgiveness.
Grace said, “I was in prison for all those days and did not see a Bible with my own eyes. But I had filled my heart with the Word of God and that Word helped me in prison. That is why as Christians we need to keep it in our hearts. The Bible became my life, flourishing within me.”
Jawara was persecuted by his family and friends in Senegal after coming to the Lord. He says, “My parents persecuted me, threatening me with death. The persecution is so intense you just cannot imagine it. My mother even threatened to commit suicide if I did not come back to Islam.”
Yet Jawara did not give up. He says, “Reading God’s Word gives me the strength to continue to believe. I thank Him for my salvation. I love Jesus, and believe in Him with all my heart.”
God’s Word Improves Society
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
It is interesting to observe what is happening in nations where many people are turning to the Lord and honoring the Holy Scriptures. You can just see how their society is improving – even economically. Cases in point would be South Korea and China. When God’s Word prospers in a nation, it eventually brings economic prosperity and blessing to that nation. Of course, a nation might have been founded on biblical principles but then later reject God and His Word. Blessings might continue for a while, but then the corruption and rot starts to take root as God takes his hand of protection off an apostate nation. But the blessings can endure for a generation or more while the process of apostasy is under way. We have seen this in the Western world, which was founded pretty much on a Judaeo-Christian consensus. On the other hand, nations which started off as being very oppressive to their people begin to improve socially and economically in many ways once God’s Word takes root.
I refer you to Dr Vishal Mangalwadi’s excellent book, “The Book that Made your World” for further information on how God’s Word has historically benefited society in the diverse realms of government, marriage and family, science, technology, law, literature, literacy, economics, ethics and many other areas.
God’s Word Betters Human Relationships
God’s Word teaches us that our duty is to love the Lord our God with all we are and have, and our neighbour as ourselves. It teaches husbands to love their wives and lay down their lives for them by making sacrifices just as Jesus did for the church.
Loving people involves making sacrifices – small ones or great ones – for the benefit of others that we love in Jesus’ name. Love does no harm to a neighbour, and this is why when people listen to the Word of God more, our relationships get better.
The whole law of God is about treating people correctly according to the principles of justice, mercy and faithfulness. When people live and relate in this way, the way God designed them, then happiness in family and community is the result.
However, when God’s Word is rejected, we get a lot of human misery, marriage breakups, hurt and rejected children who grow up to hurt and reject others, dishonesty in business, superficiality in relationships.
Once again we see the tremendous value of God’s Word in making our human relationships better. We can do this because we first receive love from God, who has revealed the message of His love to us in the Bible.
God’s Word Promotes Personal Success
God is not against success. God does not want us to fail if we are doing what He wants us to do. Of course, success in the sense of achieving what we set out to achieve or getting what we want is not the HIGHEST value for God. Doing His will is far more important to God. You see, if our hearts need correcting, or we are running in a path outside of God’s perfect plan for us, he may sovereignly work to frustrate us or allow us to be defeated for a season. We see this happen in life, and we see it in the history of the people of Israel, especially the kings.
One advantage of meditating on and studying the Bible is this: by doing this we will naturally begin to align our lives with God’s purposes. Things like reaching out to the world with the gospel and making people wholehearted followers of Christ will begin to take a higher priority for us as we really consider the fullness of what God the Father is on about. Also, following God’s “laws of prosperity” revealed in the Bible for example in GIVING makes a real difference to the outcomes in our life.
Having said all that, the exhortation of Scripture is to get into the Scripture and get the Scripture deeply into our minds and hearts. This will make our way prosperous and successful.
Great blessings belong to those
who don’t listen to evil advice,
who don’t live like sinners,
and who don’t join those who make fun of God.[a]
Instead, they love the Lord’s teachings
and think about them day and night.
3 So they grow strong,
like a tree planted by a stream—
a tree that produces fruit when it should
and has leaves that never fall.
Everything they do is successful.
(Psalm 1:1-3 ERV)
A person who stays clear of evil companions and advice, but loves contemplating the instructions, promises and teachings of the Lord contained in Scripture, will be successul in everything they do. In this way, we say that the power of God’s Word includes the power to make you prosperous and successful.
God said this to Joshua, the successor of Moses:
Always remember what is written in that book of law. Speak about that book and study it day and night. Then you can be sure to obey what is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything you do. (Joshua 1:8 ERV)
The Word also says, “Let them shout for joy and be glad,
Who favor my righteous cause;
And let them say continually,
“Let the Lord be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” (Psalm 35:27)
Our cause will be righteous when we offer our bodies to God and allow His Word to transform our thinking. We will become God’s servants. And the Lord will then take pleasure in our prosperity. This is what God’s Word will do, if we are humble enough to receive it and yield our wills to it.
Perhaps I can mention here what Solomon said about wisdom. We know that wisdom comes via the Word of God. He said:
Those who find wisdom are fortunate; they will be blessed when they gain understanding. 14 Profit that comes from wisdom is better than silver and even the finest gold. 15 Wisdom is worth more than fine jewels. Nothing you desire has more value.
With her right hand, Wisdom offers long life—with the other hand, riches and honor. Wisdom will lead you to a life of joy and peace. Wisdom is like a life-giving tree to those who hold on to her; she is a blessing to those who keep her close.
It is important to note here again that God is not at all averse to prosperity and success for us, if is found in the way of wisdom. God is not against money. He is against the “love of money” which is really about loving power, loving this present world, and following the ways of the world in doing life. God will give us all we need for his work if He, His Word and His Ways are central in our hearts.
God’s Word Defeats Demonic Harrassments
Sadly many people today, including many Christians, are inwardly tormented by demonic powers. We are in a spiritual warfare and to some extent this is inevitable. Even the great apostle Paul talked about a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan that kept harrassing him. But God does not permit such harrassments and tests to last forever. Jesus showed us the way to overcome them when dealing with the devil in the wilderness.
“Then the Spirit led Jesus into the desert. He was taken there to be tempted by the devil. 2 Jesus ate nothing for 40 days and nights. After this, he was very hungry. 3 The devil[a] came to tempt him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these rocks to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered him, “The Scriptures say,
‘It is not just bread that keeps people alive.
Their lives depend on what God says.’”
5 Then the devil led Jesus to the holy city of Jerusalem and put him on a high place at the edge of the Temple area. 6 He said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, jump off, because the Scriptures say,
‘God will command his angels to help you,
and their hands will catch you,
so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.’”
7 Jesus answered, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”[b]
8 Then the devil led Jesus to the top of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and all the wonderful things in them. 9 The devil said, “If you will bow down and worship me, I will give you all these things.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Get away from me, Satan! The Scriptures say,
‘You must worship the Lord your God.
Serve only him!’”
11 So the devil left him. Then some angels came to Jesus and helped him.
Jesus countered Satan’s suggestions in the wilderness not with superior human reasoning, but by speaking the Word of God with his mouth. It is impossible to listen to Satan’s temptation at the same time as speaking the Word of God with your mouth out loud.
I personally believe that demons find God’s Word very distressing when it comes out of the mouth of a person who has given themselves to God. Even Satan himself had to flee when the word was spoken.
The Bible says, “So give yourselves to God. Stand against the devil, and he will run away from you.” (James 4:7 ERV). If the devil himself has to run away, all his demons are no match for God’s word either. After all, when you think about it, they are only created beings that perverted themselves. They were created initially as angels by God’s Word. Therefore God’s Word always has more power than they do, and they cannot ultimately resist it, when we ourselves are submitting to God and His authority over our lives.