The quick and the powerful

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

 The preaching of the word of God certainly does have and effect on people.  Sometimes it is a happy and joyous effect, while at other times it makes one sad.  There are times when a person becomes severely angry by the preaching of the word of God.  Still, there are times when a person cannot move under the awesome conviction of it.

 As a preacher, over the last 18 years, I have seen all of these effects take place in the lives of the hearers of God’s word.  As a Christian, I have experienced them myself.  Still, I, and many others, keep coming back for more.  Why is that?  I can understand why people keep coming back to feel good about their relationship with Christ, but to hear that they are a sinner, failing on every front, baffles me.  When feeling the sharp effects of God’s word, piercing and dividing my life all the way down to my bones, I am amazed as to how much it knows about me.  I have come to the point where I am convinced that it knows more about me than I do about myself.  It is not fun to be pierced, cut and divided, yet people keep coming back for more and I think it is because of the wonder and amazement that they have for that one book.

 Yes, there are those who cannot bear it.  They are only interested in feeling good, and if the word of God cuts, pierces or divides in the slightest, they get angry and leave.  To me this is the equivalent of putting one’s head in the sand and not learning something about yourself that you need to know.  You see, the Bible is not only the way to God, but it is the truth and life as well.  It does no good to accept the way and the life without accepting the truth.  But there are many people like this.  They feel the Bible is true as long as it agrees with them and where it does not, it is not the truth.  The devil has been instrumental in getting people to think this.  This is why there are so many “truths” in the world today. But I don’t want to talk about that in this article.  I want to focus on the way people receive the word of God.

 It is funny how one sermon may upset some while at the same time charging up others spiritual batteries.  The same sermon may cause some to be compelled to come to the altar, while others stand rigid biting their bottom lip.  It has a strange way of having different effects on different people.  Now I know that all people are different, but that is not the reason for this strange phenomena.  I know that God is dealing differently with different people on His own terms.  This is one reason that this book is so wonderful.  It knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts.  Since we don’t even know our own hearts, it is good for us to hear about ourselves from the word of God.

 The Word of God will shape you or the world will shape you.  It is your choice as to what will do it.  The world is constantly being forced upon you, but God politely does not.  While commercials, junk mail, facebook and many other things are intruding upon your life, God sits silently on the shelf awaiting His turn to relate with you.  The world is ruthlessly pushing itself into your life, brainwashing you to cater to self and its “truth.”  It never lets up.  It is violent and hungry to completely consume every part of your life, giving you no choice over the matter, while all the same time deceiving you into thinking you have a choice or vote.  God’s Word sits silently and patiently on the side waiting for you to come to your senses and when you finally do, in order to remove the worldliness from your life, the operation it must perform sometimes requires cutting, stabbing or dividing.  The only reason that hurts is because you allowed the world to take up residence there in the first place.

 Still we can praise God for His glorious mercy in that His holy operation is quick and powerful.  It does not take long for it to begin to have its holy effect.  So, if the preaching of God’s word seems to anger you; it seems to “step on your toes,” then remember it is because some cancer of the world is being cut out of your life.  Joy comes in the morning.

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