Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The LIVING and ACTIVE Word of God.

Here are 2 questions I received this week from 2 different people. They are both GREAT QUESTIONS so I decided to post my response in hopes that it may help someone else struggling with the same questions....
1. "How do you suggest reading the Word when it seems hard to understand and more of a chore than enjoying time in it?"

2. "Isaiah has been popping up in my world lately. I love what I'm reading, and I see that it is a love story, but how do I get from these promises God made to Jerusalem to something more personal? I want to see it, but I want it to be truth--not just what I WANT to be truth. Does that make sense?"

Those are GREAT questions!
It makes me think of a couple things. First of all, what we need to understand when reading Scripture is that once we become God's children we have the same promises as ALL of God's children. No, we don't become "Israel" and no we don't get their "personal" promises. But God made many generic promises to His "people" as a whole. And all of those are now for us because we ARE His people. It's all over the place, but I guess the best place to go first is to Eph. 2:11-22 where it speaks specifically of the Jews and the saved gentiles and how we are now no longer two separate people but one with the wall of partition broken down. That shows it pretty clearly. Then go to Romans 11:11-24 where it speaks of the fact that we have now been "grafted" into the "same" tree as the nation of Israel. Again we don't get their "specific" promises, but everything else in scripture is ours to have as we are now one with all saved Jews and saved Israel!

Not only do we see a love story unfolding between God and Israel but the whole Bible is an unfolding love story between Jesus Christ and His Bride (US!!!).

Look at the cross. Look at His pursuit of THE WORLD. A faraway Prince Who leaves His Kingdom in exchange for suffering and death to save the one He loved--- US!

He sold everything to buy the pearl of great price: US- more specifically, YOU!! You are of great value to God. Such great value that He sacrificed the Son He loved to buy you back!

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it." Matt 13:45,46

This is love, not the we loved God but that He loved US and gave His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins! (1 John 4:10)

This is how we know what love is! Jesus Christ laid down His life for US!!!!!! (1 John 3:16)

So, all that to say, you can look way past Isaiah to see a love story between God and YOU! Although, many books in the Old Testament give us a vivid picture of the passionate love God has for us through His love for Israel.

Secondly, I just found a really cool word in Scripture that I believe helps explain how we can find personal promises in Scripture. It is the word "Rhema".

It is found here...

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word (RHEMA) of Christ." Romans 10:17

"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (RHEMA) of God." Eph 6:17

"I want you to recall the words (RHEMA) spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles." 2 Peter 3:2

"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words (RHEMA)of eternal life." John 6:68

"For the one whom God has sent speaks the words (RHEMA) of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit." John 3:34

There is another word that is used for the word "word" in Scripture and that is "LOGOS".

"The Word (LOGOS) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14

1) The word logos in John 1:1, 14, 1 John 1:1, Rev 9:13 stands for the pre-incarnate Christ, the spiritual, the divine nature spoken of in Jewish writings.
2) The Word of God meaning His omnipotent voice
3) An emphatic word, meaning a saying, declaration, sentiment
4) Expression of thought
So, what is the difference between "logos" and "rhema" and why do I think this 'Rhema" word is cool? Because here is the definition:


1) that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word
a) any sound produced by the voice and having definite meaning
b) speech, discourse
2) Promise from God
3) Prediction, Prophecy

The Word "rhema" is equivalent to "logos" but the difference are that those who are of God hear God's words. Rhema words are an intimate, personal relationship as if a teacher is teaching a student. Those who will not give room in his hearts to his truth will not understand His speech or utterance (logos). Don't get me wrong, the WORD OF GOD DOES NOT AND WILL NOT RETURN VOID but the posture of our heart can change everything. Those who love Him and trust Him seek out His words like treasure and believe that they are ALIVE. For instance, I knew on the beach one night in prayer that the Lord gave me a SPECIFIC promise through 1 Cor 2:9 about bringing me a husband and it gave me the faith I needed to wait on God to fulfill that specific promise to me. That was faith produced by hearing the RHEMA Word of God.
God has done this many times in my walk with Him. Speaking intimately to me through His Word.
Praise God that He is faithful to use His Word to speak to EACH OF US giving us the faith we need.
I can't tell you how many times God did that for me while I was sick for 3 1/2 years.
His RHEMA Words to me kept me from dying in that valley.
"If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction"
Ps 119:92
Before I study the Bible with my boys, we pray that we would find TREASURE in God's Word and that HE would teach it to us.

"For the word of God is LIVING and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."

Hebrews 4:12

Check these Greek words out!!!!
*Living-(zao):living water, having vital power in itself and exerting the same upon the soul
to be in full vigour

a) to be fresh, strong, efficient,

b) active, powerful, efficacious

*Active-(energes): energy, engaged in work, capable of doing, verb form seemed to be used exclusively as MEDICAL TERMS REFERRING TO MEDICAL TREATMENT.

How cool is that? Who out there needs some living water for their dry soul? I know I do!! And I also know my heart needs medical treatment and it receives it by the living and active Word of God!

I love the Word "Rhema" because that is when God begins to TEACH YOU! It is how we get to know and fall passionately in love with Jesus Christ since He is the Word! When we spend time in the Word, we are spending time with HIM! If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior and turned from your sin, you have entered into a ONE-on-ONE relationship with the lover of your soul who has chosen to speak and communicate with us through His written Word.

"As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him." 1 John 2:27

"We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us UNDERSTANDING, so that we may know him who is true." 1 John 5:20

God's Word became ALIVE to me when I surrendered my life to Christ. Before that, it was simply words in a book to me. Not because of its lack of power (for it is this powerful book that brought me to Jesus that night all alone in my room in college) but it was the sinful, unbelieving state of MY HEART. God removed a veil that night when I accepted His invitation to be His bride and come away with Him into the greatest love story ever told.

"But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away." 2 Cor 3:16

I would strongly encourage anyone who is having a difficult time understanding/ enjoying God's Word to examine yourself and see if you are truly in the faith.

"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?"
2 Cor 13:5

Maybe you have never truly entered in to a relationship with Jesus Christ so that your veil is removed.
One last thing I would suggest is praying these 2 Scriptures in a prayer before reading the Bible...
"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law" Ps 119:18
"I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!"Mark 9:24

May we love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. May we seek out His Words like hidden treasure. May His Words give us LIFE and FAITH! And, may we delight in His Word and treasure it more than our daily bread!!!
"I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food."
Job 23:12 
"A rule I have had for years is: to treat the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal friend. He is not creed, a mere doctrine, but it is He Himself we have."
“The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.”
Dwight Moody

Be Blessed!

**One thing I want to be clear about is that we do not read the Bible when we FEEL like it or out of emotion. We read the Bible out of obedience and a pursuit of God. He meets us there and FEELINGS follow ACTION.  The enemy will do everything to keep us away from this Book- busy schedules, sin, laziness, facebook, exercise, etc.. . Protect your time in the Word. Be diligent and disciplined and expecting to meet face-to-face with the God of the Universe who desires to discourse with you....
 His Beloved.


Anonymous said...

AMEN!! Thank you so much for this..I took notes, like I went to church!
Thank you Steph for ALWAYS encouraging me.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited for your weekend to come and so happy for the girls who will be blessed by it.

With love ~


Anonymous said...

Thinking of you much - hoping you're feeling great - am eager to hear about the weekend!