Making Disciples

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A Timeless Book

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Joe Infranco
Pastor of Adult Education

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12-13)

How often do you clean out junk that’s damaged or out of date? Everything we own breaks or needs maintenance eventually. Was that tie or dress really in style once? It sure isn’t now. It’s just a fact of life - no physical object in this world is truly “timeless.” It’s the same with living things; everything in this world that has life will also perish, or die.

But that’s not how the Word of God works. It is truly timeless, and never out of date. It never dies, and remains alive and powerful doing its work in human hearts. The writer of Hebrews wants us to see this, but also to explain what the Word of God will do in our lives. The writer points out four important truths.

  1. This Word is not only living, but also active, or powerful. We use caution in handling things described that way. Something powerful can have a big impact.

  2. It is also sharp - in fact, sharper than a two-edged sword. Swords in Bible times were kept very sharp, honed against rocks, to have maximum cutting power. But this living Word will cut even more deeply.

  3. How? By dividing “soul and spirit” which means it will discern (that is, figure out and expose) the thoughts and intentions of the heart. When the Bible refers to “heart” here, it means the sum of our thoughts, emotions, and character - in short, what we really are.

  4. The Word does something else as well - it exposes all we are before a Holy and Righteous God. There is no hiding from him, and our every action and thought is exposed.

Might reading the Word of God make us uncomfortable at times? Yes! It’s designed to do that so we can understand our motives and surrender to God and be made more in the image of Jesus Christ. The Word of God shows us our character, not to make us hide from God in guilt. It’s just the opposite. God’s Word brings us life and joy by allowing us to see the places we need to surrender and trust God. He will do the work in us!

Let’s ask these questions to improve how we allow the Word of God to work in us.

  • Do I read my Bible faithfully?
  • Do I make it a priority in my schedule to spend time in the Word and meditate on it?
  • Do I study the Word to show myself a “workman approved to God”?
  • Am I in a Bible study, or do I have persons whom I trust and can go to with questions?
  • When the Word exposes something in my life, how do I respond? Do I ignore it if it presses too close for comfort, or do I see my need and trust God to help me in that area?
  • Am I committed to draw closer to God as I learn more about him in his Word?
  • Is my Bible reading more of an exercise or duty (I need to do two chapters today), or do I focus on how what I read draws me closer in intimacy to God?

PrayerFather, help me to faithfully desire your Word, and in reading it to come to both understand and know you more closely. Help me with my human weakness and frailty, and the things where I try to hold on to the world’s values or thinking. Let your Word transform me daily, more and more into the image of your Son, Jesus Christ. Make my heart tender to receive your instruction, and to understand the riches and depth of the love you have for me. Thank you for the gift of your Word, and how it exposes and transforms my heart.

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The Reliability of God's Word

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Joe Cardini
Highlands Elder

It’s likely not much of a stretch to suggest that life isn’t often filled with an abundance of certainty. This was true two thousand years ago and feels all the more factual today.

Most people don’t enjoy the feelings associated with uncertainty, which can include: Becoming Disoriented, Loss of Trust, Disappointment, Despair, Lack of Reliability, Fear, Confusion, Frustration, Brokenness… As a result, and perhaps like never before, we humans are on a quest to locate certainty, or truth, in order to create more reliability and calm in our daily lives.

Living at a time when Jesus lived, died and then rose from death could have (and certainly should have) made it easier to be a believer. After all, witnessing actual miracles, or, learning from those who walked with Jesus, provided a degree of authenticity most of the Old Testament prophets didn’t enjoy. Which makes David’s beautiful words in Psalm 19: 7-11 all the more inspiring. David chooses very specific words, with a degree of repetition, to highlight the certainty of God’s word.

Verse 7(a): The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.

Testimonies of those who have been saved by Christ, speak to the perfection of God’s word and the way in which God can transform lives by renewing and reviving souls!

Verse 7(b): The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

God’s law is enduring and therefore, reliable. Love God. Love People. Make Disciples.  Anyone can understand God’s intentions for us. Even those who are spiritually immature, or, have chosen a YOLO (You Only Live Once) lifestyle…They too have heard and can easily grasp God’s desires for us all.

Verse 8(a): The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.

God’s ways are always good. Though at times of trial we may feel uncertain and uneasy, our hearts can rejoice in knowing that the ways of our Lord and Savior are indeed, right and trustworthy! Living in accordance with God’s word brings peace, calm and contentment. Conversely, disobeying God’s word will often cause dysfunction.

Verse (b): The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

The Ten Commandments are straightforward, clear and pure. Jesus provides further clarity by instructing us to Love God and Love People, Make Disciples. In its purity and clarity, the word of God often brings light to areas of the world and even our own lives that otherwise might have remained in the dark. God’s word is indeed a bright light!

Verse 9(a): The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.

To fear God is to respect God for who He is. Creator of all. Savior, who offers His unwavering love to all.  Acceptance of our Lord for who He is produces a degree of reverence that compels us to live our lives in accordance with His word. God never changes. His word never changes. Our respect and reverence of God produces a clean faith lived out in our daily lives.

Verse 9(b): The rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.

David once again reminds us that God’s word is reliable, just and good for all who place their faith in Him.

Verse 10: More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.

The world seeks the finest and most gratifying things in life, such as gold and sugary sweets. I’ll admit to my love affair with a certain Oatmeal Raisin Cookie made at a local bakery that just happens to be located within walking distance to my office. But the joy I receive when I give into my craving is always short-lived. As opposed to the deep, lasting effects associated with the words from our Lord!

Verse 11: Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

We know that our faith in Christ will bring us eternal peace and joy in heaven. But David reminds us that adhering to God’s word now, in this present life, brings us great reward. David later writes in Psalm 119: 165: “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble."

The Bible ultimately points us all to Jesus Christ. Our Lord and Savior who, in the greatest act of co-suffering love and forgiveness, died on a cross to save us. It is He who provides us with His word and His word is certain, dependable and reliable.

PrayerHeavenly Father, thank you for your endless mercy and grace.  Thank you for providing us with the blessing of your Word.  As the ever-changing currents of life attempt to pull us off-course, we can take comfort in the certainty of your Word.  Your prescriptions are reliable, pure and perfect.  Lord, I pray we remain thirsty for your commandments, knowing how sweet and edifying they are to our souls.  Father, let us seek your ways always.  Let us remember, always, to turn to you to quench our thirst for truth, joy and a deep, soulful peace. 

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