Get In Your Bible: The Importance of Words

Words matter.

Think about it. Words are very important, especially the words of the One who reigns over all. The Bible tells us that “the universe was created by the word of God” (Heb. 11:3).  We also know that Jesus  “upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:3), sustaining creation’s being even now.

When God started a new people for himself through Abraham, he called to him: “Go from your country…” (Gen. 12:1).  God spoke to him with words. And when he called his people out of Egypt and appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai, God gave ten laws on two tablets. We refer to these as the Ten Commandments, but in the Hebrew, they are literally called the Ten Words (Exod. 34:28; Deut. 10:4).

The psalmists and the prophets hold up the importance of God’s Word. “You have exalted above all things your name and your word!” (Ps. 138:2) “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Is. 40:8).

Jesus withstood the devil’s temptation by proclaiming that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Jesus himself is the very Word of God, through whom all things were made (John 1:1).

Paul says that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17).  He instructs believers to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col. 3:16). Teaching about how God saves us, James writes, “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth” (James 1:18). Peter says that we “have been born again…through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Pet. 1:23).

One of the most powerful verses about God’s Word is Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

The Blessing of Words

If you want to know what God is like, you don’t have to wonder. No guesswork is necessary. God revealed himself in his Word, both the incarnate Word of Jesus Christ and the written Word of the Bible.

Consider what a gift it is that the God of creation actually speaks to us using words: meaningful, understandable, definite, definable words. He certainly didn’t have to reveal himself to us at all, much less in a way that is so specific and accessible.  But he did. He gave us his Word, and with it we can know him more. As we know him more, we understand better the world we live in and how we fit into it.

God Words and Our Words

Our words don’t create worlds, like God’s do. Our words don’t sustain existence or call forth new creation. But our words do express our thoughts and feelings. Our words reveal the state of our minds and thoughts.

We can use our words to reinforce God’s words and works. We can write down reflections on what God has said. We can pray the Scripture for ourselves and others. We can record thoughts that come to us as we hear God’s Word preached.

We all need a place where our hearts meet with God’s heart: where words are exchanged, love grows strong, fears are stilled, awe is stirred. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be posting some ways we can interact with God’s Word by using our own words. I’ll write about journaling, praying Scripture, biblical meditation, and a few other practices that have helped me to “receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).

May God “establish your heart in every good work and word” (2 Thess. 2:17).

 

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