There are times when the truth will receive a wide hearing and times when it will not. Jesus had a congregation of five thousand one day and four women and two bored soldiers another. His message was the same both days. We must learn to live by the truth, not by our feelings, not by the world’s opinion, not by what the latest statistical survey tells us is the accepted morality, not by what advertisers tell us is the most gratifying lifestyle. We are trained in the biblical faith to take lightly what the experts say, the scholars say, the pollsters say, the politicians say, the pastors say. We are trained to listen to the Word of God, to test everything against what God reveals to us in Christ, to discover all meaning and worth by examining life in relation to God’s will.”
Phil 1:1 “… To all God’s holy people (Saints) in Christ Jesus at Philippi…”
“But the heart of the matter is this: the saint’s separation is not a reaction against but a response to; not a more determination to be different from the world but a whole-hearted determination to be like God by obeying his word.”
Here in this wonderful definition of what is means to be God’s separate (or Holy or Saints) people, are some helpful ideas/phrases for helping each one of us to work out how to live this in the cut-and-thrust of life:
“not a reaction against” – we live in a culture that loves to react action things
“But a response to” – a desire to respond to God’s every whisper
“Not a determination to be different from the world” – this is the road to deathly law
“but a whole-hearted determination to he like God” – to live each day looking to be more and more like our great saviour
“by obeying his word” – lives centred around God’s word, not my feelings, opinion or perspective.
“The days are coming”, declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land — not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.” – Amos 8:11-12
Commenting on these verses T.J Betts writes:
“How many people in the Church today either forget or take too lightly the magnitude of God’s word upon their lives? There is no substitute for God’s Word. As the Creator, the Lord reveals that He exists and puts on display His divine attributes, but it is the written Word of God that tells us that the way to a restored relationship with the Creator is by faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the written Word of God that establishes Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Word of Life. It is the written Word of God that reveals God’s ways to His children and His will for them.
That being said, why do so many in the Church diminish the centrality of the Word of God? It happens when leaders fail to study God’s Word. It happens when so much time is given to other things, sometimes worthwhile things, in corporate worship that inadequate time is given to the reading of and proclamation of God’s Word. It happens when churches fail to properly disciple their people in God’s Word. It happens when believers neglect reading and meditating on God’s Word throughout the week.”
A really reminder that to lose the centrality of God’s Word is to starve ourselves of the very lifegiving ‘bread’ that we need.