Word of God
William Tyndale was an English Reformer. His chief ambition in life was to give common men and women the Scriptures in their own language. He was living in a time when only clergymen were deemed qualified to read and accurately interpret the Word of God, it was a time when common people cannot have the Bible and it was a crime to even translate the Bible into any other language. Tyndale pursued his ambition at great risk. In 1525, Tyndale finished his translation of the New Testament in English. Because of the invention of the printing press during that time, in 1526 Tyndale’s English New Testament was able to reach a large number of people even though they had to smuggle it into England. Tyndale's work strongly influenced the English language in general.
Shakespeare mistakenly receives much of the credit for Tyndale's contributions to literature. Called by some the "Architect of the English Language," Tyndale coined many of the cherished phrases and familiar expressions we know today. "Fight the good fight of faith," "give up the ghost," "daily bread," "God forbid," "scapegoat," and "my brother's keeper" are a small sampling of Tyndale's language constructions that continue to live on.
Tyndale also had begun translating the Old Testament but he wasn’t able to complete it. In May 1535, Tyndale was betrayed by a close friend, Henry Phillips. He was arrested and imprisoned near modern-day Brussels. There he was tried and convicted of heresy.
On October 6, 1536, after nearly 17 months in the prison. He was strangled and then burned at the stake.
What was his crime? He just wanted that everyone has the Bible in their own language.
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
In these verses, we can see many things but I want you to focus on two things mainly. First, it tells us about real love, God’s love, or in Greek agape love. Second, it tells us that love is not a heart thing only but also concerned with the mind too.
The definition of love in this fallen world is broken and flawed as we are. Sorry to disappoint you, but there is no such thing as love at first sight. I was trying to look for some information related to this but I couldn’t able to find anything useful. But what I found is that there was some show by the name, love at first sight or marriage at first sight. Something like that. Throughout that show, there were around 53 couples who got married and after the show ended, 90% of them got divorced. And I was like obviously.
Biblically love is not an emotion, it is an action. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
In the New Testament, love is more of a verb than a noun. It has more to do with acting than with feeling. The call to love is not so much a call to a certain state of feeling as it is to a quality of action. RC Sproul
Love is not a heart thing it is also concerned with the mind too. We can all agree that we cannot love someone whom we don’t know about. You cannot trust God daily and cannot put faith in Him, or live by faith if you do not know who He is.
Because of sin, our whole being became sinful, in theology we call this total depravity. Sin affected everything including our minds and Paul in his letter to the Romans, tells us what to do. (Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2)
First, it says, do not be conformed to this world, as we are being saved now we are not of this world anymore. We need to become more like Christ, not like the world. I don’t need to tell you how much depraved this world is because of sin. As Christians, we are to be light in this dark world to become like the world.
Next, it says, Renew your mind. Now how exactly do you do that? By reading, studying the scriptures, and praying.
It also tells us that we will be able to see the good and perfect will of God. And how crucial this becomes is to see the will of God that way when we are in times of trouble.
Now, the Bible tells us that the heart is deceitful above all. So how can a deceitful heart love God? In the new covenant, Ezekiel 36:26, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Here God promised us a new heart and spirit.
Paul tells us that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. How do we hear about the gospel? When someone tells us or some preacher preaches to us. When we hear the gospel, the holy spirit stirs up our hearts, and shows us our sinfulness and need for a savior. In conversion, God takes away our hearts of stone and gives us a heart of flesh. God puts His desires into our hearts and His Spirit starts to dwell in us. A new heart has new desires which are God-focused. Only then does the Psalm which says that God will give you the desires of your heart applies to us because God will put His desires in our hearts and fulfill those.
A new heart helps us to love the Lord our God with all our hearts. A new spirit(Holy Spirit) helps us to love the Lord our God with all our souls. And all these point us to the Bible which helps us to renew our minds, then we can love the Lord our God with all our minds.
If you see carefully everything points us toward the Bible and when we read the Bible, Holy Spirit illuminates us to see Christ.
But let’s be honest here that none of us has ever loved the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul. We all have fallen short of that. Only one person who ever lived loved God fully, it was Jesus Himself. And this should encourage us to come to Christ and as we come to Christ and see our helplessness, he starts to work in us. We start to become more and more like Him which is Sanctification and as He sanctifies us start to love God and, desire Him. How do we come to Christ? Through the Bible and praying.
The Bible itself tells us how important are both of these things for us. Bible reading and praying go hand in hand. You cannot neglect one and embrace the other.
If we love God then we’ll start to love people because we become more like Christ. And if you do not love your neighbor as yourself then you need to check your faith.
“I cannot learn to love my neighbor as myself till I learn to love God: and I cannot learn to love God except by learning to obey Him.” C.S. Lewis
Jesus said if you love me you’ll obey my commandments. We love because we first loved us.
And if you don’t believe any of that, just search the Scriptures for yourself like the Bereans in Acts.
Many times we look at other people’s lives and see how much they are growing spiritually. You ask them what the reason and their answer surprises you because they say that, by immersing themselves in the Bible and praying. You start to wonder even if I want to be like that I cannot, it is quite difficult, you think. You say they are doing it every day so it is easy for them. But the thing is it’s not easy for those people too who do that every day because it is a daily war, a never-ending struggle just to pick up the Bible and to pray. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
“There is no such thing as a great man of God, only weak, pitiful, faithless men of a great and merciful God.” Paul Washer
And please never neglect anything just because you don’t like it. Sometimes people don’t give much attention to the Old Testament because they think that now they are in the new covenant so they don’t need to read that part of the Bible. We have to remember, All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17. It is one single story from Genesis to Revelation about Jesus.
Another excuse people makes is that the God of the Old Testament is a different God and in the New Testament a different one. The O.T one is an angry God. The N.T one is gracious. But we have to remember that God is immutable which means He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. If you read carefully your Bibles you’ll see that He never changes even a tiny bit.
Many times our Bible reading and prayer prepare us for times of trouble or sickness, and suffering. For a time when you don’t know what is going on and why it is happening. For a time of desperation or when you have shed many tears. Times when you want God to just say something or come into your room and embrace you.
“Sometimes we want a special word from God and all it’s doing is sitting on shelves gathering dust.” Burk Parsons
If you want to talk to Jesus, pray. If you want Jesus to talk to you, read your Bible.
Recently I was listening to this podcast where a Canadian pastor by the name of, Tim Challies, was telling about a tragic incident that happened in his family. His son 20 years old son, Nick, suddenly died. He was telling about his experience that during that time he tries to pray but words couldn’t come, tries to read the Bible but couldn’t able to focus. He was telling that what he knew already about God helped him to sustain himself in that troubled time.
Only our knowledge of God can remind us and gives us hope when we suffer. That is why theology and doctrines are important for every Christian and if you neglect these, you are neglecting the word of God because they are from the word of God.
God is good but we can only see His goodness in troubled times when we know who God is.
It makes it crucial to know our Bibles because during hardship, sometimes we can hold onto promises which God never made.
There’s this children's song that says, Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. We can only His promises to us through the Bible.
Someone can tell you Jesus loves you but only the Bible can tell you how He loves you.
Stop looking for experiences, signs, and wonders, and start to build your faith in His truth. His word is truth. The faith that is built on experiences will crumble like cards with just one wind of hardship.
And yes you will suffer when you carry your cross daily. But He has promised that he will never leave us nor forsake us, do not fear says the Lord for I am with you, and even though I walk through the darkest valley I will not fear for he is with me.
Lastly, I want to encourage young people because every day we go out into the world like schools, colleges or offices, etc. And the world is trying to suppress the truth and break our faith. If we don’t walk with God, study His word, and pray to Him, we’ll easily get persuaded by worldly talk. There are all sorts of false teachings out there and with just one tap we can fall into that. Sound teaching is getting outnumbered online by false teaching, so we must know our Bibles in order not to fall into that.
Daily we are consuming content that can astray us from the path of God. Daily we are spending time on social media which can distract us for so long. If we will not careful we’ll fall into things that we know are wrong. I’m not saying stop doing all those things but examine your life in the light of the scriptures and see for yourself are those things distracting me, and taking away the time which I’m supposed to give God. What I’m watching does that glorify God?
It's a war out there my brethren, fill your mind with the word of God, or the enemy will fill it with the world and overcome you, devour you. You’ll do things which grieve the Lord.
And if you want to know God’s will for your life, start by reading that book. But let me just tell you the foremost will of God for everyone. It is that all people come to repentance and be saved. If you haven’t repented of your sins, come to the end of yourself, put your faith fully in Christ for your salvation, and haven’t yielded to His Lordship. Start by doing that. It is an urgent decision you have to make it today for the day of salvation is today. Come to him all you weary and burdened for he will give you rest.
Jesus is the only hope you can have, come to Him. Make Bible reading and praying a habit in your life. Live in that book. Start your day by spending time with God.
There is no other formula and no other way.
The only choice you have is to either,
“Read your Bible or die.” Paul Washer
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. Psalms 119:9
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever. Isaiah 40:8
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
Blessed is the on… whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalms 1:1-2
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3