VIDEO The Discerning Word – Power of the Word

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

We’ve all met them: married couples who have been together so long they can finish each other’s sentences. They even give each other a sideways glance if one hears the other saying something that “doesn’t sound like you.” There’s no fooling people who know each other intimately.

God knows us intimately, but something else knows us just as intimately. And that is the Word of God. God is obviously “living and powerful,” but so is His Word. God can discern the “thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12) and so can His Word. Which is one of the benefits of reading Scripture consistently—to show us who we really are on the inside. And when we encounter a verse that lets us know we have fallen short of God’s glory, we can immediately go to God in confessional prayer and be forgiven.

Let the Word be a mirror for your heart. And let God cleanse you of any thought or intent that is not pleasing to Him.

We can’t really tell how crooked our thinking is until we line it up with the straight edge of Scripture. Elisabeth Elliot


The Power of the Word Part 1, Hebrews 4:12 – Pastor Chuck Smith – Topical Bible Study

 

Here Be Dragons?

Legend has it that at the edges of medieval maps, marking the boundaries of the world the maps’ creators knew at the time, there’d be inscribed the words “Here be dragons”—often alongside vivid illustrations of the terrifying beasts supposedly lurking there.

There’s not much evidence medieval cartographers actually wrote these words, but I like to think they could have. Maybe because “here be dragons” sounds like something I might’ve written at the time—a grim warning that even if I didn’t know exactly what would happen if I ventured into the great unknown, it likely wouldn’t be good!

But there’s one glaring problem with my preferred policy of self-protection and risk-aversion: it’s the opposite of the courage to which I’m called as a believer in Jesus (2 Timothy 1:7).

One might even say I’m misguided about what’s really dangerous. As Paul explained, in a broken world bravely following Christ will sometimes be painful (v. 8). But as those brought from death to life and entrusted with the Spirit’s life flowing in and through us (vv. 9–10,14), how could we not?

When God gives us a gift this staggering, to fearfully shrink back would be the real tragedy—far worse than anything we might face when we follow Christ’s leading into uncharted territory (vv. 6–8, 12). He can be trusted with our hearts and our future (v. 12).

By: Monica La Rose

Reflect & Pray

Is there a particularly debilitating fear God may be calling you to confront? How might the support and love of other believers encourage you as you walk through your fears?

Loving God, thank You for the new life You’ve given us, for freedom from all that would cripple us in fear and shame. Help us to find peace in You.

For further study, read Hope: Choosing Faith Instead of Fear at discoveryseries.org/q0733

Our Heavenly Inheritance

1 Peter 1:1-9

Do you have too much stuff? If you’re like most people, the answer is yes. The problem is that whatever we accumulate demands our time and attention. It must be obtained, maintained, organized, and eventually discarded or given away. But nothing comes with us when we die. Our security isn’t found in possessions, but in our relationship with Christ.

Peter assures us that we have an inheritance waiting for us in heaven (1 Peter 1:4)—one that is safe and secure because we’re not the ones guarding it. Our treasure, which is held and protected by God, cannot be stolen or ruined. It is …

Imperishable. Heavenly treasure will never wear out or need fixing. It’s forever new.

Undefiled. Our inheritance is pure and can’t be spoiled by sin.

Unfading. It’s not affected by the passing of time and will never wear away or become less beautiful.

Our eternal hope is secure—and in God’s presence, everything will be perfect. When life is tough, we can find hope in knowing what awaits us in the future. This awareness increases our desire to live a holy life, because we know the perfection of our destiny: absolute holiness and freedom from sin.

The Holy Spirit’s Ministry: Confirming God’s Purpose to Us

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

This power-packed promise is sometimes misquoted, failing to complete the qualifiers that secure the good for which all things work together. Frequently overlooked is the context upon which “all things” are based.

  • “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:22).
  • “All things which are written may be fulfilled” (Luke 21:22).
  • “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21).
  • “Every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:12-13).

The “all things” are promised to those who “love God.” That is defined by obedience to His commandments (1 John 5:3). Further, those who love God are “the called.” That definite article demands all that follows in Romans 8:29-30.

And finally, those who love God and who are “the” called are absolutely and consciously aware that God has “made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself. . . . In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ” (Ephesians 1:9, 11-12). HMM III

Our Longing For God

Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight.

—Exodus 33:13

Come near to the holy men and women of the past and you will soon feel the heat of their desire after God. They mourned for Him, they prayed and wrestled and sought for Him day and night, in season and out, and when they had found Him the finding was all the sweeter for the long seeking. Moses used the fact that he knew God as an argument for knowing Him better. “Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight” (Exodus 33:13); and from there he rose to make the daring request, “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory” (33:18). God was frankly pleased by this display of ardor, and the next day called Moses into the mount, and there in solemn procession made all His glory pass before him.   POG015

Restore to us today this deep longing I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Trinity in Unity

 

Jesus, God, Christian, Gospel, Bible, God’s Word, Discipleship, It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.

—John 16:7

Among the important writings which appeared [in the fourth century] is the Athanasian Creed….It was written as an attempt to state in as few words as possible what the Bible teaches about the nature of God; and this it has done with a comprehensiveness and precision hardly matched anywhere in the literature of the world. Here are a few quotations bearing on the deity of the Holy Ghost:

There is one Person of the Father, another of the Son: and another of the Holy Ghost.

But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.

And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other: none is greater, or less than another;

But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together: and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid: the Unity in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped. POM067-068

The Holy Spirit came to carry the evidence of Christianity from the books of apologetics into the human heart. HTB028-029

 

Between You and Me, Lord

Psalm 32:8

 

I see it clearly, Lord,

every single thing that happens

is ultimately between You and me,

just the two of us alone.

No matter who is sitting beside me,

no matter how many people crowd around

or whether I am at home or abroad,

in the final analysis it is my relationship with You that counts.

 

There is the outside me that other people know:

how I walk and talk,

how I dress and eat,

what I like and dislike.

Folk could write essays on all that

and yet I should find it difficult to accept

for it wouldn’t be the real me.

 

The real me only You know fully.

The inner person that only partially expresses itself,

that struggles for life

against the bonds of the body encumbering it,

that flutters and strains for it hardly knows what,

striving for something greater than it can express—

This hidden self You know and understand,

and I am glad in that knowledge.

 

That is why all that happens is finally

just between You and me.

For You are the only one who can truly judge me.

You are reality, the unchangeable truth,

and a spark of Your eternal spirit has been lit in my heart

drawing me to You,

linking me with You,

invisibly and eternally.