The Word of God can benefit us in more ways than we can possibly imagine. The writer of Hebrews says, “The Word of God is alive and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12). What’s so great about the Bible is it’s not just some ordinary book, but the living Word — inspired by God almighty. It is literally “God breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16). It will do for you what no other book or anything else can.
The Bible was written by men, but God is the author. Peter said, “Holy men spoke (wrote) as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21). If the Word is going to benefit us, there are several prerequisites we must apply:
It must first be used in our own personal re-creation process. Peter said, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:23). When the word is preached, we are convicted of sin (John 16:8-9), see our need of Christ, accept Him as our Lord and Saviour, His Spirit enters us, unites with our human spirit and brings it to life. Without this taking place, none of the benefits of the Word applies to us.
We must read the Bible. “Blessed is he that reads” (Revelations 1:3). So many born again believers (Christians) seldom open the pages of God’s word. It may be laying on our coffee table looking nice but we never pick it up, dust it off, open it’s pages and begin reading. The blessings of the bible are only there for those who read it. When is the last time we read our bible?
We must listen to the Word being taught and preached. “Blessed is he that reads and they that hear the words of this prophecy” (Revelation 1:3). Hearing the Word has to do with being taught and/or hearing it preached. That is why church is so important. If we are to receive the full blessing from the Word of God we have to sit under it being proclaimed. This is the context in which Paul said our faith is able to grow (Romans 10:13-17).
We must be doers of the Word. “Blessed is he that reads and they that hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written therein, for the time is at hand” (Revelation 1:3). In order to have the Word of God be of full benefit in our lives we have to put it into practice. When we put the Word into practice we are promised we will be blessed in all we do (James 1:25 and Joshua 1:8). Otherwise, we are just deceiving ourselves (James 1:22).
We must meditate on the Word. We are to make the Word of God our meditation day and night (Psalms 1:2-3 and Joshua 1:8). The only meditation we are encouraged to do is on God and His Word. There may be times we take one verse or phrase and maul it over and over in our mind. This takes place, at least in part, when we are memorizing scripture.
We must memorize the Word. There is something about hiding the Word of God in your heart. There is so much about this in the bible, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart” (Psalms 119:11); “I have written unto you young men because you are strong and the Word of God abides in you” (1 John 2:14); “If you abide in me and my words abide in you” (John 15:7). I could go on and on. If the Word is in us it’s more than a casual reading. We know it and can pull it out at anytime. I challenge you to begin putting the Word to memory. It will be the best thing you will ever do.
The Word must be mixed with faith. The writer of Hebrews says, the Word preached will not profit us until we mix it with faith (Hebrews 4:2). When we hear or read the word we have to exercise faith by applying it. Whenever God shows you something through the Word it is imperative that you step out in faith, in some way, and apply it to your life. Otherwise, the Word profits us nothing.
We must use the Word. The bible likens itself to a sword (Hebrews 4:12 and Ephesians 6:17). It is part of the armor of God. It is our main offensive weapons. A soldier, with a sword (rifle in our day), must use it for it to benefit him. If a soldier was in the midst of a battle, with enemy soldiers coming at him, and he failed to use his sword he wouldn’t last very long. Jesus used His sword in the temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). Every time the devil came at him He drew His sword and used it. Because of this the devil left him (Luke 4:13).
Benefits of the Word of God
Answered prayer (John 15:7 and Proverbs 28:9). Jesus said that if we would continue in a vital relationship with Him and His Word remained in us we could ask for whatever we wanted and it would be granted. Now, if we consider that His Word is in us, we must conclude that we would be praying in accord or consistent with His word and will (1 John 5:14-15). On the other hand, The wise man wrote that whoever turned their ear away from hearing His Word, their prayer would be an abomination to God (Proverbs 28:9).
Victory over sin (Psalms 119:9 and 11; 1 John 2:14; John 8:31-32; Psalms 37:31). His Word abiding deep within us makes us aware of sin, spiritually strong and keeps us from sliding down the slippery slope of sin. It doesn’t mean we will never fail but we won’t continue to slide downward. We will be able to rise up victorious over our failure. I believe that was one of the main reasons Peter was able to rise up after his denial victoriously and minster with power on the day of Pentecost (approximately fifty days after his failure). Someone once said, “this book will keep one from sin as sin will keep you from this book.”
Spirit filled (controlled) living (Ephesians 5:18-19 and Colossians 3:16). There are myriads of teachings on how to be filled with the Holy Spirit, which is another teaching altogether. Suffice it to say, there is no easy step to getting and staying full of God’s Spirit short of time with Him in prayer and the Word. If you notice the context of both passages above, they are both nearly identical. One refers to being filled with the Spirit and the other to letting the Word of Christ dwell in us richly. The obvious conclusion would be that a major key to being filled and remaining full of the Holy Spirit is to saturate ourselves with His Word.
The Word brings purpose to life (John 17:17-18). Jesus prayed, in His high priestly prayer, that God would sanctify us through His Word. He went on to say, “As you have sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (John 17:17-18). Jesus came into the world with purpose. Even so, as we get into His Word we will begin to find purpose in Him. Sanctification is not only setting us apart from sin but it is also setting us apart unto His divine purpose. If you want to know His purpose for your life, get into the Word of God until He reveals it to you. It may not come all at once but one step at a time. In this way, we are able to show ourselves faithful and we are not overwhelmed by the revelation of His will (Purpose) all at once.
The Word brings spiritual growth (Romans 10:17 and 1 Peter 2:2). We simply cannot grow spiritually apart from the Word. If we do not eat we not only do not grow but we’ll eventually die. We grow from the Word in two ways:
- Spiritual maturity. Peter said that we must desire the milk of the Word in order to grow in respect to our salvation but we can’t stop with milk. We only grow so far on milk. We must begin to eat solid food as well if we are to grow unto maturity (1 Corinthians 3:1-2 and Hebrews 5:12-14).
- Increases faith. Most people would love to have more faith. Even the disciples desired this (Luke 17:5). One of the major ways for us to grow our faith is through time in the Word or time with the Word in us. Paul said, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word” (Romans 10:17). It is interesting that it says hearing. Our faith will never grow sufficiently through personal study alone. The context refers to the proclaimed Word (Romans 10:13-17). If we are to grow our faith we must spend adequate time in the Word personally and hearing it proclaimed – church!
The Word increases fruitfulness (Psalms 1:2-3). How many of us desire to be spiritually fruitful? The Psalmist gives us a picture of a tree planted near a river with its roots going deep into the ground and drinking of it’s water. The result was fruitfulness. As we immerse ourselves in the Word and are filled with His Spirit (read point three) fruitfulness is the natural result. This is the purpose for which Jesus chose us for Himself (John 15:16).
The Word defeats the powers of darkness (Matthew 4:3-11; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5). The Word of God is the main offensive weapon for believers. If we want to have victory over the enemy we will do so through the Word. Make no mistake about it, we are in a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus said that Satan desired to sift Peter like wheat (Luke 22:31). His desire is nothing less toward us. Jesus used the Word to defeat Satan and so must we. The Word equips us and makes us strong for the battle (1 John 2:14). We must use the Word if we are to have victory over the enemy. Knowing it isn’t enough. A sword must be drawn and used or it benefits us nothing.
The Word brings success in life (Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1:2-3; James 1:25). God told Joshua the Word was not to depart from his mouth and he was to observe to do according to all that is written therein (Joshua 1:8). The principles in the Word works. God promises that if we will continue in the Word and put it into practice we will be blessed in all that we do (James 1:25). Lets make the Word of God our meditation day and night (Psalms 1:2-3).
The Bible equips us to be competent counselors (Romans 15:14; 2 Timothy 3:16). True biblical counseling is listening to a persons problems or struggles and applying God’s Word to them. Moses said concerning the children of Israel, “when they have a dispute; I judge between a man and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws” (Exodus 18:16). This is exactly how we are to counsel. When I was first saved, God laid it on my heart to know His Word. So that if anyone ever had a problem I could give them what He said about their situation and not just what I think. What I think does a person little good but what God says is of infinite value. It’s the Word that has the power to change lives.
The Word brings the purposes of God to pass (Isaiah 55:10-11). Don’t be afraid to use the Word and speak it out loud. God’s spoken Word is powerful – use it. When going through difficulties, claiming a promise or ministering to someone speak forth His Word. He promises it will not return to Him void or empty. It will accomplish His purpose. As rain watering seed sown in the ground, it may take a season to come to fruition but it will. When the Word is spoken it is released into the spiritual realm or into a persons life and continues working until it fulfills His plan and purpose.
The Word is a cleansing agent (Ephesians 5:25-27; John 15:3). The Word has a cleansing effect in our lives. Have you ever done something wrong? You confessed it as sin and knew God had forgiven you (1 John 1:9) but still felt guilty and dirty? It’s during those times we need to get into the Word and it will cleanse us. The Word is both a mirror showing us our sin (James 1:23-24) and a wash basin to cleanse us from impurities.
The Bible gives comfort and hope (Romans 15:4; Hebrews 6:17-20). Many can testify to being down, discouraged and feeling hopeless, opening the Word or hearing a message and as a result being filled with hope, comfort and encouragement. During times of despair we usually don’t feel like reading the Word but this is exactly when we really need to. When your feeling down and hopeless get into the Word and let God minister hope and encouragement to you.
Scripture gives guidance and direction to life (Psalms 119:105). The Psalmist said, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalms 119:105). It gives direction and guidance to our lives. The Word shines light on our path so we will know the direction we need to go. It doesn’t necessarily show us where to go and what to do way out into the future. Notice it says His Word shines light on our path. Light shines on our path only so far out in front of us. As we continue walking forward it continues to shine out in front of us as we walk ahead. We must continue to walk in the light we have before receiving any additional light (Matthew 25:29).
The Word of God brings joy (Jeremiah 15:16). Jeremiah says God’s Word was the joy and rejoicing of his heart. Why? Because he is called by His name. I wonder about those who claim to be called by His name and yet have no desire for His Word.
God’s Word should be the joy and rejoicing of our heart. Jeremiah apparently did more than a casual reading of the Word in that he said he “ate it.” In other words, he devoured it. Let’s devour the Word of God — absorb it into our very being. When we do, we will find it fills us with “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).March 8th, 2014