To Respond to God's Requirement
By Pastor Huang Yuguan
Bible Verse Reading: Hebrews 4: 12-13
The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. (Ref. Hebrews 4:12)
Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. (Ref. Hebrews 2: 1) We should be like Mary who sat at the LORD'S feet and listened quietly to what He was saying because God's Word is the food to our life, a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. God speaks with authority and power, and only His words can attract us and make our hearts burning within us.
I. What is the Word of God?
Jesus often told the Word of heavenly kingdom, i.e. the Word of life, in parables. (Ref. Matthew 13) There were many followers of Jesus then and they had their respective motives. When the LORD talked about the Word of life, he said that one should eat his flesh and drink his blood. Many could not accept what he said and turned back. Jesus asked the twelve disciples, "Do you also wish to go away?" Peter answered Him, "LORD, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life." (Ref. John 6) Yes, it is the words of eternal life that the LORD-believing people believe, so they don't consider seriously the temporary or slight pain in the world.
i. The Word is God. John 1 says that the Word is with God, God is Word and God is love. The Word became flesh and lived among us, full of grace and truth. From His fullness we have all received. Jesus Christ is the Word revealed in flesh.
ii. All scripture is about the Word of God. The Holy Bible is inspired by God. We should keep God's words in heart instead of forgetting them. A sister turned off her mobile phone during the church service. But when she turned it on after the service, she was invited to play mahjong immediately. She accepted and hurried to the spot, which made her lose the words she had just heard.
II. Why was the Word of God so effective?
Because God's Word is truth and love and it never changes. Over 2,000 years, the Church does not disappear under great persecution, but rather, it is more and more thriving, which confirms this point. All in the world has been changing, only the Word of God never changes. The Word of God is living and full of life. All that is full of life will develop and prosper. None of God's words is without authority and nothing is impossible for God. Only God's words can go to the depth of one's heart and make one repent. With His words, Jesus raises Lazarus to life four days after his death, restores a withered hand, heals a patient who has been suffering from hemorrhages for thirty-eight years and cleanses the lepers.
III. What effect does the Word of God have?
i. It saves the soul. Being born anew is through the living and enduring word of God. (Ref. 1 Peter 1:23) Many brothers and sisters have been saved because God's Word attracts them. Acts 4:12 tells us that there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given mortals by which we must be saved. Any who accepts the LORD is God's child. There is a brother in Paul Church in Nanjing. He used to be a thief and often stole things when Christians were praying. One day as he was to play the same old trick, he heard that the pastor was talking about sin. God's Word shined on him and made him see that he was a sinner. When the pastor made the call for believing the LORD, he came to the platform, and with determination he converted to the LORD. He cried painfully in front of the LORD, admitted his sin and repented.
ii. It comforts one's heart. The road of life is tortuous and only words of the LORD can comfort us and bring us real peace and joy. A woman who lost her only son was extremely painful and she was unable to have another birth. When she was slightly calming down, the visit of her colleagues, friends and relatives reminded her of the terrible sadness. For over one year she did not go outside her home. Then an old sister took her to a service in the church. God's words comforted her and her heart was filled with peace and joy. Thereafter, she regarded the world as dung but Jesus Christ as surpassing value. The words of the LORD turn sadness into happiness, hopelessness to hope.
iii. It changes one's behavior. Ephesians 4:23 tells us that we should put away our way of life and clothe ourselves with the new self after we hear the LORD'S Word, accept His teaching and learn His truth. 2 Corinthians 5:17 also says that if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new. Both of the two versions mention that God's Word changes human behavior.
There was once a very mean woman in Nanjing and she was called as "tigress". And because she was good at shouting abuses in public, she was named "shouting abuses half street." Besides, she also took an incense burner to other people's gate and cursed them. The local people gave way to avoid a conflict, and even carders of the village and the police of local police station were afraid of her. Once an ox ate the vegetable in her garden. The owner of the ox was so frightened that he hurriedly asked two village carders to help him and send 500 Yuan to her home and apologize to her. The carder had to go to "tigress" home. It turned out that she was very polite, and moreover, she didn't even take the money. The village carder didn't think she would leave the matter at that. He thought she would go the owner's home fighting. Hearing this, the owner's family was frightened into trembling. Who would have thought that the "tigress" did not come. Later the family found out that the "tigress" had been converted to the LORD for about half a month. It is the Word of God that changes her life and makes her become a new person.
Once a pastor went to a remote countryside to preach. He took the chance to find a place to build a local church. It was so unexpected as the person who received him was a local carder. Having had lunch, the village carders invited the pastor and believers to choose a place for the church. The pastor was satisfied with a vacant field with four acres. The believers were afraid that they would be unable to afford. So they said over an acre would be all right. The village carder asked again, "Is it enough?" The pastor changed to 3 acres after careful thinking. The carder announced at once that this field was to be dedicated to the Church. All the procedures were finished in one month. Why did the carder support church? It turned out that there used to be a gang of criminals who stirred the village into a tempest. The " first leader" of them had been in prison and then out of the prison three times. But ever since he repented and believed in Jesus, the " first leader" ordered to dismiss the gang and mobilized his subordinates to believe in the LORD. Thus the "second leader', the "third leader" and many other evil men repented and believed in Jesus. The village became quiet again ever since. The experience of the " first leader" made a good story in local place, which is a good testimony for God.
God's Word is truth and love. We all should follow God's Word so that others recognize us as the children of God.