June 12, 2022
- Pastor Karrie Landsverk
- God's Transformational Word
- 1 John 1-14
- 2 Corinthians 4:6
- Acts 17:28
- Colossians1: 15-17
- Genesis 1:26
- John 12:45-46
- John 6:63
- John 8:12
- Matthew 4:4
- Revelation 19:13
- God's Glory
- God's Word
- Jesus is the Word of God
- spiritual health
- The Word is Jesus
- The Word is Life
- The Word is Light
- Word of God
- Living Gospel Church
God’s Transformational Word
The Word is a Person
Sunday, June 12, 2022
How many of you take some sort of supplements and vitamins daily? I’m not talking medicines, I’m talking vitamins to put good nutrients into your body.
How many are mindful of your water intake and strive to drink plenty of water each day?
How many consider the foods you eat to feed your body properly and ensure you are getting nutrients in the foods you eat, or to help avoid hurting your body by avoiding foods your body does not respond well to?
How many are intentional about ensuring you get plenty of sleep each night, to rest your body and mind?
How many of you try to get in some form of exercise daily or several times a week, to stay limber, strong and increase your energy?
Why do you do these things you do?
Who told you to do these things? A doctor? A scientist? A parent? A fitness coach? A therapist? Why do you believe them? Because they are experts in their field? Because they are your parent who loves you and wants the best for you? We most likely listen because they are a credible source, maybe an expert in that area of study or a person of great influence in your life.
Have these practices proven to be beneficial when you are mindful of these things for your physical body and mental well-being?
Do you feel better when you are hydrated? Do your systems function better? Is your skin healthier?
How about when you get rest-do you wake up more refreshed, not dragging as much? Do you make better eating and drinking choices if you are rested?
Isn’t this true in all our decisions-the more we care for ourselves and do things that are good for our bodies and mental and emotional well-being, the better and easier our choices become? It can be really hard at first, but then after a while, after many proven benefits we are realizing, those choices get easier.
What about when you get up and move your body? Do you feel better afterwards?
Maybe not initially if you are starting something new and your muscles are screaming at you in agony, but eventually they respond and it feels good doesn’t it? Have you noticed that the more you move your body, the more it craves movement? We are designed to want to move and use our bodies, and then to rest our bodies as well. We need both.
How do we view our spiritual health?
Do we hold the same practices in place to ensure we are taking in daily vitamins and nutrients to keep us strong? Are we drinking from the Living Water to stay refreshed and hydrated, helping our spiritual systems flow and function as they are designed to? Do we eat of the Bread of Life, the Word of God to feed our spiritual nature? Do we rest in God Almighty? Do we pray and talk with our God?
How do we feel when we do these things? Better right? More at peace, strengthened in hope, joyful, encouraged, rested?
Why do we do these things? Who tells us to?
Your pastor? Yes. Your parents-hopefully. A friend? But why do any of these people tell you to do so-who is the source of why we do these spiritual practices? Is it simply because the Bible says to do so and that is what makes us a good Christian?
Well, chances are if we view the Bible as a great big book of rules we have to follow, we probably won’t enjoy reading it very much. We’re more likely to look at it as something that just takes all the fun out of life. So if we don’t read it, then we can keep having fun. Ignorance is bliss, right?
If we see the Bible as something that is purely confusing, talking in symbolism we can’t understand, or in a language that is completely foreign to us, we won’t be motivated to read it. I have been there before-thinking the Bible was written in a foreign language I simply did not understand. The truth is we do need revelation to understand the Word, through the Spirit who gives us understanding. As we seek Him and ask for greater revelation knowledge and understanding, He gives it to us.
If we see the Bible as stories from ancient times that are no longer relevant in our modern world, we will probably leave it collecting dust on a shelf somewhere.
But when we can remember the Bible is the inspired Word of God Himself, who is a person who came in the form of Jesus Christ, and we remember Jesus is our Advocate before our Holy God, our Wonderful Counselor delighting in guiding us in every facet of our lives, and our friend who is for us, ever-present to listen, encourage and care for us, and remembering Jesus desires blessings and goodness for us, all the days of our lives, even in the greatest hardships we face, He is light and truth through it all for us to cling to, then the words in the Bible take on a whole new perspective, don’t they?
If we see the Bible for the truth that it is, a person who is speaking to us, who is very much alive, and that we are speaking directly to Him, His Word takes on a whole new understanding. We are not only motivated to read His Word, but we are also compelled to do so, for we know it is our life source because He is our life source. His word becomes our manna and He refreshes our soul.
Do you remember Popeye the Sailor Man? What did he love to eat? Spinach! What did that spinach do for him? Made him super strong right, his muscles suddenly bulged out after he would down a can of nutritious spinach.
Do you remember what he would say after he ate the spinach? “I’m strong to the finish, cuz I eats my spinach! I’m Popeye the Sailor Man!”
This is exactly what happens to us as we read and listen for His Word and commune with our Lord. Our spiritual muscles bulge and burst-ready for spiritual battle and service to His kingdom. We are strong in the Lord, strong in our understanding, strong in truth when the enemy tries to attack, strong in our faith when our world appears to be crumbling down or spinning out of control-for we know the One who is truly in control, who holds all things together, including us and our lives. So let’s remember Popeye and keep that visual in our minds as we begin each day. If we want bulging spiritual muscles, we need to take in the Word.
Let us have a fresh perspective this morning about the Transformational Word of God, who is a person. Let us have ears to hear and a heart to receive His revealed truth. Let us look for Jesus in His Word and let us see His Word come alive in us this morning as we press into Him.
The apostle John teaches us about the Word; who He is and why He came. Let us listen anew today.
John 1: 1-14 NIV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Isn’t this a beautiful picture? Jesus has always been and always will be. He was with God in the beginning and all things are created through Him and for Him. There is nothing that exists that Jesus is not part of and fused to because life is in Him. In God’s divine wisdom and in the riches of His grace, He ordained for the Word to become flesh, so we might see the glory of God through His Son, who is full of grace and truth. So we might know God, the Father, through Jesus, His Son, and the Word of God.
- The Word is Jesus
We read in the Old Testament the many prophets who spoke of the coming Messiah, who spoke of God’s glorious plan of salvation and restored glory to Israel. They were all speaking of Jesus. Their testimonies about the Word of God were made human in Christ when the Word became flesh.
Jesus was the personification of the written and spoken word.
Let’s look at some other Scriptures to affirm Jesus has always been the Word and with God throughout eternity. It’s important we know and remember this truth.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make mankind in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the livestock and over all the earth, and over every crawling thing that crawls on the earth.”
Who is us? Is it not the trinity at work? God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit? Distinct persons all working in unison-all fused together. This is the beautiful mystery of God isn’t it? It was not God the Father all by Himself-He is never by Himself. His Son, the Word, has always been with Him and always will be, along with the Holy Spirit.
But Jesus took on flesh, so the Word could be encountered in the form of a person. So we could see the Living God- His heart, His character, His truth revealed through Jesus.
Colossians1: 15-17 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation: 16 for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.
Jesus, Son of God, Word of God, is supreme in power and authority.
This right here is why we rea adnd listen to His Word. He has all authority. He has created everything and holds everything together. Is there any greater source to learn from and listen to?
John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
This is why we can trust what is written and what He speaks to us-for He is full of grace and truth.
We are told His return will be glorious and all will see and acknowledge Jesus is the Son of God reining supreme over all creation. He will not come back as a lowly servant but as a victorious king. Look at the name He will be donning for all to see:
Revelation 19:13 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.
Jesus is the Word of God.
The Word as we read it, listen to it and hear it in our hearts, is a person speaking to us. These are not just words on pages, not just stories in a book, it is Jesus Himself communing with us, teaching us truth, pouring out His grace, providing shelter, offering healing and giving us life beyond anything we can ever experience through this world.
He wants us to look for Him as we read the Word, because He is the Word.
- The Word is Light
Let us remember also that Jesus says He is the Light of the World. We read that in our key Scripture today, “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”
His light, His Word, shines into darkness, the darkest places in our minds, into the depths of our hearts, those things that are hidden and He exposes them, bringing them into the light. Not to condemn us, no, to purify us and bring healing to that which is unhealthy. When we keep things in the shadows, the enemy has power over those areas, but when we bring them into the Light we are giving power to the Holy Spirit and the enemy has no more power. This is where we find freedom and release of heavy burdens, in His light, which is His Word.
2 Corinthians 4:6 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
As we connect with His Word, we are gaining knowledge of God’s glory, which is displayed through Christ Himself. Our God is glorious beyond our ability to comprehend, but the more we consume His Word both written and spoken, we are given greater understanding of His glory and that builds our faith. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” Matt. 5:8
John 12:45-46 45 The one who looks at me is seeing the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
John 8:12 12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
In His Word, we discover and receive the light of life. The darkness cannot stand against the light. There is freedom, joy, peace and life abundant to be found in His Word.
- The Word is Life
Most if not all of us, have tried to do life in our own ability at some point, or maybe we still are today. If we’re being honest, we can also admit it’s hard, a disaster at times, and certainly not full of lasting joy or peace. More than likely when we try to build our lives into something great on our own-we are frustrated, discouraged, depressed, anxious, exhausted, restless-with periodic enjoyment no doubt splashed in there-but it doesn’t last does it? Because it’s always on to the next thing and we get tired.
The truth is people don’t remember the great things we did yesterday-they only care about what we’re doing today so the rat race is ever in motion-. We are always striving to hold on to a place of value and worth in this world. Our attempts to fix things only cause something else to break down and before long we are springing leaks in more places than we can manage at one time, so we feel like throwing our hands in the air or waving that white flag-I give up. I can’t do this anymore. I have no more ideas, no more strength, nothing.
Ever been there?
Well, the encouragement is if you are there or have been there, that is exactly when God can show up and do what He is only able to do-infuse His life into you and make beauty rise from the ashes of your life. God rejoices when we wave the white flag-not in utter despair no-but as we surrender our hearts and say ok, I give up. I can’t do this on my own anymore. This is no way to live. I need You Jesus to help me, to show me what life is supposed to be.
And He says “finally! Let Me show you how great life is in Me! Let Me show You why I came in the flesh. You were never created to try to do all things on your own. You were created to move and have your being in Me.”
John 6:63 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.
Matthew 4:4 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
Acts 17:28 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’
Out of the ashes that is our life, hope emerges through His Word. A new strength is felt. A path and a way out is lit we never saw before. A plot twist happens and when we could only see the impossible all around us, suddenly we are made aware of something possible. Where all we felt was defeat, we can now see victory. When we were consumed by anger and bitterness, we feel a softening and melting in our hearts and love washing over us. This is Jesus-who is Life in us and through us. Jesus who holds all things together. In whom we live and move and have our being.
Through His Word, both written and spoken, we discover who He is and who we are in Him.
Conclusion: The Bible is not merely a how-to guide for right living, it is the doorway to God’s heart. It is the path to life abundant in Christ. Let us remember as we read His word, we are communing with the One who is the Word. Let us feast on His Word daily and be transformed from glory to glory!
Be like Popeye who is strong to the finish because he eats His spinach, and may we also be strong to the finish because we both consume and are consumed by the Word of God.
Let’s pray. Lord God we thank You that You sent Your Son Jesus to leave glory and take on flesh that we might know You, that we might see Your glory, that we might come to understand Your Word by watching His example and listening to His teaching. We thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit that fuses us to Jesus and who is the river of life flowing within us. We thank You that through Your Spirit we gain revelation understanding of Your Word, we are reminded of Your Word to guide us and encourage us in every situation we encounter. Help us to always look at Your Word and see Your face Jesus and look for Your heart. Teach us Your Truth and give us a love for Your Word that is Truth. Help us to walk in Your Truth and to walk with You, our Light and our Life. We praise Your name Jesus, Word of God. We bless You.
Final Blessing: Ephesians 6:23-24 NLT 3 Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. 24 May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.