just what word are we talking about? the word on the street? word of mouth? the word of the day? a word to the wise?
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1, 14)
There it is! – found in those words from John – the definition of, the explanation of, the revelation of – Christmas!
Words often take on a life of their own, they seem to have a power all their own. But some words seem to pack more of a punch than other words. Why is that? Maybe it’s because, as mom always said, we need to “consider the source”. Meaning we need to take into account the origin of the words that we are hearing. Still good advice today when I consider how much impact and influence someone else’s words can potentially have on me and over me.
So it was these thoughts that were running through my mind as I pondered the question, “What does it mean to hold firm to the Word of life?” (Philippians 3:16) First I have to identify just what is the Word of life that Paul is instructing the Philippians to hold onto?
Jesus taught, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) So it is God’s words that are life sustaining.
Moses recited God’s words to all Israel telling them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, . . . They are not just idle words for you – THEY ARE YOUR LIFE. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.” (Deuteronomy 32:45-47)
In Deuteronomy 32:1-2 I also read about God’s words being life giving words. “Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of My mouth. Let My teaching fall like rain and My words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.”
God’s words are life to me. God’s words give me life just like the rain and the dew give life to every living, growing thing. God’s words are the Word of life that Paul was telling the Philippians not to let go of; they are the Word of life that I must figure out how to hold onto and they are found in His Book, the Bible.
So how do I “hold firm to the Word of life”? I need to read the Word, to memorize the Word, to know the Word, to recall the Word a thousand times a day, to study the Word, to understand the Word. I need to obey the Word “But be doers of the Word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22) – I need to “Let the Word of Christ dwell in me richly . . . with gratitude in my heart to God.” (Colossians 3:16)
so that the Word can nourish me, I need to allow the Word to transform me, to guide me, to teach me, to train me and to sustain me. The Living Word brings me joy and gives me hope. The Living Word protects me, it guards my heart and my mind – it arms me against danger. The Living Word is my weapon of choice against the lies of the enemy.
“Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)
“For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
The Living Word keeps me from being conformed to the culture around me while it renews me in my inner being. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
It is God’s word that renews my mind and keeps me in His perfect peace.
“Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.” (Psalm 119:24)
God’s living Word shows me the way I should go, it helps me not to dishonor the Heavenly Father I love.
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
“I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11)
I may be attempting to hold firm to the Word of life but it is the Word of life that sustains me, holding me fast through all of life’s twists and turns.
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
sincerely, Grace Day