Summary: God assures us of the power of His word to accomplish what He wants... Especially our salvation.
God’s Word Gives Life
Many of the farms in the state of Nebraska are right on the edge of the fertile plains that receive enough rainfall to produce abundant crops. Some years the yields can be a little lower simply because they are not blessed with as much rain as other farmers. Being so dependent on precious rain- fall, actually produces a great respect and appreciation for the gift of rain. Farmers in that area sometimes call raindrops “pennies from heaven.” They know that one timely rain can make all the difference between a profitable, or an unprofitable crop.
In many places the Bible compares God’s word to that kind of precious rainfall. It is the spiritual gift of God that produces the harvest of faith. Today I want to encourage you to remember what a gift God’s word is, and I want to help you get the most out of that gift. Our text is from the Prophet Isaiah:
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55.10-11 NKJ)
What the Bible Says About Itself
Everyone here saw the Pro-Life Display of 3,000 crosses on our property as you arrived. Those crosses represent the 3,000+ abortions that are performed in America every day. A group of college students were debating this issue one day. Some said a mother has the right to do what she wants with her own body. Others pointed out the scientific fact that an unborn child is not part of the mother’s body and has its own distinct DNA, blood type, fingerprints, etc. Finally one girl pushed the discussion further by quoting from the Bible, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you...” (Jeremiah 1.5). “God’s word,” the girl went on to say, “says that the unborn are persons.” At that moment, for just a few seconds, there was a noticeable pause in the debate. Like a thunderclap, her quote was a moment of truth that shook everyone’s soul. There is power in the word of God like none other on earth.
The Bible says that “faith comes by hearing.” (Romans 10.17) When Paul was converted he was knocked down from his horse and blinded by a bright light. But it was the voice of Jesus that said, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me.” (Acts 9.4) Jesus said, “I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.” (John 10.16) It was Peter who said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6.68) When Paul came to Thessalonica to bring the Christian faith, he went to the synagogue of the Jews, as was his custom (Acts 17.2). He went where the word of God was to be heard because he knew that it was through the hearing of the word of God that faith comes. “He reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead.” (Acts 17.3)
My Experience with the Power of God’s Word
I think you’ll agree that all true and sincere spiritual movement in your life has been caused and created by the word of God. I served for one year as a part-time chaplain at a mental hospital. One of my duties there was to help people suffering from chemical addiction. I believe that God is always working in everyone’s life. They may still be resisting Him and avoiding His efforts. Therefore to move forward with people I always asked this question. “When did you ever sense the work of God in your life? When did you sense that you were closest to God?” Inevitably they would refer back to a time when the word of God was somehow present. They recalled Sunday school classes, going to worship with grandparents or friends, vacation Bible school experiences, and the like. No one ever said they sensed the presence of the Lord in the bowling alley, at the baseball field, in the theater, or by watching TV. One particular experience stands out.
I was working with a woman who was about thirty years old. She looked older than forty. She confessed that she was addicted to anything that you can possibly be addicted to: alcohol, drugs, and sex. If she continued in this direction her life would soon be over, and she knew it. I asked her my question about the time when she sensed the work of God in her life. Here is her story: