Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: The importance of studying the Word of God

Hebrews 4:12-13


By: Reverend Kenneth Emerson Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church,

Newport News, VA

A day or two before I

was to leave for college, my pastor came to my door with a gift.

It was a small--pocket-sized Bible with a nice leather cover.

I was a little surprised by this gift, but at the same time, I was very grateful....it made me

feel special....that he would go to all the trouble of buying this beautiful book just for me--and

then delivering it to my house personally.

I took this Bible to college with me....and after a few months....when I began to become

convicted by the Holy Spirit....and was struggling with the decision whether or not to give my

life completely over to Christ....I opened up this Bible that my pastor had given me.

The Words made sense....I think that the first thing I read were the Proverbs....and I

remember thinking to myself, “Yes, this is wisdom....yes this is the way the world works.....”

The words in that Bible helped me to discern the difference between light and darkness,

truth from error, and right from wrong.

After a period of time, I did indeed give my life to Christ, and the Words of this book

literally jumped off the pages as I read them.....

I had seen the light....I had come to know the truth.....and the truth could be found within

the pages of this Book!

It was “living and active”....speaking to my eighteen year-old mind, soul, and Spirit.

I couldn’t get enough.

I read it night and day, and carried it wherever I went.

Even though the words contained within this Book were written thousands of years

ago....they were still completely applicable to my life in this modern world.

Within this Book was written the truth...the truth about life...the truth about God, and the

truth about me.

This Book changed my life, and my life has not even been close to the same since!

I don’t have that little leather-bound Bible anymore....because one evening when I was

waiting for a bus, I got into a conversation with a man about God.....he was a homeless man, and

he didn’t own a Bible....so I gave him mine.

As the hymn says, “That’s how it is with God’s love...once you’ve experienced it...You

want to pass it on.”

The next day, I went straight to a Christian bookstore, and bought a new Bible.....which I

learned to love and cherish as much as I did the other.

Yes, as our Scripture says in verse 12, “The Word of God is living and active.

It’s not a lifeless letter,

It’s not just paper and ink....

Within the pages of the Bible are God’s Words and God’s promises---and they are a

living reality.

The Word of God is alive and active within those of us who believe...as Paul declares in

1st Thessalonians, “And we also thank God continually because, when you recieved the word of

God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the

word of God, which is at work in you who believe.”

As we read and injest, and interpret the Word of God for our lives the Word actually is

at work within us....convicting us, and changing us day by day to become more and more

like Christ.

My friends, is the Word of God at work in you?

When the Word of God is at work within us, we continually grow in our knowledge of

God through every experience....good or bad....through every relationship....through every

conversation...through every encounter.

We learn how to peaceably interact with other human beings, we come to better

understand the meaning of life, and how to cope with life, and we learn what God’s will is for

our own lives.

So that we are not wondering hopelessly always searching, but never finding.....as Jesus

declares in John chapter 8, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The truth contained within the Bible sets us free to be ourselves, to be the people God

created us to be.....it gives us a confidence that we could never have had before.....because

when we are living for God....we no longer have to worry about ourselves, and how others will

percieve us, and how others will judge us, and whether or not we are being cool or “in vogue”.

And my friends, this is true freedom indeed!

Our Scripture lesson goes on to say that the Word of God is “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.”

The Word of God penetrates a person’s innermost being....soul and spirit....joints and

marrow....the totality and depth of one’s being.

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