Summary: Considers the vital role of God’s Word in our lives, what it would be like if there were not Bible, and what it is like to ignore it.
Intro – Some of you watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” in the past couple of weeks. Sure enough, just like last year, George Bailey wished he’d never been born, and he got to see what the world would have been like if he had never existed.
It was just a little over a year ago, I asked everyone to consider what the Bible would be like if we took out prayer. Then, we spent 2005 making prayer a more central focus of this church family. Why? Because a Bible without a prayer just doesn’t work.
Now, this morning, I want to consider another “without” situation. What if, instead of a Bible that was missing something, there was no Bible at all? What if we were living without a word from God? What would it be like? What would it mean? I want to highlight some items that we’d be without if we didn’t have God’s word.
When we’re without a word from God, we’re…
1. Without a Real Connection With God
Mentally take away your Bible for a minute. Take away everything you know about God because of what you read in the Bible. Now, what’s your view of God?
It’s pretty much like the typical US person – God is what I want Him to be. I’ve got Tom Cruise explaining Him through the eyes of Scientology. I’ve got the pictures of Him painted by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel. I’ve got the image of God that comes from every lame movie and story that ever tried to explain Him. And then there are several so-called spiritual pursuits that even make Him into “her” or “it,” whichever you choose. I need a word from God to even begin to have a real connection with Him.
Sometime around 1050 BC, people aren’t hearing much from God. Samuel describes the conditions of the time:
The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.
In fact, it was so rare, when God came calling on Samuel by name one night, he had no idea Who it was that was calling him. It wasn’t until there was a word from God that the connection gets made.
Can you imagine a child whose father or mother never spoke with him? Would he have any way of knowing that his parents loved him?
Why do you think that kids in inner cities get in with gangs? Because there wasn’t a mom or dad at home that cared enough to speak to that kid and tell them that they loved him. At least the kids in the gang speak to him.
Every person is born with an inner desire to be loved by and accepted by their parents. Maybe that has been damaged for you through the years. Maybe you never had that fulfilled in your life. But the fact is at the very youngest age, every one of us wants a real connection with parents.
There’s another part of us that longs for a connection with God – a real connection – something that knows Him as more than just “The Great Spirit” or the “Force” behind nature. The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. But to know God personally, to have a real connection with Him as a personal God Who knows us and wants to be known by us, requires more. We need a word from God. Without it, there’s no difference between the beauty of the sunset and the power of a tsunami. Without a connection with God, an explanation of Who He is, there’s no invitation to know Him any better than we know the solar system. No word from God, no real connection with God.
When we’re without a word from God, we’re…
2. Without an Answer to Satan’s Lies
The devil’s native tongue is the lie. Sure enough, from his very first appearance, Satan’s lying.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, ’You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?"
It’s a question about a word from God. God had spoken to Adam and Eve.
Over 2,000 years later, Satan’s at it again, and each time he tells his lies, Jesus responds with the same phrase: It stands written. God has said. That settles it.
Matthew 4:4 - Jesus answered, "It is written: ’Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’"
Matthew 4:7 - Jesus answered him, "It is also written: ’Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’"