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Tormented by the Truth-Part 1

Tormented by The Truth-Part 1
The effects of a hardened heart

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)

Nothing contains the power, or has the ability to effect change than the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God - the Bible. Time and again sermons are given that bring about change to the listener.  Some might reason, it was the way the Pastor spoke, or it was the illustration he used.  I believe these things can and do have impact and I do believe God is using many diverse personalities to convey the same message.  The underlying power given to each of these messages isn't contained within the presentation, or the interesting or funny story used, it is the Scriptures contained within the message.

I believe this is why many churches today lack impact upon the society in which they're placed.  The messages are packed with the calories of stories, illustrations, and opinions from the speaker, but devoid of any real nutrition, which is God's Word.  Now, some could say I am calling the pot black so to speak, in the sense my writings contain, stories, illustrations, and opinions.  Well, it's true they do, but they are also filled with Scriptures and strewn with additional Scripture references.  You see, it does me no good to give a good story or illustration, let alone an opinion, if there is no Scripture share to validate and to equip the reader to be changed.

Q:    Is this just an opinion, or can this be substantiated with God's Word?

A:    Let's take a look at God's Word.

In Hebrews 4:12 we are told, "The Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

I would like to encourage you to meditate upon this Scripture a bit - seriously think about it.  In fact, let's break it down so we really can grasp and understand it.

In the context of Chapter 4 of Hebrews this particular Scripture carries significant implications.  The writer was speaking of those who had heard the truth of God's Word, but chose to harden their hearts to it, and instead, they went back to living a lifestyle according to their fleshly desires (See Heb. 4).  

So we see verse 12 is speaking of what God's Word is going to do to these people.  It is going to pierce the soul and spirit and the joints and marrow.  It is going to discern the intents of the heart.  So in essence, God's Word, when heard by the listener, will distinguish what their intentions are within their heart - it will make those intentions perfectly clear.  

God's Word is powerful in its ability to expose the motives of the person who hears it.  And these motives are the very things they will be judged on.  We will not be judged by the list of our accomplishments while here on earth, no matter how long, noble and impressive they may be by man's standards.  We will not be judged by our list of works, no matter how sacrificial and heartfelt by man.  We will be judged by what we have done with the message of the Gospel - whether we have willingly received it, or have willingly denied it.

This is why it is so important I read the Word of God continually.  It is shaping me - my thoughts, and actions.  It is transforming my life into one reflecting the life of our Savior.  I need to know the Word of God, and be prepared to give an answer to anyone who asks why we, as Christians, have such hope.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 1Peter 3:15 (NKJV)

In Part 2 of this devotional we will continue to look at the principle truth.  We will look at how God's Word can be a blessing and life to the listener, or for those who deny it, they will be tormented by the truth.   

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you to continue to read your bible.  Read it daily and memorize Scripture to share with others when the Holy Spirit prompts you.  Just know this; the enemy will do everything in his power to distract us and to keep our eyes and mind on other stuff - temporal things.  This is because when we are filling our minds and thinking on the things of this world, we will not be sharing God's Word.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about God's Word and the place it should hold in our hearts according to the Scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you prayerfully reading your Bible and memorizing Scripture daily

APPLICATION: Make some time each day to spend in the Word of God.  It can be getting up an extra hour early and studying the Word, or even taking the time at lunch to feed your soul in addition to your body.

Father, Thank You for Your Word.  Thank You for giving us a blueprint to build our life with.  Thank You for giving us Your Son so we may have a foundation to build upon.  Help me today to understand as I read Your Word.  Help me to apply it to my life, and to remember it to share with others.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000