Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Surviving on the Word of God

How important is the word of God? Top among the themes of Jesus' parables and teaching, Jesus himself answers this question on a number of occasions by explaining that the word of God is more important than food and water.  In John 6:27 he advises his listeners that it is more important to work for eternal life- which is by far more important than the physical food that sustains the life of our physical bodies. Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3.  In the barren dessert, hungry and tired, tempted and teased by Satan who tried to convince Jesus to turn rocks into bread, Jesus powerfully responded with the mighty weapon- word of God, in Matthew 4:14 that "Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God". Obviously, these passages are not suggesting that food and water are insignificant!  That is certainly not the point.  In fact, there is no doubt that food and water are essential to our physical survival- the continuance of our physical health and well being here on earth. A few days without water- and we would not be able to survive!  There is no doubt of the importance of food and water.  Even Jesus recognised that when he fed thousands of tired, weary hungry listeners on the mount after listening to his teachings.  But the miraculous point that Jesus is making is that there is something far more important to our survival than food and water- of that were possible.... and that is the word of God.  Just think and consider the gravity of that claim that Jesus has made- that the word of God is far more important for survival thamn food and water.  And to take this a step further, our eternal life, and our eternal salvation is far more important thatn our temporary, finate, physical lives here on earth.

With that thought in mind, the importance of eternal life, and our spiritual health over our finate, temporary physical lives, and the significance of the spiritual food of God's word in contrast to food and water that simply nourishes our temporary shells of skin and bone- should allow us to put into perspective the circumstances we face during our lifetimes. With an eternal and spiritual mind-set the significance of physical pain, emotional pain  and suffering during our lifetimes can be viewed from a different perspective- an eternal and spiritual perspective and perhaps, if possible, be appreciated and even used for the greater good.  Though the focus on the unseen, spiritual, eternal world seems counter intuitive in today's modern society, it is in fact the true reality that we should consider according the the ultimate word of God.  Romans 5:3-5 indicates that rather than despair when we meet with hardship we should be rejoicing because God uses pain and suffering to develop our characters and our strength.  James 1:2-4 further explains that we should be excited in the face of suffering and pain because it  tests our faith in such a way that we eventually become stronger and better able to endure.  There is something unique about pain and suffering in the way that it strengthens us spiritually in a way that no other experience can.  It prepares us for eternity and decreases our reliance on this finate and tempporary world.  As 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 states that no matter what we go through- our spirits are not destroyed, but rather we are strengthened.  Spiritually and emotionally, we may lose the physical battle, but spiritually we gain eternal life. Pain can be used for a purpose and in the end it can be used for the greater glory of God. As 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 proclaims, we should not deny the fact that pain and suffering can be used for the greater good.  In fact to deny the usefulness of pain is actually ignorance because even in the face of despair, pressure and even death, such things "happen that we might rely not on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead"!!!!!  Furthermore, why waste our pain? 2Corinthians 1:4-5 says we should use it to help others- and just as God comforts us in our pain and suffering, we should help and comfort others in their pain and suffering as well. At some point, each and every one of us will suffer- some less and some more.  If you are one of those who seem to have a lot to endure, then re-think how you view your hardships, and try to use it for the greater good.  Perhaps you should consider yourself blessed if possible- because just as fire is used to refine gold and other precious metals, harship refines and strengthens our spirits.  We can not deny this one fact- regardless of religious belief or lack thereof, eventually each and every one of us will die- we will indeed sucumb to physical death at some point in the future. In the end our eternal happiness will outweigh the temporary and transient pain we experience here on earth.  No matter what, God's promise to us is this: no matter what we go through in this world, the physical and emotional pain will be nothing compared to the unimaginable happiness and glory we will experience for eternity.

While most of us may not be facing a life threatening crisis at the moment, in  our day to day lives, we should not neglect our spiritual health. Just as we eat every day and drink every day to keep our bodies running, we need to remember our spiritual health as well and mainatin a steady diet of God's word through the bible.  The bible is like God's letter to us, inspired by God.  Without it, we are without direction or discretion as  we are subjected to the philosophies and ideas of the world as dictated by the media and society. As stated on several occasions, Satan is the "god" of this world.

How important is the word of God? The bible answers this question......  We are told to hold to God's word like a treasure in our hearts- Psalm 18:30 and that the word is like a lamp guiding one's feet safely through the darkness Psalm 119:105.  Every word of God is pure- Proverbs 30:5 and remains forever and ever- Isaiah 40:8 and that the word of God will never ever pass away no matter what happens- Matthew 24:35.  The word of God was always there, it always existed John 1:1, and took up flesh in Jesus- John 1:14 The word of God is truth- John 17:17.

1 comment:

  1. Amen! The Word of God is the most precious treasure ever!! If I couldn't have it, or Him, I wonder if I wouldn't even want food, water or air...I can't imagine life without Him.