Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword…”
Many people have grown up in a church whose service was for the most part, the framework of a religious repetition. Let me explain that. Almost all the elements or parts of the service were the same and repeated each service. Much of what was said, was ritual – not understood nor did it do much if anything to engage one’s thought processes. Verbal responses were extracted from but known by heart and able to be expressed in one’s sleep. Many did. Few if any understood what the hymns they sang over and over were talking about which also led to mindless repetition. For those that loved to sing them, it was more about the joy of singing that a passion for the meaning of the words that worshipped God. So, when I say that many people grew up in the framework of a religious repetition, I mean something you did that was about God but seldom engaged the heart and mind.
I know that many good people brought up in this religious framework did work to connect with God during those times. Unfortunately, the majority I knew and talked to did not. It was there time to mentally check out and think about something else to pass the time and fulfill what they felt was their religious obligation.
Can you imagine going out on a date with someone that spoke another language but did not speak yours? It might be cute and fun for a short time for the novelty of it but that would fade fast. Engaging in thought, word, and in deed is critical to a good and intimate relationship.
Can you imagine going out on a date and you really didn’t want to be there and then doing so out of obligation on a repeated basis? How engaged would you and could you be? Again maybe in the beginning you could be polite and talk about a few things, but after a short time, because you being there was out of duty and obligation, you’d burn out. The person you were with would quickly figure out you don’t want to be there. That person would soon quit coming.
God never meant our times of coming together to worship him in church to be boring times of repetition that caused us to mentally check out. He never meant for us to say, sing, or do things that we did not understand in our worship of Him. To the contrary, coming together to worship God was to be a time to learn of Him, to learn of His life-changing Word, and to pray prayers of sincere faith with confidence He would hear them and answer them. Jesus wanted to correct that kind of thinking and mindless action and prayer. We see Him in Matthew 6:7 say, “But when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” The Greek word for “repetitions” is a word that means to prate tediously. “Prate” means to talk excessively and pointlessly implying without thought or from the heart – it means to babble or speak empty words – words without thought and heart behind them.
Jesus is instructing them to get a way from mindless and repetitious prayer and conversation with Him. Neither does He want our imagination to be the source of knowing what He is like or what He wants. That is how all false god’s are formed – through someone’s imagination. That’s exactly why we have so many religions and views of who God is and what He wants. His Word is to be the basis for knowing Him. Religious services too often hide God in shrouds of mystery. God’s Word and His Holy Spirit reveal God to us.
This is what Jesus was leading them to – knowing God and His Will and sincerely worshipping Him in Spirit and truth. That means wholeheartedly knowing why you love Him and why you worship and live for Him as well as knowing hot to pray to Him. Jesus wanted to teach them to make their time with Him a time of life and power. He wanted His Words not to be dead, mysterious or outdated words on a page, but words of life and power that were relevant today. He wanted them to know His Word and pray His Word.
Today’s Manna verse Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
When God says His Word is “quick” that word’s literal meaning is “alive,” meaning it’s a word that will speak to you. It also says it’s “powerful” literally meaning that it’s “active and effective.” That means that the Word of God is alive, effective, powerful and has the ability to speak to our hearts. No wonder the devil wants God’s Word shrouded in religious talk and not understood. He does not want it to change our life.
The last part of this verse talks about it being “sharper than any two edged sword…” The literal Greek is painting the picture of something so sharp that it slices with one cut vs. a knife that is dull and you have to hack away to cut. It applies an illustration regarding to words of our day about getting to the point – “Cut the crap” – “Quit beating around the bush” – “Let’s get to the bottom line!” The Word of God cuts through the lies our heart have been infected with and bring truth and light to our lives.
When you go before the Lord, ask His Holy Spirit to teach you and speak to you through His Word. You will find that the Lord will speak to you through His Word. He will bring words of life and hope. He will also bring correction and instruction. His motive is love and to lead you into a life filled with His peace and blessing. For today, let these powerful words from God change your heart today!
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
More on God’s Powerful Word tomorrow…
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.