John 1:1-5, 14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
Matthew 24:35 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
2 Timothy 4:2-4 – Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
Hebrews 4:12 – 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.
- Will meet your need – physical, spiritual, emotional, financial
- Will convict of sin and cause you to repent
- Will rise up within you and give you strength in time of need
- Will set you free
- Will lighten your load
- Will take your guilt away
- Will give you comfort in times of stress, sickness, loneliness
- Will give you joy
Nehemiah 8:1-12 – Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. So Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose; and beside him, at his right hand, stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Urijah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and at his left hand Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place. So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading. And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.
At the time these words were proclaimed, the Israelites had just returned from captivity in Babylon. Under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah, the people had rebuilt Jerusalem’s ruined walls. And now they set their signs on reestablishing the temple and restoring the nation.
At this point Nehemiah called a special meeting at the city’s water gate, within Jerusalem’s rebuilt walls. Some 42,360 Israelite men were on hand for this meeting. Standing alongside them were 7,300 servants, including 245 singers. Altogether, about 50,000 people were gathered.
First came the preaching of God’s Word. Scripture says the people were hungry to hear it. Ezra brought the Law before the congregation both of men and women and “all that could hear with understanding.”
These people did not need to have God’s Word pushed on them. A consensus of hunger had developed among them. They were fully prepared to submit to the authority of God’s Word. They wanted to be governed by it, to make their lives conform to its truth.
Amazingly, Ezra preached to this crowd for five or six hours, “from the morning until midday.” Yet no one noticed the time. “The ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the Law.” These people were totally captivated by God’s Word.
What an incredible scene. You simply would not see such an occurrence in any American church today. Yet, true revival can never take place without this kind of all-consuming hunger for God’s Word. When God’s people grow weary of hearing His Word preached, a spiritual death begins and the joy of the Lord departs.
You may have heard the phrase “sermon tasters.” This term is about 200 years old, originating in London during the mid-1800. At that time, the great preacher, C. H. Spurgeon delivered sermons to 5,000 people every Sunday at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. Across the city, Joseph Parker also preached anointed messaged. And other fiery pastors preached throughout London, delivering deep, revelatory, prophetic words.
It became a popular sport among wealthy Londoners to hop in their carriages and race across the city from one church to another, sampling the preaching of these ministers. Each Monday in Parliament, exclusive meetings were held to discuss which preached delivered the best sermon and who brought forth the deepest revelation.
These gadabouts were dubbed “sermon tasters.” They always wanted to lay claim to some new spiritual truth or revelation. But very few practiced what they heard.
At the water gate in Jerusalem, however, there was no eloquent preaching, no sensational sermon. Ezra preached straight from the Scriptures, reading for hours on end. As the people stood and listened to God’s Word, they grew excited.
At times Ezra was so overcome by what he read, he stopped to “bless the Lord, the great God.” The glory of the Lord came down powerfully and everyone raised his hands in praise to God. “All the people answered, ‘Amen, Amen’ with lifting up their hands.” The people humbled themselves before God, in brokenness and repentance.
Please note – this meeting did not include any exciting stories to stir up people’s emotions. There was no manipulation from the pulpit, no dramatic testimony. There was not any music as yet. These people simply had an ear to hear everything God said to them.
Will last forever – God’s Word remains the same. It is the same today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow. Under God, it is the ultimate source of our knowledge of God, His nature and His will. It is also the ultimate authority in all matters of religion, faith, practice, morals and ethics. The reliability of the Bible as the Word of God has stood the tests of time and circumstances for thousands of years.
Psalm 119:89 – Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven.
Numbers 23:19-20 – God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it.
The Bible is, in written form, the revelation of the eternal Word of God. The enduring quality of the Bible as the Word of God, stands in sharp contrast to the mortality of humankind. Even those who live the longest are in this world but for a short time. Millennia pass, generation after generation pass, even whole nations pass away, but the Word of God endures forever.
In this continuously changing world, the bible is a pillar of stability. The Bible is old, but it is not outdated. It is not a retired set of instructions. It is not out of circulation. It is in this modern world where it seems morals are declining every year as much or even more in demand than it has ever been. It still today contains truths and principles which remain the same for every person, regardless of nationality, for every place around the world and for every generation.