The commencement of the gospel according to the apostle John, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”, has a mystical quality about it, an experience that takes hold of your mind and transports you beyond earthly impressions.
The Word was given to us by Jesus Christ for our edification, as a safeguard for us to live by. Like all gifts, we put them into categories. Some we know that we are going to use all the time; some we are going to use only on special occasions; some as the mood dictates and others only when we have a dire need for it. Isn’t it the same with God’s word? Most of us pray all the time. It fits in with our belief. Some only pray at church services or masses when the minister or priest is conducting the service. Some only pray when things are not going too well with them and they want a quick fix and others pray when things get so out of hand that they have no other recourse but to pray.
Because of Adam’s sin, we all have sinned and need forgiveness. With His Word He has pointed out to us the path for us to follow, because He is the Way, the Truth and the Light. It is only by His Word we can stand up to the devil, “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”(Eph.6:12)
We need God’s Word to see us through the good times and the rough times. During the good times we may lapse into forgetfulness and run the risk of neglecting our spiritual duties. We may feel so happy with ourselves that we may be lulled into a false sense of security. Temptations may come our way and we may not realize that we need the armour of God to protect us from the wiles of the devil. However, in 1 Cor. 10:13 Paul says “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Ellen White also writes in Prophets and Kings p.l92 “If the teachings of God’s word were made the controlling influence in the life of every man and woman….the evils that now exist in national and in social life would find no place.”
Our Lord and Saviour always encouraged his disciples to pray and the apostle Paul after his conversion insisted that all should pray without ceasing. To the Ephesians he said “put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground………Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”(Eph.12:12-17).
However, some rough times are necessary for us. James 1:2 says “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness”. Later on verse 12 says “Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him.”
As trials and tribulations came my way, I felt the need for God more and more. I listened for and to His Word at every opportunity. I thank the TBN network for bringing the different pastors and ministers on cable television to spread the message to all the world. This gave me a wonderful opportunity to hear interpretations and explanations of passages in the Bible that I never understood before. I found myself reading different books about various themes in the Bible and the more I understood the more I searched for meaning of the Word.
There is a straight and narrow way in which to walk if we follow the Word of God. It is not so easy to follow this path when one is young without proper guidance and discipline. This is why children need a safe and loving home environment to grow up in; one in which God-fearing parents show them by example the rules to live by. It is not so easy for children growing up nowadays as it was, say, a few decades ago. The television exposes them to so many graphic scenes of sex and violence. Many of these
scenes are most unnecessary. Nothing is left to the imagination any more and the drug culture has exacerbated things. What is seen on the screen is copied in real life. Now, we see that even the computer, such a marvellous invention, is being used for pornographic purposes.
Some people find it easy to dismiss what is happening in their country by saying it is a world-wide trend. It is happening everywhere Yet we see that in some nations many modern ideas are not encouraged. There is no such thing as freedom of choice. One has to follow the rules that govern the state or face punishment. It is similar to God’s Word. If you obey His Word, you have His protection. If you choose not to follow in the path of righteousness much misery could befall you, even though you may feel you are happy for a while, that peace that passes all understanding will certainly escape you. Your choice may not give you the freedom to enjoy the security you need if you were to look up to Jesus as your saviour.
Now, we don’t want to live in a state where there is no freedom at all. There must be freedom with responsibility. The Word of God gives us that responsibility. If we love God, we will love our neighbour as ourselves. If we love our neighbour as ourselves, we will display unselfishness, show consideration for others and mean acts will not be part of our behaviour. Kindness and goodness will come naturally to us and a feeling of joy will flow from our hearts. As Selwyn Hughes says in his “Everyday with Jesus”, “The joy of God, though, is constant. It rises to rise again. Joy is deep. The smile is not only on the lips but in the heart.”
Jesus did most of His teaching by using parables. Most of the people who came to listen to His Word were ordinary folk, some of them rural, so the use of such a method of teaching was appropriate. He taught love of one’s neighbour in the story of the Good Samaritan. He showed forgiveness in the story of The Prodigal Son. The parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins as the readiness and preparation for the kingdom of God, for no one knows the time or place of His coming. John the Baptist warned the people, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus himself said, “I must preach the good news to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.” Peter in his first letter verses 24 and 25 says, ’ “The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord abides forever.” This word was the good news which was preached to you.’ It is therefore imperative for us all to be always ready and to make our paths straight in preparation to meet our Redeemer by our obedience to His Word.