A Pastoral Exhortation
In the past few weeks I have worked through three messages introducing a series on the book of Revelation. As a pastor, they are directing me to treat the Bible as the breathed-out word of God, to treat every part of the Bible as profitable for teaching, reproving (bringing sin into the light), correcting (replacing sinful habits with godly conduct), and training in righteousness (II Tim 3:16-17).
Pastors must preach this word, reprove with this word, rebuke with this word, and exhort with this word (II Tim 4:1-2), while guiding God’s people to refrain from going beyond what is written (I Cor 4:6), and teaching about things that are not written in accord with everything that is written (Titus 2:1).
As we seek to live by faith in God’s breathed-out word, we must keep in mind that everything God is working to do in using his words to lead us to maturity in Christ (Col 1:28), Satan is seeking to counteract with whatever attacks, bullying, counterfeits, and deception he can present (II Cor 11:14).
This brings me to the question: If it is God’s will that we “live by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4), and it is Satan’s will that we do not live by the words of God, whose will is most characterized by our relationship to the Scriptures?
If we do not think about the two wills that are at work we fall into the deceptions of thinking that our relationship to the word of God is only between God and us. We think things like, “I know God wants me to be devoted to his word today, but I just can’t get into it.” That sounds a lot better than thinking, “God wants me devoted to his word today, and Satan wants me distracted from God’s word today, so I will do things Satan’s way.”
While God has breathed-out his words for us to live by, Satan is working to steal, kill and destroy our relationship to God’s words (Jn 10:10). He is prowling around the church like a roaring lion looking for prey, hoping to devour people’s lives (I Pt 5:8). In the book of Revelation he is pictured as the red dragon, that ancient serpent, the devil who is constantly and furiously trying to destroy the work of God (Rev 12).
Here is how God describes the people who are victorious over the red dragon: “they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (vs 11). We must come to the word of God in order to experience the blood of the Lamb cleansing us from sin; and we must come to the word of God in order to have words for our own testimony. As soon as believers spend some morning time meditating on the word of God they have a testimony of how the words that come from the mouth of God are at work in their souls. Satan will do anything to shut down such a testimony. We must receive Isaiah’s trumpet call: “To the teaching and to the testimony!” (Is 8:20)
As I begin meditating on the book of Revelation today, John tells us that his part in the presentation of this Scripture was that he: “bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ” (1:2). John was actually in exile on an Island “on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (1:9). Let us all be devoted to meditating on the breathed-out Scriptures so we can follow John’s example of living by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
From my heart, Monte
© 2012 Monte Vigh ~ Box 517, Merritt, BC, Canada, V1K 1B8 ~ email@example.com