Alive and Active
The Word of God is alive and active and doesn't change. It will change our lives as we read it, memorize it, meditate and get it into our unconscious minds.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doin’ all right? Oh I pray so. Every day before I start these broadcasts I pray that God may put His truth and His love into his heart and into his voice so that regardless of the fact that we’ve never met and may never meet physically this side of the Glory, you’ll know there’s somebody there that thinks about you and cares about you, and wants somehow to share God’s good things with you. I trust there’ll be something just specially for you today in answer to prayer.
Now we’re looking at 1 Peter 1. He said, “Being born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible by the Word of God which liveth, and abideth forever.” Our Lord Jesus spoke of the word as ‘good seed’. “The good seed is the word,” said He. God’s word planted in your heart. Now, how does that work? Well, quite simply the Word of God takes shape in your life first of all when you read it. Many people never read their Bibles. They may look at them, glance at them, look for some familiar verse.
I have many verses underlined in one of my Bibles, and in the morning hours especially I look into that well-worn Bible. And I find precious passages underlined that I just sort of chew on and, and smack my spiritual over. And that’s good. But the Bible is to be read. Dr. Walter Wilson of, of Sainted Memory used to say in his whimsical way, “Open up your King James version of the Bible, and you’ll find that it says, ‘Appointed to be read.’” (Laughs) Well of course it is.
You read it. Then second, meditate on it — that is, think about it. What is this saying to me? And why is it saying it? And what of it? And what I to do about it? Meditate on it. Third, memorize the Word of God. Every passage that you read has a special verse that you ought to fix in memory. And don’t give me that old line about you can’t remember. You know you can remember things that are important. You know your Social Security number, and you know your phone number, and you know a number of other things that you’ve memorized — no question about that. So you can memorize something if you work at it.
Long ago Jim Rayburn, the founder of the, of the ‘Young Life Crusade’ many years ago said to me — it would be in the early 1940’s. He said, “If you’ll say a verse over, with the reference, once a day for seven weeks, you’ll have the verse and it will have you.” That of course is absolutely true. I took him at his word and began that procedure with the navigator’s topical system of 108 verses arranged by
topics. And many of them of course I knew from a child. But others were, were new to me. And so I said them over with the reference. And, and before long they were fastened in my memory.
And then the fourth step is, is ‘get it back into your unconscious mind’. The old-timers used to call it subconscious, but that’s, that’s gone out of vogue now. And they call it the unconscious mind. That’s, that’s the ‘computer’ portion of your mind that occupies the space around your cerebellum or wherever it is. And you, you put the, you put the Word of God in your conscious memory by meditating upon it, and memorizing it. And then you allow the Holy Spirit of God to get it back into the ‘computer’ portion of your mind where He can bring it out when you need it.
And that is how the Word of God changes your, your entire life. It takes hold of the instinctual reactions that you have to the, to the various situations in life that you experience. The Word of God. Now he says, “It liveth and abideth forever.” It is a living document, the Bible is a living document. The writer to the Hebrews says, “The Word of God is quick,” — that’s our word ‘alive’, alive and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
This is a living document. If you dare to read it, you’ll find that it’s speaking to you. And God, through the indwelling Holy Spirit that indwells the believer, is speaking to you through His Word. It’s alive, and it’s powerful. And then he says, “It abideth forever. God’s Word doesn’t change.” Don’t, don’t treat yourself to any doubletalk about the Bible. If God didn’t mean it, He wouldn’t have said it. But He did say it, and He did mean it, and you and I better heed it. That’s the, that’s the axiomatic truth there.
“It lifeth and abideth forever.” Now Peter draws a contrast here. “All flesh,” said he, “is as grass, and all the glory of God of man like the flower of grass. The grass withereth and the flower thereof falleth away. But the Word of the Lord endureth forever, and this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached onto you.” This message of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and salvation through faith in Him is based on the eternal Word of God, and it isn’t going to change. Everything else about human nature changes.
We had a reunion back in October of last year, in Chicago, where all of the original leaders of ‘Youth for Christ’ were gathered together. Tory Johnson was our first international president, and he was there. And all the other succeeding presidents of, of ‘Youth for Christ’ were there. The old rally directors who used to appear on the platform with a bowtie, complete with flashing electrical lights and all of that you know, they were all there. But after, after nearly 50 years — well 40-some anyway — it was a, it was surprising to see how folk had changed, you know. Their wrinkles had appeared, their hair had thinned out, the, the corpus delicti was pretty thick around the middle. The hearing aid had appeared, and, and the bifocals and trifocals, so on.
Things change, oh yes. People change, oh yes. Situations change, oh yes. Localities change, oh yes. When I was a boy we lived at 18th and Euclid in Cleveland, Ohio. That was the location of the Spencerian Commercial School, of which my father was the janitor. And there was a little three room flat in the basement which was part of his compensation. And that’s where he lived — he and my sister, Mildred and I. My mother had gone to heaven, and that was the little family. But it was home sweet home, and I never knew that we were poor of disadvantaged. I didn’t have the sense to go out and, and, and parade and demonstrate against it. I had to wait to another generation to do that. But that was it.
And I used to sit in the front window of the two storey stone building that housed the classrooms of that school, facing on Euclid Avenue, and watch the cars going by. And I could tell the make and model of every one of them. That was my hobby as a 6, and 7, 8-year old boy. I, I , I knew the cars, and the make, and model of them. And then Euclid Avenue was, was paved in those days with wooden blocks covered with tar — can you imagine that? And can you imagine how slippery that would get when it rained? Well it did, I’ll tell you.
So one of my indoor sports was going up there on a rainy day and watching the cars skid around. And very secretly hoping that maybe somebody would have a, have a fender bender, and I could see the excitement. (Laughs) Today, that whole area is a parking lot. Gone is the building with its memories of childhood. And everything is different, and the, the street of course is paved with a different kind of paving material. And the street cars are gone. And the church across the street — Euclid Avenue Baptist Church, is gone. I used to go to that church. I sat on the isle and listened to Paul Rader preach, and saw Lance Latham and Merrill Dunlop playing the twin pianos, all of that. I went as a boy, to hear ‘Willie’ William Jennings Bryant speak in that church.
It’s gone now. Everything’s changed. Well, that’s the way it is, isn’t it? And you can’t do anything about it. But the Word of God is as liveth, it’s alive, it’ll speak to you if you let it. And it abideth forever. Hallulujia! No change today. And your Savior remains. Hebrews says, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” You can, you can count on Him, oh yes you can. That’s a great comfort to me you know, because I can see as, as the years go by, that things are different and, and attitudes are different, and the culture is changing, and, and, and all of that.
Well let it, let it. Rock along with it. Roll along with the tide. Change where you must but depend up on the, the everlasting Gospel, the rock-solid truth of the Word of God, inerrant, infallible, eternal Word of God, the Bible. You can depend upon it. Now that’s what Peter’s talking about. “Born again by the Word of God.” Why? Because everything around you is changing.
It’s just like the grass that withers, you know. It comes up, and the little delicate flower…. Did you ever examine the flowers on a blade of grass? So delicate. I have a book in my library that was written by a, an artist who made a, a, a lifetime career — I suppose it started as a hobby and it turned out to be a career — of painting the flowers of the grasses of the world, some of them exquisitely beautiful. Tiny, tiny, tiny little flowerlets that nobody notices. But God has put them, the, the beauty that is almost breathtaking, into them. The flower of the grass. He says it’s gone overnight. And so it is.
That’s what your life and mine is. It passes by so quickly. But God’s Word abides forever. You can, you can anchor to the Word of God, you can stand firm on the Word of God, you can risk… Listen, you can risk any situation on obedience to the Word of God, and you’ll never lose out. You can risk any decision, any situation, on obedience to the Word of God, and you’ll never lose out. Halleluiah! “The Word of the Lord endureth forever.”
Now he says, “You’re connected because you’ve received the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. You’ve received the Gospel based on the Bible.” He said, “This is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you.” How do you make God’s eternal Word become the anchor of your soul? You trust Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you hide the Word in your heart, and it does control your attitudes, your thoughts, and your reactions, and your decisions as a result. It’s a good truth, isn’t it
Now he says, “Wherefore,” — this is chapter 2, verse 1 —wherefore what is the result of getting serious about the Word of God? “Laying aside,” — there’s some things I have to deal with, my pet sins, the things that I make excuses for. Have you ever known someone who was chronically late and they always had a, a reason for it? It’s funny almost, isn’t it? You know that, that Jane or John Doe — whoever they may be — they’re going to be late. So all right, they come in, they’re 10 minutes late. And they say, “Oh, there was such a terrible traffic jam on route 80.” (Laughs). Well shucks, if it hadn’t been that it would have been something else.
You know, we have our excuses for our shortcomings and our pet sins. We have to face up to that if we’re going to get serious about the Word of God — that’s what we’re saying here. If you’re going to get serious about God’s Word, I shall have to face up to the things that I’ve been excusing in my life. What are they? Laying aside all malice. That is a feeling of anger, and envy, and, and, and ill-will toward other human beings. Lay it aside. Well, time had gone on this broadcast. I’m coming back to this the next time we get together.
Dear Father, today may the Word of God take hold in our lives so that we’ll be anchored on God’s eternal rock of truth. In Jesus name I ask it. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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