Luke 16:31 “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”

     This was father Abraham’s final comment to the rich man who was suffering terribly in hell.  The rich man had asked father Abraham to send the beggar Lazarus who was being comforted by Abraham in heaven to warn the rich man’s brothers of their fate if they continued to live as he did.  The rich man thought that if someone came back from the dead and warned his brothers they would change.  Elsewhere, Jesus in speaking about those who demand a sign said that; “This is an evil generation. They seek a sign, and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonah the prophet. For as Jonah was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of Man be to this generation.”  (Luke 11:29)  Jonah was three days and nights inside a great whale (Jonah 1:17).  Dead and gone to the world, only to be put back upon dry land by the power of God’s word (Jonah 2:10).

     The way of the world is to speak from experience.  People want to experience signs and wonders in order to believe.  People listen to experience.  God doesn’t work that way.  God spoke the universe into being.  He answered Jonah’s desperate prayers by speaking to the fish;  “And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land” (Jonah 2:10).  When Ezekiel stood in the desolation and hopelessness of the valley of dry bones God brought life by commanding Ezekiel to speak His word to the bones;  “Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live . . . ” (Ezekiel 37: 4,5)

    The Word became flesh;  “And the Word was made 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.” (John 1:14)  Those who listened and accepted were made clean; “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3)  His Word continues to operate in us; “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.”  (Hebrews 4:12) 

     If we listen and apply His word our lives are blessed;” . . . blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” (Luke 11:28) We will come to recognise who we are and who Jesus is.   “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. ”  (James 1:23,24)  When God’s word precedes us blessings overtake our experience; “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:25)

     As a child I often watched my mother study the Bible.  She was a complex person who faced many many struggles in her life. When she overcame she did so because of God’s Word.  She once told me that if I read the Bible, the words in it would change me.    Although she was a woman of many talents she had a deep reverence for God’s Word.  She believed that God’s Word invokes His reality.  She spoke His Word into my life.  To speak God’s Word out of conviction is to speak His Will not only in our lives but into the world.  I think this is one of the major reasons why God’s Word and His Holy Bible is so suppressed by the princes of this world.

     How would our world change if we always operated under the conviction that the Word of God precedes and upholds reality?  If we spoke Jesus’ Word into our lives, into our families and into our communities change would happen!  Scripture tells us that His word upholds all things; “. . . and upholding all things by the word of his power, . . .” (Hebrews 1:3)   All too often we half listen to God’s Word and we believe what the world has to say because that message is based on our experience.  For some God’s Word has entertainment value only ; “You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it!”  (Ezekiel 33:32)

     Listen to His Word.  Speak His Word into your life and into the world!

    “For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.”

     Praise the Lord

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