Yesterday, my husband was telling me of a spirited discussion that he and his Men's Bible Study had during their weekly meetings. They were discussing whether or not man needed the Word of God, or the Bible, to stay spiritual, or connected to God. I found this very intriguing and have been meditating on it since hearing of it. This morning as I was waking up, the Lord spoke to me in answer to the question and said, "Man shall not live by bread alone."
I looked up this verse in the Bible, Matthew 4:4. Jesus was lead into the desert by the Holy Spirit for 40 days and was tempted by the devil to turn stone into bread. Where upon, Jesus replied, "It is written: 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Jesus quoted from scripture, Deuteronomy 8:3, 'He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live by bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.'
If we live by Jesus' example, we will see that he didn't just pray to God. Anyone can cry out to the Lord. But, we cannot truly live in Him without His Word. Scripture repeatedly tells us we will never mature into someone who knows God, without His word (1 John 2:12-14). Amos the prophet tells us that a day will come, when there is famine and drought, not for food and water, but a famine for hearing the words of the Lord, Amos 8:11. The Lord can satisfy your spiritual hunger, if you "listen to me...hear me, that your soul may live", Isaiah 55:2-3.
How are we to evangelize without the word? How are we to carry out the great commission? "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20 Without the word, how are we to teach the word?
I have lived most of my life without the word, mostly in prayer, only hearing the word at church on Sundays. Only in the last year have I truly dug into the word, and as a consequence, have started to mature as a Christian. I have been a "Christian Child" most of my adult life. But am now becoming an adult (1 John 2:12-14). Without the knowledge of God, I am a captive of the world (2 Cor. 10:5) I need to be washed daily with the word, to make me holy, just as Christ did for the church (Eph. 5:25). I have grace and peace, in abundance, through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (2 Peter 1:2).
Knowledge can only come through reading the word, listening to the word, praying about the word and applying the word. We cannot hope to attain the knowledge of who God is, what God is, how we can be in relationship with God and how we can serve God without His Word. Yes, we can have a relationship with God without reading the Bible. But, to what level? We can serve God without reading the Bible, but how effective will we be? Without the word, I was just existing! His word is my manna. I cannot live on bread alone.
Let me leave you with a prayer from John 17:13-17. Jesus praying for his disciples, "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth."
Thanks to Carrie Rester and Angela Broussard for their fabulous Gulf Coast Blessings Bible study on the Love Letters of John, where some of the references in this blog came from.
Thank you Father for your Word!
Your sister in Christ,