The Sword

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

This year our church is going through the book of Luke.  I am quite excited because this is the book that I read when I was first seeking God at the age of 25.  This Sunday we were going through Luke 3:1-20.  In these passages we see John's ministry of baptism and repentance.  He wasn't afraid of calling out people on their sin.  John used words like "Brood of Vipers!" and even called out the leaders of Israel on their sin.  Just ask Herod the tetrarch.  The CSB translation says that he was rebuked of "all the evil things he had done." (Luke 3:19).  

Now you may think that this post is about repentance and all that John had to teach us.  It is and it isn't.  John calling out sin was hard.  He paid a great price for it.  He was eventually imprisoned and then killed over it.  You see calling out sin is hard.  It is never easy.  Have you ever called a friend out for something they have done or are doing?  Were there ramifications?  I highly doubt that they immediately thanked you and went and repented.  I know I haven't.  I usually get mad.  Leave in a huff and then have to reflect on what happened and come to repentance.  This may not be a wholly healthy way to deal with things.  I had a friend who did this and I had to go to her a few days later and apologize.  I have to admit, as well, that I haven't always apologized.  

To call out sin, one has to be knowledgeable in the Word.  You can't call out sin or disobedience in God if you have no idea what He said in the first place.  God's Word is the sword that cuts and burns and separates right from wrong.  In Ephesians 6:17b the Word of God is represented by the sword of the Spirit.  

I know there have been many times I have been burned or bruised by what I have read in my daily devotions or through a study.  All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2Tim3:16-17CSB).  Did you see that,  ALL scripture is...for teaching, rebuking, for correcting, for training.... John knew that.  He would have been raised as most young Jewish boys would have been raised.  His father, Zechariah, was a priest in the Temple.  John would have been taught Old Testament scripture and law.  He would have memorized the great books.  He would have sat at the feet of great teachers who would have taught him to think and wrestle with ideas.  John didn't come out of no where not knowing.  He knew.  He had been taught.  He had the sword of scripture.

We all have that sword.  We all have been given a great blessing.  We can choose to read it and just enjoy it for the great adventure story it contains.  The problem is that once you read it you will be changed.  I was.  I did not grow up in a Christian home.  In fact, many of my family members view the Bible as a great fairy tale.  It isn't.  It is story of a God who loves His people so much that He sacrificed His Son so that we could be reconciled with Him.  The sword isn't about you or me.  The sword is about Him.  It is how He cuts and burns and reveals beauty that He alone has planted and cultivated.  That is why it is so important.  The Bible isn't just a fashion accessory to be brought out when it looks good.  It is a living and breathing entity that has power to change lives.  It has the power to bring resurrection in a people who are lost and stiff necked.  

I know there have been times that I have run from the Word.  I know it has really been me running from God and not wanting to learn or know what I have been doing is wrong.  I try to justify things but then I pick up my Sword and am immediately rebuked.  I feel the sting but I also feel the grace and forgiveness that is contained in it's pages.  

In a world where we carry a microcomputer with us at all times, we have no excuse not to have our swords with us.  They can look like big books or flat screens, but it is all the Word of God.  Pick up your sword and start that journey of repentance and healing.  It will hurt but it will be a beautiful journey.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Theme by: Pish and Posh Designs