Summary of the Sermon by Pastor Gilbert Khoo, at Bethany International Service, on Sunday, 10 June 2018.
Transformation Power of the Word of God
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12, ESV)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV)
In Hebrews 4:16, the word “sword” here in Greek μάχαιρα (machaira) means a small sword or dagger. A dagger or knife in the wrong hands is dangerous but when in the hands of a skilled surgeon it can save lives. When we read the Word of God, it works in our lives. God is like the surgeon who operates on us to remove all the “tumors” of life. The Word of God can transform us and equip us to serve His purpose.
For us as believers, the Bible is the infallible source of truth. There is a difference between fact and truth. Facts can change over time but truth does not change. Example of a fact - about 200 years ago, man could not fly, but today, we can fly. Example of a truth - the law of gravity worked more than 200 years ago and it still works today. The fact is that we may be in pain but the truth is, God can heal us. The fact is that we may be in a difficult situation but the truth is, we are more than conquerors in Christ.
In Isaiah 55:11, “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” God’s plan is to bless us but we need to obey His Word. God’s plan will prevail in our lives as we stay committed and abide in His Word.
The Word of God (Bible) is like a letter from a father to his son. The Bible is written to guide, direct and encourage us in our life. The more we read His Word, the more God can mold us to be like Christ each day. The Bible helps to remind us of God’s promises.
When we fail to read the Bible, we find that we are easily battered by the storms of life, often experiencing spiritual dryness and very likely to make wrong decisions. Each time we read the Word of God, we are directed to God and are reminded of His promises and His guidance for us. The Bible tells us that if we read the Bible we will be like the person in Psalms 1:2-3, “but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
In the Bible, we can see many people who were transformed by God. Gideon, from being the weakest of his tribe and family, rose to become a valiant warrior. Saul, who later became Apostle Paul, was transformed by God. Famous boxer and politician, Manny Pacquiao’s life was transformed when he started reading the Bible. Many lives are transformed through the encounter of reading the Word of God.
There are 3Ms (practical actions) that we could do to experience the transformation power of the Word of God.
1. Make Time to Read the Word of God (write notes)
Choose the best time when you can concentrate. Read the Bible after you have had your coffee and morning exercise. Start reading for 15 minutes and increase this over time. The more time you give to the Word of God, the more God can mold you. Write notes as you study the Bible. Write down what God speaks to you.
2. Meditate on the Word of God (weekly)
Start meditating on one verse a week and increase this over time. Let the Holy Spirit guide you as you read and meditate on the Word. As you meditate, God will remind you of the Word when you need it. This is called the spoken Word of God.
3. Make it a Habit (daily)
Just like brushing your teeth, make reading and meditating on the Word a daily routine. Experts say that if you continue doing a certain activity for six consecutive weeks, it is very likely to become a habit. As you continue reading the Bible for 40 days, you will find the momentum to make it a habit. As the saying goes,
Sow a thought, reap an action
Sow an action, reap a habit,
Sow a habit, reap a character,
Sow a character reap a destiny