Great Plains Daily Devotional for 2/28/2021

Today please be in prayer for

Jenny Collins
District Superintendent
Flint Hills District
Topeka District
Angel Jordan
Administrative Assistant
Flint Hills District
Topeka District
Kurt Cooper
Emporia State Campus Ministry
Flint Hills District
Amy Lou Bowers
Home Care and Hospice
Flint Hills District

Today's Lectionary Text

Hebrews 4:12 

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.

Today's Devotional

This was the first verse that I memorized in the fall semester, and it was powerful for repetition in prayer and for preparing my heart before beginning my quiet time each day. Remembering that God and His word is alive and true is critical for reliance and trust in God and for coming to know him more fully. Let’s look at two convicting aspects of this verse:
  1. God’s word is alive.
The true and living God has progressively revealed more of Himself to humanity throughout history. It is a special blessing that we have access to His complete word, and there has never been deeper theological analysis into scripture ever before. There is—in all likelihood—not a question that you can come up with that has not been asked before. 

God speaks to His followers through scripture, and we can trust that the completely perfect God of the bible never changes and His word remains true. This is reflected in many instances throughout scripture. For example, God puts His words in the mouth of Jeremiah (Jer. 1:9) and says Jeremiah can trust that God is watching over His word to perform it (v. 12). Additionally, in Psalm 119:160 the psalmist writes, “All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal” (NIV), and in Timothy, Paul writes all of scripture is “God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16).

The living and active word is reliable to reveal the mysteries of God, and we have confidence that it will remain forever (Isa. 40:8). 

         2. It is piercing and exposes the darkness within us. 

Using the imagery of a sword, the author writes that the word of God pierces into our souls with absolute pin-point accuracy. It cuts deep into the heart to reveal our “thoughts and intentions,” and thereby exposing and convicting us of our sin—the ways we rebel against God both intentionally and unintentionally. 

The word of God reveals uncomfortable truths. It reveals truth that is difficult to reckon with: truth that is offensive and calls humanity to change their hearts and minds to conform to God’s design for living as His image-bearers. Exposing the depravity within us is of the most loving things the God of the universe has done. Tim Keller sums up the gospel as this:

“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” 

The word of God calls us to recognize our brokenness; yet, it also calls us to recognize God’s radical, incomprehensible love for us. Jesus loved us even unto His death, sacrificing His life to save us from eternal separation from God by paying for our sin. 

Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
-Jack Jewett
Emporia State Faithlab

Prayer for Reflection

I pray that your gospel message will pierce deeper into me. Change my heart to love you more than I ever have before, and change my heart to trust you completely.

Convict me of the ways I act disobediently and sinfully, but also let your radical love for me be the foundation of my faith. Let me deeply know that there is no shame or disappointment in your eyes through Jesus’s sacrifice. 

I want to know you more. I want to trust your word. I want to rely on you more. I want my heart to conform to your purposes for me.

Amen.

 

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