By Vance Drum

Happy New Year!  May yours be blessed!

 Sunday was Bible Sunday at Sunset, with the pastor bringing a message, “Grass and Flowers and the Amazing Word of God,” from Isaiah 40:6-8:  “The word of our God stands forever.”

 We believe that God’s word the Holy Bible is our supernaturally-inspired authority for our daily faith and practice.

Paul the apostle in 2 Timothy 3:16 wrote that “All Scripture is inspired by God [God-breathed] and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness….”

 In 2018 let us all do some intentional praying, thinking and planning about how we as Christian individuals and churches can be a brighter light for Jesus in our Grapeland and Houston County community.  

How can this work? Any brighter light that we become will begin with having a stronger and more vital relationship with our Savior, Redeemer and Friend Jesus.

Christianity is not so much about religion as it is about relationship with our Creator and Redeemer.  And any relationship develops by communicating — by talking and listening. 

 If you’re married, and you seldom communicate with your spouse, your marriage is weak.

 In a similar way, if you’re a Christian, but you seldom communicate with your heavenly Father, your Christian walk is weak and, perhaps, nonexistent. 

 How do we communicate with our Father? Through talking with God in prayer, and listening to him in his word.  If I’m not much doing that as a believer, I am a baby Christian, immature, subject to falling for the devil’s schemes, not experienced in the word, and not able to help others very much. 

Here’s God’s direction for 2018: 

Colossians 3:16:  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly”; and 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” 

In 2018 let us base all that we do to be a brighter light on ramping up our prayer life and life in God’s word.

Why is the word of God so amazing? 

The pastor made three points: 

(a) The word of God is enduring.  Vss6-8:  “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field….  The grass withers and the flowers fall.”  All of us, after age 70 or 80, are living on borrowed time (“The length of our days is 70 years — or 80, if we have the strength,” Psalm 90:10). 

All living things will die, except God himself and his word:  v8, “But the word of our God stands forever.” 

Antichrists have burned the Bible, but it remains.  Generations and nations have ignored it, to their peril —but it  endures.  Today, after 3,500 years, the Bible is still the world’s best seller. 

(b) The word of God is powerful.  Hebrews 4:12:  “For the word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

The word of God can change your life, and your life will not much be changed without it.  Here’s how it works:  The word comes into your mind in various ways. 

You read it; you hear it taught or proclaimed by someone in a Scripture message or Bible study; a Scripture comes to you by email, card, devotional or other.  The Holy Spirit uses the word to change our thoughts, attitudes and actions.  It works.

(c) The word of God gives us hope.  Ps 119:49:  “Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.”

The promises of God are always yes, they never fail, always give hope, and you can stand on them.  In 1985 I went to work as a chaplain in “America’s Toughest Prison” (as Newsweek described Houston County’s Eastham Prison).  Jesus said, “I will be with you, and never forsake you.”  He was, and He guided my every step, transforming that house of pain into a house of prayer.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth… for the old order of things has passed away.”  [Revelation 21:1-4] 

May the Lord give you new vision for a renewed relationship with God in your life in the new year — our prayer for you from your friends at Sunset Christian Church.