We have two special guests for this week’s Monday Minute who are sharing about how God’s Word is Living and Active, just like PT.
God’s Word: Living and Active
By Margaret Franklin and Rose McConnell
Honesty is always the best place to begin.
So, today let’s begin with an honest admission concerning exercise, or PT as we call it in the military.
It is not something I, well…honestly, we, relish or look forward to with great anticipation. It is something we do because, quite frankly, we need to do it and it is good for us. We often consider it a relief not to have to get up each morning at “0dark:30” for PT.
Closing that ring on the watch or reaching a daily goal is a box that can be checked. In the spirit of complete honesty, however, sometimes what is “counted” as exercise could really be a stretch as the output does not really lead to what would be the intended purpose. The attempt is halfhearted and made only in order to check the box. Our husbands (and many dear friends), on the other hand, approach that box-check with an entirely different mindset and purposefulness. For those in the military, PT is not only mandatory but it is a purposeful part of their training.
The time invested in exercise is not about exercise.
The time invested is about making a difference in their health. It is about being fit for service. About life. It is purposeful. In watching the determination, commitment, and the outcomes, we are challenged. We are convicted. We face a choice: Do we exercise for the sake of exercising? Or, do we exercise to bring about the life-giving changes it brings?
As we look at the effectiveness of physical exercise, we also see the effectiveness of spiritual exercise.
In 1 Timothy 4:8 we read that “physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” We face the same choice when approaching God’s Word. Are we reading the Bible just for the sake of reading the Bible? Are we doing it simply to “check the daily block”? If so, we are missing the purpose. We are missing the power. Scripture is not just words written to make us feel better. It trains us in godliness which benefits us now and in eternity. Scripture is purposeful… alive… active. God’s Word is intended to change us.
“For the word of God is alive 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 Greek word translated as alive, also means causing to live, in an ongoing action. You can think of it this way: God’s word is not only alive itself; it gives us life. It is the thing that transforms us as we put what we have learned into action through belief and obedience.
The Greek word translated as active, according to the Word Study New Testament, seems “to have been used almost exclusively as medical terms referring to medical treatment and the influence of medicine.”
This makes us look at the penetrating and dividing aspects of the Word of God almost as a healing scalpel, getting into those places we try to hide from God, exposing our unbelief and disobedience so that we can be changed and healed in our lives. The context of this verse speaks about belief and obedience leading to the rest of God. The Word of God transforms us with its healing power. Obedience to His Word brings rest.
When we open our lives to God’s Word, we open our lives to transformation by the Word as well.
How do we do that? How do we move away from “Bible study for the sake of Bible study” and begin to study God’s Word for its life-giving purpose?
- Be Intentional… just as when we exercise, we must be intentional in setting aside time and making a plan. We must allow the time for his Word to be active and do the work we need.
- Be Equipped… when exercising the right equipment helps. The same is true when looking at Scripture. There are study tools readily available to help and challenge you as you jump into the Word. (See some suggested resources below.) A good start is an excellent study Bible.
- Challenge yourself… don’t settle for the easy or the status quo. It is comfortable to go to the same passages, books of the Bible, or devotionals. Dig deep and trust that all Scripture is purposeful, living and active.
- Let it change you… exercise changes our body inside and out. God’s Word does the same when we not only read it but allow it to change us and mold us. Have the courage to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the “so what” and then walk in obedience.
Read: Isaiah 55 (especially verses 6-11)
Reflect: Think about how God’s thoughts and his Word, are different from our words and our thoughts as illustrated in this passage. We are to come to him, listen to him, and seek him.
Respond: Am I allowing the life-giving and medicinal Word of God to transform me and quench my thirst? What action do I need to take to make it more effective in my life?
Thank you, God, for giving us your Word. Thank you that it is effective and alive. And thank you that it is life-giving, that it will accomplish what you send it to do. Forgive me for not valuing your Word as I should. Forgive me for not seeking you in your Word more earnestly. Thank you for continuing to send out your truth, may it transform me today. Amen.
The Complete Word Study New Testament, edited by Spiros Zodhiates
How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Fee & Stuart
Read Scripture App
Women of the Word by Jen Wilkins
Online Study Tools: Bible Gateway, The Bible Project, Blue Letter Bible, Bible Study Tool
Check out the Planting Roots Bible Studies written specifically for military women by military women to make God’s Word living and active in your life.