March 26 I Monday
“For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” —MatThew 5:18
As God’s Word, the Bible is as reliable and authoritative as God Himself. This is why Jesus turned to Scripture when taunted by Satan in the wilderness. On the 40th day without food and drink, Jesus was at His most vulnerable when the devil tried to tempt Him with food, fame and position, but Jesus responded by quoting Scripture and obeying it. He recognized the authority of Scripture and meditating on it gave Him the strength and discipline to resist the devil’s traps.
Some Christians think parts of Scripture, particularly the Law, became irrelevant after the cross, but Jesus declares the opposite: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). As revealed in God’s Word, Jesus is Himself, by His indwelling Spirit, our sole means of fulfilling the Law. The Bible is not just another historical or religious text to add to our bookshelves, but holds authority over humankind and is God Himself speaking directly to us.
Hebrews 4:12 states, “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.” Such is the authority of Scripture! It stops men and women in their tracks, convicting them of sin and impressing upon them their need to change their attitudes and behaviours. How we respond to Scripture’s convictions is ultimately up to us, but as our attitude toward ourselves begins to change in the light of Christ, so will our willingness to submit to the authority of Scripture.
Billy Sunday, the early twentieth-century MLB player turned evangelist, once said, “The backslider likes the preaching that wouldn’t hit the side of a house, while the real disciple is delighted when the truth brings him to his knees.” The backsliders are fair-weather Christians who treat the Bible as little more than a long, complex blend of stories, rules and advice. It fails to draw them any closer to God because it is usually crammed on bookshelves, gathering dust.
Billy’s “real disciples” are the Christians who revere God’s Word. They approach Bible reading and preaching with a mixture of anticipation, nervousness, excitement and a slightly heavy heart, knowing they are about to experience the weight of God’s authority. There is no need to be intimidated. The more we read and meditate on God’s Word, the more we actually look forward to being brought to our knees, not only in repentance but with genuine hunger for the righteousness of Christ to be made alive, active and real in us and through us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow in me an amazement towards Scripture. Inspire me by its wisdom, convict me by its truth and help me submit to its authority, while drawing me closer to You. In Your Holy name, thank You, Lord.