A Devotion for 26 February 2021 Anno Domini (in the Year of our Lord), the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men . . . . 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 1:1-4, 14 (KJV)
The WORD of God – a subject barely able to breach in human terms for its majesty and reverence – is best summarized in these few introductory verses of the Gospel of St. John. Not only does the Apostle John best summarizes the Word of god in these five verses, but the Mind of God as well as expressed in the Holy Bible. More than the description of a masterpiece of art that the observer can only express in terms of clumsy language, the Word of God is beyond our feeble vocabulary to even nearly approach human expression. This devotion can only touch on the more brilliantly illumined surfaces of that WORD of which the Bible paints a picture in terms intended to be conveyed to mortal ears.
When we take the Holy Bible into hand, do we fully know what treasure we hold. The very words – EVERY Word – is Holy, for it is part and parcel of the personification of our Lord Jesus Christ for He is the WORD INCARNATE. The LORD Jesus Christ has existed from time immemorable, in fact, from the unbounded limits of Eternity Past as the central Person of the Triune Godhead. He conceived of all Creation before He spoke the Words of institution. He saw the world fully inhabited and furnished with life long before His Holy Spirit “moved upon the face of the Deep.” He knew YOU as well before the world was made and concurred in the Council of Heaven to come, in the fullness of time, as our Redeemer, Savior, and Lord. One who suffered the loss of all property, loved ones, and personal health, ere all was restored at the last, was given the grace to know that Mighty Redeemer perhaps more than four thousand years ago: “23 Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! 24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! 25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” Job 19:23-27 (KJV) Of course, Job knew that his Redeemer lived during his own time in His pre-Incarnate Person.
In the entry foyer of our Church of St. Andrews, there is a large pencil drawing measuring 4ft X 6ft entitled “The WORD.” It is a full-bodied representation of Christ in charcoals of light grey and darker greys. From a short distance, it appears to be of line drawings; however, when one gets very close to examine the drawing, he will find that it is the complete Book of the Gospel of John written in lighter and darker letters of grey. While it is true that the Book of John is a manifestation, in letters, of the Word of God in Christ, it is also true that every letter of the Bible itself is a full revelation of the Word Incarnate. The drawing is the artful work of Elder Kwak of Korea. It took two years to complete. The drawing is priceless – not owing to its obscure artist, but the object of the art (the Lord Jesus Christ).
There is no book equal in antiquity to the Holy Bible that preserves and presents the Word of God in more languages and to more people. It not only has changed lives but nations and cultures. It has inspired scientists, poets, and leaders of all stripes. Perhaps the greatest Premier of Great Britain was William E. Gladstone. Read the words of praise and commendation for the Bible:
“If asked what is the remedy for the deeper sorrows of the human heart, what a man should chiefly look to in his progress as the power that is to sustain him under trials and enable him to confront his inevitable afflictions, I must point him to something which in a well-known hymn is called, ‘The old, old story,’ told in an old, old Book, which is the greatest and best gift ever given to mankind – the Holy Bible.”
There are many examples of the Word given in Scripture:
- LIGHT: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105 (KJV) Jesus, being the Light of the World, is that Word that gives Light and Direction to His people. Light is a constant – the only absolute known to physical science. Christ is our Bright and Morning Star of hope and promise during the hours of worldly darkness, and our Day Star and Sun of Righteousness to arise with Healing in His wings at the break of eternal day.
- A FISHER’S NET: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. “ Matt 13:47-50 (KJV) God’s Word draws like a magnet. The Church is founded on Christ as the WORD. Like the Fisher’s Net, it is cast at seeming random but draws those whom the Lord would choose to adopt into His kingdom. All sorts and kinds of fish are caught in the Fisher’s Net. God choses those with whom He is pleased to keep, and casts out the bad.
- GOLD: Gold is a rare metal of enduring properties. Pure gold is unchanging in character and appearance. Like the Word of God, it must be mined from the natural veins in which it has formed. “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalms 19:7-10 (KJV)
- MILK: Tragically, there are infants who are deprived of milk at birth due to poverty of resources. Their little bodies develop with health deformities owing to the malnourishment that can seldom be remedied. God’s Word is like that milk which the baby needs from birth. It provides an early spiritual nourishment of the soul which strengthens character and faith. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” 1 Peter 2:2 (KJV) Having the latent fingerprints stamped on its heart, the young infant has a heart receptive to the teachings of the Word. Seldom will one find a four-year-old that will respond in the negative if asked if he believes in God. Train up a child on the word and he will abide in it when old.
- HONEY: “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” Psalms 119:103-104 (KJV) A devoted study of God’s Word leads one to think with that same Mind that is in Christ Jesus. We learn to hate every falsity and evil way.
- FIRE: A tiny faith derived from the Word can build into an all-consuming fire just as a tiny beam of light projected by the sun through a tiny dew-drop can burn down thousands of acres of forest. “For our God is a consuming fire.” Heb 12:29 (KJV) “But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” Jer 20:9 (KJV) and “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Jer 23:29 (KJV) Indeed, it is that intense FIRE that shall bring the present world to an end with all its false facades and wicked works.
- These are other comparisons but, by all means not all: Hammer (Jer 23:29); Sword (Eph 6:17 & Heb 4:12); LEAVEN (Matt 13:33); and SEED (Luke 8:11) See if you can find many more such comparisons. It might even be fun in addition to edifying.