The Word of God is living and active. It pries, prods, kicks and squirms;twists, shoves, rips and tears its way into every crook and cranny of the minds and hearts of men until all is “open and laid bare”. Then – redemption.
The Apostle Paul sums up Dad’s message in the most compelling statement:
12″For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And before Him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” ~ Hebrews 4:12-13 (Dad’s NT Bible)
Paul points out that God’s works were finished from the foundation of the world. Then He rested on the seventh day (Sabbath). God intended for man to enter into that rest with Him, but man rebelled (Heb. 4:1-5). Without accepting God’s plan of redemption through faith in Jesus , man may never enter God’s rest. Without acknowledging his sin, and accepting Jesus as Messiah, man is eternally barred from entering into an everlasting relationship with his Creator.
BUT GOD! In His infinite mercy and grace, God provided His living Word as a testament to His abiding love for all men. He made a plan for redemption. His Son fulfilled the Father’s plan on the cross. Christ defeated death, and God gave His Living Word to proclaim the Good News to let men know about it.
again He sets a certain day, “Today”, saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, when you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” ~ Hebrews 4:7 (Dad’s NT Bible)
I thank and praise God for laying my sins bare. His living Word pursued me like a Lion. It found my hidden parts; then pierced my mind and heart, dividing me asunder. I give Him glory everlasting and thank Him for allowing me to strive for rest in Him. When I get discouraged it’s usually because I have spent too much time caught up in the “cares of this world” with less time in God’s Word. Those distractions cause me to be fruitless, while choking God’s Word (Mark 4:18-19).
So here is the last part of the message of encouragement that Dad marked at the bottom of page 381:
Relate: The miracle isn’t complete until the change takes place. Before talking about Bartimaeus I want to talk about another miracle Jesus performed. He came upon ten lepers who asked Him for healing. Jesus told those men to go to the priest and perform the ceremony (mentioned here) for those who have been cleansed from infectious skin diseases. Now Luke is very clear to let us know that those lepers were cleansed and healed. After this healing, only one of those ten men came back to Jesus to thank Him. When this former leper met Jesus, the Master said to him, “Rise and go. Your faith has made you well.”
“22But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror: 24for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing.” ~ James 1:22-25 (Dad’s NT Bible)
What does a “doer of the Word” look like? A good picture could be found in Matthew chapter 11. John the Baptist was imprisoned by King Herod and sent two of his disciples to Jesus:
3to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” 4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” ~ Matthew 11:3-6 (NIV)
So, do what Jesus did. He lived the Father’s plan for His life on earth. He didn’t just read the redemption plan up in heaven and never came to earth to fulfill it. Believers are to live out God’s plan for them in the same way; not just read about it in His Word.
A hearer of the Word remembers to look at himself in the mirror every morning but forgets the Word as soon as he leaves the house. A “doer of the Word” forgets to look in the mirror in the morning but remembers the Word as soon as he leaves the house – and does it.
What does it take to be a “doer that acts”? Faith that is genuine. Even though Dad may have become discouraged in his walk with Christ, his faith was genuine. He has been gone for almost 40 years but neighbors still mention him not as just a “good guy”, but as a man who lived for God. Some still don’t believe in Jesus, but they respect Dad for showing that he did.
The great news is that a doer of the Word shall be blessed in his doing!
6 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy ,9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” ~ 1 Peter 1:6-10 (NIV)
Encouragement – “see pg 381” is the last notations from Dad in his NT Bible and contains the most important message that he personally left in my keepsake from him on encouragement.
9 All the nations gather together and the peoples assemble. Which of their gods foretold this and proclaimed to us the former things? Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right, so that others may hear and say, “It is true.” 10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. 11 I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from Me there is no Savior. ~ Isaiah 43:9-11 (NIV)