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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Whose Word?

Do you have certain items that you never leave home without?  For many of us it is most likely our cell phones!  It is hard to imagine that it was only a few years ago when owning a cell phone was a luxury meant for the rich and famous!  For years I have also carried a small Leatherman mini pocket multi-tool with me.  It has almost become like a third hand as I engage it for all kinds of usages. 
A year or so ago I upgraded to a slightly bigger tool that includes a small pair of pliers besides the usual array of screwdrivers, a knife, scissors and a two sided file – all stuffed in a tool that is barely two inches long!  The only down side to this new tool is that it is a bit heavier than the last one I carried for around ten years.  On the upside, with the extra weight, I can tell if it is in my pocket or not as soon as I get dressed each day!
Another item of importance that I bring with me wherever I go is the Word that I have hidden in my heart!  I never leave home without it!  The great Pentecostal evangelist Smith Wigglesworth was known to always carry a small New Testament with him.  It is told that he would bet people that they would never find him to be without his mini Testament…  and he never lost the bet!  If you’re like me you probably have a YouVersion Bible App downloaded to your smart phone. (If not, it is available for free online at the iTunes store)  This is a great convenience, but rest assured, I rely a lot more on the Word in my heart than on my phone when it comes to sharing it with others.  I have found it to be more real and meaningful to others when you simply share it from your heart in conversation as part of your expression of what’s important to you.
As we have been talking about all week, the important thing is that we are speaking His Word and depending on the power and authority that is behind His Word and are not depending on our own thoughts or understanding. 
While reading from the end of Mark this morning I went on a rabbit trail that eventually led me to the Acts of the Apostles.  Once there I discovered the secret to Peter and Paul’s success in their ministry.  Acts 2:14 informs us that “Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice and said unto them… ‘be this known unto you, and hearken to my words.”  Then over in chapter twenty six we find Paul telling the Roman King Festus that “I speak forth words of truth and soberness.”  (KJV)  In both of these scriptures the word used to describe that from which they were speaking was the Greek word “rhema.”
Bill Gothard the founder of the well-known Institute in Basic Life Principles describes a “rhema” word as “a verse or portion of scripture that the Holy Spirit brings to a person’s attention with application to a current situation or need for direction.”  (http://billgothard.com/teaching/rhemas)  In other words, Peter and Paul spoke the Word of God that was in their heart that had special significance in their lives to those they ministered to.  It wasn’t just a mechanical reading of words printed on a page (or scroll in their case…), but it was the Word of God that He had ministered to them in such a way that it changed them and they just had to share it with someone else!
If you read the full story around each of these scriptures you’ll also discover that the people listening the two Apostles were not (at least not at first) quite receptive to what they said.  But that didn’t stop them did it?  And you know what… it shouldn’t stop us either!  When people close to us looked at us like we were crazy (and in some respects still do…) when we spoke of the things that we felt the Lord was directing us to do through the truth of His Word, we stood our ground and continued to pursue and speak out His will for our lives.  And that perseverance has paid off with dividends!  We have been blessed, things continue to fall into place and our joy and confidence in the Lord has increased multi-fold!
So what do you think?  Whose word will you listen to, follow and then testify of?  Someone who thinks they know what’s best for you or Papa God who knows and loves you with a level of intimacy that cannot be measured?  Okay, okay… I know… that’s a pretty easy one to answer!  So… go out and do it!  Have a great day.  Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What Word am I expecting to do and see His results in today?

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