Fast Devotional #13 – Revived by the Word

By Matt Destry – Communications Pastor

Scripture

Nehemiah 8:5-6

Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, all the people stood up. Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

Insight

This has been a video that has been circulating around the Web for the last few weeks, showing Chinese Christians receiving and opening Bibles for the very first time. In this short but moving clip, we see the reverence and awe and gratitude showed by believers who previously may have ever only had access to a couple of pages of God’s Word.

Passion for, and obedience to, the word of God as recorded in Scripture has always been the cornerstone of revival and renewal. God uses His word to renovate the soul and transform the mind, to ‘cut to the heart’ of men and women in order to see His Spirit have full sway in our lives. The Word of God (in Jesus) was what created the world (John 1) and continues to sustain the world as well (Hebrews 1)! How much more would the word create new life in us and sustain us in our lives if we had a passion to take it in? Because of our familiarity, we run the risk of being blasé toward the thing that should be integral to us.

In the Nehemiah story, upon the completion of the wall the ancient Book of the Law was found, and reinstated into the worship life of Israel. Ezra the priest stood amongst the people and would read aloud the word of God as contained in the law. The response of the people is nothing short of startling. More than food, more than water, the people were starving for God’s instruction and encouragement! Today, we have unprecedented access to God’s instruction, comfort and encouragement in Scripture. Allow God to speak to you in His word, and by the grace given you by the Spirit, seek to obey that word and turn truth into action.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, Your words are Spirit and they are life. You set us free by the truth you bring us by your word. Forgive me for the times when I have treated your word with contempt, and give me purchase to live the truth that “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) In Your name, Amen.