To the Word

Reflections on the call to live by the Word of God

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Location: Mud Creek, Tennessee, United States

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Meditations on the "Minor" Prophets

Each Sunday evening this summer our congregation will be studying one of the twelve books of the "minor" prophets at the end of the Old Testament. I'll admit that coming into this series I knew less about these books than about any other section of the Bible. Yet like every other part of the Bible their pages are "breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17, ESV). Need I add that the woman, girl, and boy of God is equipped in the same way?

While attending Harding Graduate School I read many pages about the Bible and how to interpret it. Students there read books on preaching, evangelism, missions, church growth, counseling, church history, along with thousands of pages on the Bible. Right now my head is still spinning from all that reading. People have asked me if I plan to study for a doctorate, and I tell them I've promised Carolyn I'll take at least one year off to give her a rest and to begin putting what I've learned into practice. I've also committed to something else over the next year: I intend to read not so much about the Bible but more of the Bible.

I hope all of us will be committed to daily reading and studying of God's Word. May those of us who may have lapsed in our studies commit renewed attention to the Scriptures. And may those us who have been faithful for years in daily Bible study find new depths of riches that are always new to those approaching God's living Word with faithful hearts. That Word will change us if we allow God to use it for our transformation.

Ultimately, the strength of our congregation depends on our relationship to the God revealed in Scripture. Spiritual maturity, evangelism, church growth, and congregational unity depend less on technique than on an unflinching commitment to the Word of God. For as God has told us, "my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and will prosper in what I send it to do" (Isaiah 55:11, HCSB).

Copyright 2004, New York Avenue Church of Christ


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