Getting a hold on the Word of God

John Hatcher's picture

Many years ago founding pastor Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, Calif. accepted my invitation to speak at our Christian school. Before chapel time, he and I had opportunity to exchange war stories. But in those few moments he shared with me a truck-load full of church wisdom in response to my question as to their phenomenal success.

In an unassuming way, Chuck said “Somewhere in the Bible it says that God honors his word above his name and so we just keep on teaching and lifting up the Word of God.” Wow, I thought. It was not until a few years later that I actually sought to find that “somewhere” in the Bible that gives Calvary Chapels (that have multiplied from coast to coast, even one located in McDonough) their priority push toward Bible learning and application.

You can find it in Psalms 138:10, “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving-kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (KJV).

I am sure you will agree with me that the name of God is big. Even as I typed this column, the Microsoft editor attempted to change “all thy name” to “thy entire name.” The Hebrew writers of old refused to write down the name of God, often leaving a blank space in the text because the name was so holy and exalted, be it far from them to write it out.

The Apostle Paul even says that one day every knee will bow at the name of Jesus Christ. Imagine that scene for just a moment. Every despot, every rapist, every Edi Amin, every Bush, Clinton, every Republican and every member of the Hamas Party will bow at the name of Jesus.

That’s a pretty powerful name: Jesus.

But. And you know what a “but” is. It’s a conjunction that signifies a change in thought. But that is something more powerful, more powerful than a locomotive, more than a speeding bullet. And it is the Word of God. The Word of God is that material between those two small cuts of genuine cowhide leather. It’s those words that have been translated into more languages than any other book. In fact its title simply translated into the English language means “book.” It’s the book of books.

So, I’ve come to a conclusion yea in my 33rd year of ministry and that is: it’s all about the Book and its hero. As a good minister, if I can just help people to get a hold of God’s Word, I will have helped people become bold with strength from the Lord.

And that’s my plan for the rest of the journey.

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