As I have been working on writing a book of devotionals, I have looked for verses of Scripture which has a particular application to the soul and spirit. I first milk out the spiritual benefit for me personally, then I consider the edification for the reader.
At one point a certain statement leaped out at me. The Word of God has a lot of impact, and, in this incident, a specific reference to the Word of God offered an uncanny insight to the Word of God.
When Jesus ministered in the city of Capernaum, Luke 4:32 records, “And they were astonished at His doctrine, for His word was with power.”
It must have been an awesome experience to hear the Lord speak. His oratory skills must have been captivating. He was certainly unencumbered with pages of written notes. He certainly contacted the eyes of individuals in the crowds, not being distracted from them by having to look at some sort of teleprompter for the next sentence.
I can image Him as being poised and articulate. His countenance must surely have appealed to the common person hungering for a word from God because of His innate divine and holy characteristics.
But, what He said, what He taught, what He instructed as the living manifestation of the Word—-it incredibly had an effect on every person in one way or the other. As Luke recorded it, “His word was with power.”
His word is certainly an astonishing power in ways that are needed by each of us on a daily basis. The attitudes of our hearts vary from day to day. Our moods change. Sometimes we are surprised with a different set of circumstances from the previous day. Times are that the power of His Word reveals a sort of specialness to us in that given moment
But, specifically, how is it that the Word of the Lord becomes applicable to us with power? Consider the following possibilities.
First, it is evident that His Word has the power to bless. This is a significant power. The blessing of His Word has the power to soothe the soul when it rages with emotion. When anger bubbles in the heart, the blessing of His Word says, “Just be still now. God will work things out in due course.” When impatience consumes the mind, the blessing of His Word says to us, “Listen, the Lord is in control. Wait on the Lord.” What the power of the blessing of the Word does is that it swells the soul with satisfaction to prosper us in the spiritual principles most practical for the moment. You cannot beat that with a stick!
Hand in glove with the power to bless is the power to inspire. When there is inspiration in the heart, tasks for the day tackled with dedication as unto the Lord and completed with joy as unto the Lord (we should remember that we should do all things within that context). Many people are looking for a source of inspiration to get them through life. But, nothing inspires like the Word of Christ. “In this life you will have tribulation. But, be of good cheer. I have overcome” is an example of a word of inspiration.
His Word has power to give hope. Take away hope from a person, and they will falter. Give hope to a person, and they will revive. The Word of the Lord gives us every reason to live, knowing that He is in control of the day, that He already knows about the tomorrow, and that the extended future He has prepared for us is far better than we can imagine.
“For His Word was with power” means that we can have an astonishing experience with God everyday.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.