Man Shall Live by Every Word of God
Man Shall Live by Every Word of God
During my third year of seminary, a young man from South India arrived on campus. This was his first experience living outside of India. We soon became fast friends as I sought to explain the traditions and customs of Americans.
P. Immanuel was frequently asked to give his testimony at churches and youth groups in the area. I often accompanied him and was blessed to hear him begin by describing himself as one of the four lepers in 2 Kings 7.
Jerusalem was under siege to Syria and in a state of famine. These desperate lepers were not welcome within the city and decided to venture to the camp of the Syrians since they were soon to die of starvation. Upon entering the camp they found no one there. They explored the tents and were surprised to find food and drink in abundance. When they had eaten to the full, they said to one another, “This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone!” They then informed the king and his household how to find food and drink.
In giving his testimony of how he came to know Jesus, my friend would share that he was simply sharing how he, like the desperate lepers, had miraculously discovered the true bread of life. This month I would like to share with each of you how I have found “life” in the Word of God.
In Matthew 4:4, as Jesus is being tempted by the devil to command stones to become bread, He responds “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” He is quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3 “He humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of Jehovah.”
For many years this verse has motivated me to read the entire Bible and be careful to read “every word” (including Leviticus and Chronicles) and not just my favorite passages. This thought is reinforced by 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable.” If every word is inspired and profitable, it behooves me to read His book from Genesis to Revelation.
Recently the Spirit of God has revealed another application found in this passage and by emphasizing the word “life.” I am going to rephrase this passage to underscore what God has been showing me, “Man lives by every Word of God.”
Just as the lepers found bread in the camp of the Syrians, I have found new life in studying and meditating on every word of sacred writ. For the past year I have been led to examine the words of God as I never have before. A dear friend introduced me to a resource called BibleHub. Even though I studied Greek and Hebrew when I was in seminary I have not explored words in the original languages very much. I have faithfully read the Bible many times, just not in the original languages. As I dig deeper into the root meanings of each word, I am receiving new and edifying insights.
For example, in my study of the Tabernacle (Podcasts 302 through 329) I have learned that the two craftsmen set apart, and filled with the Spirit to do the work of building the Testimony of Witness, were named Bezalel and Oholiab. Their names are significant and meaningful. Bezalel means “shadow of God” where “Tsel” means shadow and “El” means God. Oholiab is derived from two words, “Ohel” – tent, and “Ab” father, or Father’s tent. These men were divinely called to perform this important task and their names reflected this.
Did you know that the Greek word for “revelation” which appears 18 times in the New Testament is apokálypsis? It means uncovering or revealing. Paul prays in Ephesians 1:17 “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” The first five words in the last book in the Bible are “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” The Apocalypse is more than extraordinary events it is a revealing of Jesus to the world.
I could give many illustrations of insights I have received by using BibleHub and Blue Letter Bible. However the point of my testimony, the good news I am humbly sharing, is that as I dig and meditate on God’s Word I am “LIVING” in a new way. When I could easily be tempted to be discouraged by the state of our country and the church, instead I am full of courage and faith. New Bible study of every Word has invigorated me and given me new confidence in God and His plan for the world.
The only downside I am experiencing is that I am struggling to keep up with my daily reading plan as the Spirit often directs me to study a particular word or verse and off I go to BibleHub. God’s word is so rich that wish I could spend hours each day seeking and pursuing truth. I love learning and growing in my understanding of God and His ways.
Coming Into His Presence
Since 2018 I have been particularly blessed by Psalm 100. Now that I am becoming more comfortable using these language tools I have begun to study each word in this powerful Psalm. The first phrase is, “Make a joyful noise.” As I dug deeper I found that the word for “joyful noise” – “Hariu” was first used in Joshua 6:10, 16, and 20 when the children of Israel were compassing Jericho, and Joshua commanded them to “Shout.” The root word is “Rua” which means to raise a shout or give a blast. This kind of shouting is militant and loud. It is also joyful and powerful.
When I seek God based on my new understanding of Psalm 100, I now begin with a hearty, militant, SHOUT! I have pieced together several phrases from the Psalms, and begin my approach into God’s presence by saying “Arise of Jehovah and let Your enemies be scattered and let those who hate you flee before You! And may those who love You, and love Your name, and hope in Your lovingkindness, find joy and strength and refuge under the shadow of Your wings!!”
Bible Hub Tutorial Video
At a homeschool convention in April I was explaining how to use BibleHub with the free app on my phone to an earnest family from Ohio. Recently I recorded a video with them explaining how to use BibleHub which you can watch here.
Bible Reading Schedule
We are living in difficult and challenging times. We need to be invigorated and encouraged by the Word of God as never before. If you, like me, need a Bible Reading plan to follow here are a few which I recommend. They may be downloaded as Pdfs.
“The Word of God is living and active sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
“Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live.” (Psalms 119:116)
“You have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63)
“As he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard Him speaking to me. (Ezekiel 2:2)
Here is a PDF with 25 Benefits of Reading Scripture.
A friend shared an article with me which tells the amazing fruit of reading the Bible four times a week. Here is an excerpt: “The study indicated that when people engaged in the Scripture one time a week, which could include a pastor instructing the congregation to ‘open your Bibles…’, there was negligible effect on some key areas of their life. The same result was true if people engaged in the Scriptures two times a week. The result equaled little to no effect. Three times a week saw a small indication of life. There was a slight pulse, a faint heartbeat. Something moved in the behavior of the person engaging in Scripture. The eye opener happened when Bible engagement reached at least four times a week. (A few fruits from a list of 9.)
1. Feeling spiritually stagnant drops 60%
2. Viewing pornography drops 61%
3. Sharing your faith jumps 200%.
Homeschool Special Needs Camp
August 22-26 Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch, Stewartville, MN
Join me at the first Joni and Friends Family Retreat especially for homeschooling families who have children with special needs. It is being co-sponsored by SPED Homeschool and I will be serving as pastor. If you are interested in attending as a family, or volunteering to serve, you can learn more here.
Stewardship Curriculum Summer Discount Special
From now until Labor Day we are extending the fair discount of 10% off and free shipping. With the discount, the cost for the Stewardship (2nd Ed.) Universal Set is $67.50 in the U.S. Use this code when ordering STEW-10-2022. This discount is good until September 6.
I filmed a new video which gives a pretty thorough explanation of the product. It is halfway down this page under Curriculum Overview.
I believe this course is worth two credits, one for personal finance and the other for Bible. The only expense is for the three books since the video teaching that accompanies the curriculum is free. You can watch a few of them here.
I apologize for the length of this newsletter but my heart is full and “living” as a result of the truths in God’s Word. May you each be blessed this summer as the Spirit leads you deeper into Scripture and may you have a fresh “apokálypsis” (revelation) of Jesus,