Weekly Devotional

The Gift of God's Word

God’s Word is Truth and when it’s received, it brings deep, abiding joy!

Written by Nat Crawford on 24/07/2023
Tags: God, Gift, Word

But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

John 17:13

“I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.” John 17:14-19 (ESV)

What Does the Word of God Accomplish

According to today’s passage, what does the Word of God (the truth) accomplish in the lives of believers in Christ? 

You might be able to reach several Bibles on your bookshelf, kitchen table, nightstand or coffee table. Depending on where you live, you may find several types in a store: it's still an international best-seller. In some countries, you can find one in the bedside drawer of your hotel. Plus, there's an app for that! You can access Scripture in mere seconds and carry it easily in your pocket. With all of this access to God’s Word, one danger may not have occurred to you—that we may take it for granted and fail to treasure it as the gift from God that it is.

If you read the longest psalm in the Bible, Psalm 119, you can easily see that the psalmist loved God’s Word. In Psalm 119:162, the psalmist wrote: “I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.” God’s Word was like finding buried treasure to this psalmist! Is that how you tend to think about God’s Word?

In Jesus' High Priestly Prayer, (John 17), He prayed for His disciples as He prepared to return to the Father. Before He left, He specified that His purpose for speaking these words was to fulfill His joy in His disciples. He gave His disciples the Word that He received from the Father. This is the Word that communicated the hope of the Gospel, the way to be made right with God, the promise of eternal life! His Word is Truth and when the Word of God is received, it brings deep, abiding joy!

How Does the World Respond to God’s Word

Unfortunately, the unbelieving world doesn’t receive His Word with the same joy. Jesus repeated His warning that the world will hate His followers because they are not of the world, just as He is not of the world. Because the disciples were in Christ, they were citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). And so are we! This world was not our home and the Word that brings believers such peace and joy exposes the wickedness and sin of the world. The darkness always hates the light. 

But Jesus didn’t pray for His disciples to be taken out of this world that hates them so much but rather that the Father would protect them from evil. Why wouldn’t Jesus rescue them out of the world? Because just as Jesus was on mission to communicate the Word of God, His followers are also on mission to do the same. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus charged His disciples to “go and make disciples.” Today, in verse 18, Jesus said that He sent them into the world just as the Father sent Him into the world. They were supposed to spread this Word that brought them so much joy all over the world! They were to be people of the Word, not people of the world. 

Set Apart for God

Finally, Jesus prayed that the Father would sanctify them with His Truth. Sanctify means to be set apart for God, to be made holy. That is the power of God’s Word. It has the power to transform worldly sinners like us into people set apart for God’s service. It is a gradual process. The more time you spend with the Lord in His Word, the more sanctification you receive. 

Friends, the Word of God is a gift from God to be treasured. Apart from His Word, we will never know true, lasting joy and we will never be empowered to live a holy life. May we never take His Word for granted.

Pray this week:

Lord, “Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart” (Psalm 119:111). I love Your Word. Use it to teach me, rebuke me, correct me, and train me in righteousness. Sanctify me with Your Word and help me to be a person of the Word, not the world for Your glory. Amen.

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