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God's Double-Edged Sword

(The following is the October 19 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Hebrews 4 and pay close attention to verses 12-13.)

In Paul’s Ephesian passage about the full armor of God, he includes “the sword of the Spirit – which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17). Today’s passage continues the imagery: “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (v. 12).

God’s Word is a potent and effective weapon. Many can attest to being convicted of their sin by hearing or reading the Bible. Regardless of what iniquities separate us from God, the truth of his Word cuts through our conscience to the depth of our being, and we realize that “all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give an account” (v. 13).

A double-edged sword cuts both ways. It has no dull edge. The Word of God works for us defensively as we battle temptation and false teaching, and it serves God’s purposes offensively when we share it with others. Paul reminded Timothy about the tasks God’s Word accomplishes: “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

It is helpful to pursue godly wisdom from Christian writers, speakers, leaders, mentors, and educational opportunities, but nothing in the Christian’s arsenal is as essential as Scripture. May the Psalmist’s words be true of us, “I have treasured your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you” (Ps. 119:11).

Next Step:

Describe a time when reading or hearing God’s Word impacted you deeply. Do you trust the power of God’s Word when discussing your faith, or do you tend to think you must be clever and well-spoken?

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