All right, before we start, another thing I'd love to release the middle schoolers with whoever your teacher might be, maybe the Thomases. That looks promising.  If you're in middle school, there's a promising thing happening back there with the Thomases, and you want to follow them, that'd be great. I think they have class. Be great.

But for everybody else, you're stuck with me and a couple of other college students who are about to preach the word of God. And that is the topic of tonight, the word of God, or today. Some of you might wonder why did Isaac carry the podium with one hand and a shoe, and not just use both of his hands? I might be a college grad, but I'm still me, and I make a lot of bad decisions, and that was one of them. That was really, that was really, that was not smart. There's no point in that at all.

But today, we're going to talk about the word of God, over in Hebrews chapter 4. If anybody wants to open that up, please. I'd love to start with the scripture because if we're going to talk with the word of God, we need to open up with the word of God. Hebrews chapter, sharper than any double-edged sword, and I want to stop there. It was quick, right? If you read too fast, it goes over your head. For the word of God is alive and active, sharper than any double-edged sword.

I grew up where your mom would always teach you don't play with knives, and yet the Bible is considered the sharpest of those knives. And I asked myself then, why do I play, why do I play so much with it? Why do I handle it with so much carelessness?

Has anybody ever seen this movie? I didn't grow up in a rich household, so we only had like a few DVDs. This was one of them, so I watched it a lot. I'm going be honest with you, I wasn't the biggest fan. It was just all I had. I didn't really like the world building. I didn't really like what they... I just didn't care for the characters. I thought they were kind of whiny and complaining all the time, so I was like, yeah, whatever. But I could not escape at school that when it came out, everybody started talking about references and scenes, and they were having a great time. And one scene you just couldn't overlook, wait, that's that one right there.

Oh, I looked at the wrong screen. Sorry, guys. This one, when Hermione is talking to Ron, and Ron is sitting there trying to do his little spell, right? And she's like, it's not Leviosa, it's Leviosa. And I sit there, and oh man, how many times did I have friends say that to me, and I was like, dude, I don't want to hear it. I'm good. I watched, that's the only movie I got at home, guys. I heard it enough from her.  I always thought it was just funny how, and I didn't get, I always thought Hermione was so nitpicky, so annoying, so nerdy. It was frustrating. Until I became a Christian, and I understood something about that little world building they were doing. Because to Hermione and all these people in here, the words that they said had power to them.

In that world, what they said meant something. Like those words, in particular, had power to them, right? And so what did they do? They studied it, they practiced it, they always memorized this stuff. And my thought is, and, and obviously, Harry Potter's make-belief, these words, I mean, I don't, they may or may not be fake words, I don't know if they're actually fake words, but they have no power. There's nothing to them. The characters, you could say them as many times as you want, and they have absolutely no power. But is Hermione in the book or the movie Harry Potter more respectful and more in awe of some words that mean nothing than I am of the word of God?

That was my question for myself. Does a character in a fake world with fake words believe more than I believe in the active, living power of the word of the Living God? Because at the end of the day, the truth is, if I ever tried, like, say Satan threw all his best at me one day, he showed up to my house personally, and if I tried to use any of those Harry Potter spells or whatever they say, you know, that's how Satan would see me.

Like, that is the image I think you would get, like, dude, no shot, you're done, you're a goner. That situation would end probably something like this, just get absolutely wrecked. Because those words mean nothing. They have no force behind them. But then we have this. We have the word of God, sharper than any double-edged Sword. And the truth is, am I humble to that? Do I know, do I really study it? Do I love the word of God? Do I am I in reverence of the word of God? Or do I treat it like a joke?

And not even by what I say, because I don't think anybody, even myself, would be like, oh yeah, the word of God is a joke. But how do I live? Does my life reflect my reverence of God's word? If you looked at my life for a day, would somebody be like, wow, you really love the Bible. You really respect God's word, and you believe it has power? Or would they say, man, you read like one scripture a day, dude, and you don't even believe it because I never hear you saying anything about it. It's humbling.

And so today, we're going to talk about what it means to be humble to the word of God and all that entails. And so I want to invite up my friend Jack up here, cuz Jack's going to start us off, and understanding what does it mean to be humble to the word of God. All right, hi everybody, my name is Grajoque. Some of you on campus know me as Jack. And if I had known he was going to put Harry Potter in here, I would have snuck some in, but I did not.

So, how do we have humility with the word? This is what Isaac asked me to talk about and share. And so this is what I've been asking myself all this week. Is this question, and what is my mindset towards God's word? I tried to ask myself, do I have humility when I read the word of God? Or do I enter my Bible times with the mindset of how can I apply this scripture to my life? How is this about me?  It's easy for me to keep my own perspective with God's word the same as it always has been.

I found myself reading the same scripture multiple times and never learning anything new. But it's when I put aside my own perspective of the word and who God, who I think God is, and that's when I learn more about God when I read my Bible. So I found to be humble, ironically, we need to start by looking inward. I can find a good scripture that tells me who I am in relation to God's word in Deuteronomy. Causing you to hunger and then feeding you with Mana, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

This scripture shows me who I am. The scripture shows me who all of us are. We are humans. We go hungry, we go thirsty. We rely on things outside of ourselves all of the time just to stay alive. But most of the time, I find myself relying on myself when it comes to Salvation, instead of God. 2 Timothy 3: 14 and this first part of 16 tells me how I should actually view salvation in relation to the word of God. It says, but as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy, you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

All scripture is God-breathed. It's pretty clear. The Bible is not just a book. It's the literal word of God that changes lives. It says we need to be convinced of our faith, which is founded on scripture. And I asked for him to write, we need to be studious of the word, but he did not get the memo. So pretend that's a slide up there. Now I know you're thinking, obviously, we need to be studious of the word.

How can we follow something we don't know? You know, I'm the type of person that I like to research every side, double-check every point of view, and I do this in my school, and my job, and even in my faith. And I want to make sure I know exactly what God is trying to tell me.  So time for a small history lesson.

So as we know, the early Christians didn't have the Bible as we know it. They had the Old Testament and the Epistles as they were being written, but the Bible as we know it wasn't formed until translated into the common language. For hundreds of years, it was actually illegal to translate the Bible into English.

The first person to officially translate into a common Germanic language was Martin Luther, and he kickstarted the Protestant movement. And he translated the Bible in 1522. Tyndale was the first person to translate the Bible into English, and he was persecuted and later killed for translating it into English by the Catholic Church, unfortunately. But what's the point of the history lesson?

It's because if we don't know the history of the Bible, we don't know what a privilege it is to read it ourselves today.  I'm very convicted that it's a miracle that you and I are even able to read the Bible for ourselves. When there were so many factors opposing our access to God's word. When I think about how God has allowed me to have a personal relationship with him and how he has blessed me to be able to read his exact word, how can I not be eager to find out everything I can.

It's more than just reading the word and taking it for every word that it says. Clearly, there have been hundreds of translations since the Bible was formed and, as I said, it wasn't written in English. You know, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, they all have words that have the same general meaning but different connotations. Often in church, we study out the different types of love for God or the meanings of sacrifice, but we don't treat other concepts of the Bible with that same respect.

Sometimes they could be more difficult to explain or they could be more complex to truly study out. It's not something we can always fit into a sermon. There are multiple... It's important to look at all aspects of the Bible equally because there are multiple times in the gospels where Jesus seems to do the exact opposite of what scripture said, but his actions are actually a fulfillment of the law. Jesus says that the sum of the law is to love God and to love others as we love ourselves.

Jesus knew that we needed to know not just the letter of scripture but what the heart of God's law truly was.  We need to respect the Bible and its history, that we don't just read it and take it at its face value, just like Jesus did. Matthew 12, verse..12, it says, 'At that time, Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, 'Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.' Jesus answered, 'Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?

He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven't you read in the law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath.' Jesus knew the priority of scripture, which is God's love, and Jesus knew who God's love was for us. We should treat the rest of the word with the same respect fact that Jesus treated it.

Thank you, guys. With that, Connor is going to come up and share a little bit. 

Y'all hear me okay? Hold on, right word. all right. Well, I'm Connor. I am a first semester senior at Arizona State University, and I'm studying statistics.  Thanks. And, something I got the privilege of talking about today is obedience to the word of God.

So, I've reached out and evangelized to a fair share of people in my time in college. yeah, you can see me up there with my Packers hat. Rough game yesterday. But anyway, the... the reason I show this, so I... I've reached out and evangelized to a fair share of people in my time in college, and one of my favorite things to ask people is, 'Do you have a relationship with God, or are you looking to grow in your relationship with God?' And a response I hear a lot is, 'Yeah, I have a relationship with God. I see him or feel him working and doing stuff in my life, so I must have a good relationship with him,' or, 'Nah, bro, my relationship with God is good. I go to church every Sunday. I talk to God every day.'

And I think a lot of us would recognize that these things don't necessarily mean that someone has a good relationship with God, right? God will work in the lives of people who love him and people who don't love him. The Bible says that God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. And going to church and talking to God doesn't necessarily mean that there's a two-way relationship with God going on. These type of responses can be caused by a lack of humility towards wanting to learn or grow in a relationship with God, being content with something without seeing if it aligns with what God says, like a man building his house on the sand.

But similarly, something I see a lot in our church is the mindset that if someone reads their Bible every day or is a good and consistent participant at church events, then they must have a good relationship with God. This is something I think a lot to myself, honestly. When I have a quiet time every day of the week, I feel like, 'Oh, jeez, I'm doing great with God.' Or when I show up to church in midweek and Bible talk, I feel like I can say, 'Yeah, I'm doing good spiritually.'  I've also seen that we can take these assumptions that we've built and use them to be critical of ourselves or others, saying things like, 'I'm doing bad spiritually.

I just had two quiet times this week, guys. I'm... I'm doing bad spiritually,' or, 'That brother hasn't been at church or midweek for the past couple weeks. Are you sure he's doing okay?' All these things can definitely have a correlation with someone's relationship with God, but the conclusions we can make about others or about ourselves aren't always true.

Something they teach us in statistics is that correlation does not equal causation. And... and what this really means is like, just because we're doing something right or that is inherently good, doesn't mean that our relationship with God is good. That although they're correlated, although they should happen together, it doesn't mean one causes the other. So what does the Bible say about how to define a relationship with God, right? An incredibly important part of humility towards God's word, and something that's a has a huge impact on our relationship with God, is obedience to God's word. In any parent-child relationship, obedience is so important.

And I might need some parents to confirm this with me. But I... I would guess that one of the best ways that kids can love their parents is by obeying them, right? And our relationship with our Father in Heaven is no different. In my research, the NIV Bible says the words 'keep the commands' or 'hold his decrees' or 'follow my laws' or something of that sort around 1,500 times. That's a lot of times. And... and God clearly wants us to follow his commands that are laid out in the Bible, right? But then the question is, how... how should we follow these commands? There's so many.

So I... I think, in First John 2, I think John's words perfectly describe this concept of what it means to be obedient to God's word. It says, 'We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him. Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.' Being obedient to God's word can be summed up into this: living as Jesus did. We know that we know God's commandments, we know that we know God if we keep his commandments, and we know we are keeping his commandments if we are like Jesus.

Some of you might be asking then, 'What can I do to be more like Jesus? What are qualities that Jesus had that I can try to build in myself? Or what are things Jesus did that I should also be doing?' So I made a list of qualities of Jesus, or things that Jesus did, to help us be more like him. Y... y'all can read that, right? So we're going to go through each and every one. I'm joking. But my point in showing this is that we can never be enough like Jesus.

There's always gonna be something. And if we continually look back to the Bible to see who Jesus is, we'll never run out of ways to be more like Jesus. Now to add to this idea, let's look at the Gospel of John. The very first scripture. Oh, there we go. 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.' And I assume most of you have read this chapter before, so I won't keep on reading, but if you haven't read it, I encourage you to go read it, because it's an awesome introduction to who Jesus is. But I read this to show that the same John who wrote that scripture we read before about living like Jesus and how that's obedient to the word declared that Jesus is the word of God.

So to be obedient to the word of God, we live more like Jesus. And if we live more like Jesus, then we are being more like the word of God. And if we are being like the word of God and living like the word of God, then we are being obedient to the word of God. It's a whole circle. Since Jesus is the word of God, that also means that all of the commandments and stories and the character of God all throughout the Bible also describe who Jesus is and how we can follow him. It all connects. And when we read the Bible, we are reading a firsthand manual of how to be more like Jesus, right? So whenever we read a command in the Bible, or whenever we see a part of God's character in the Bible, we pluck that out and say, 'This is how I can live more like Jesus.' And then we go and live it out, no matter what it is, or how hard it might be, or whether or not we want to do it. We take it and add it to our lives.

And that's... that's what it means to be humble and obedient to God's word, and consequently, that's what it means to have a humble and obedient relationship with God. So before I pass this back to Isaac, I want to give some questions I encourage you to ask the next time you read the Bible, in your own time. So, one is, 'What does this scripture say about God or Jesus's character?' And then, 'What area of my character do I need to work on to be more like God or Jesus in this way?' And, 'What am I going to do, practically, to build or improve this characteristic in myself?' And I'll pass to Isaac. That was fire. Oh, I need that, yeah, that's right, guys. Can we give another round of applause to Jack and Connor? That was incredible.

I think it's really powerful just to hear, to hear just a little glimpse of what it means to be humble to the word of God. Today was not an attempt to give you the in-depth, you know, only way to understand humility when it comes to God's word. Today was not an attempt to give a full introspective view, you know, of things. I think humility is something you can study out for the rest of your life and still not understand fully. And so today was not an attempt to help you understand it fully. I think today was simply an attempt to swing at the walls of pride in our lives, to take a swing with the sledgehammer. Because pride will kill our relationship with God.

Even if we've been in the church for a week, it's our first time coming today, or you've been here for 40 years, pride will kill your relationship with God. The Bible says God opposes the proud and favors the humble. And so today was just an attempt for us to swing at those walls, however big or small they might be, whatever pride might be in our lives. We got to swing away. We have to try our best to swing at these walls. And if we don't know where the walls are, we got to ask for help because pride is often something you can't see in yourself, and it's scary when you can't see it because that means you don't know you're drifting further from God because pride will undeniably pull you away from God.

The scriptures make it undeniably clear there is no room for pride in our walk with God, especially when it comes to his word. And I just think it's incredible to think about this idea of how does God see his word. And so, I just wanted to read a few scriptures just to show you guys really fast what does God actually have to say about his own word. This is what God says, oh my goodness. 1 Peter 1:25 says, 'But the word of the Lord endures forever.' And this is the word that was preached to you. God's word is eternal. Jesus makes it very clear. He says, 'Heaven and Earth will pass away, but not a single word that I speak to you will pass away.' In God's eyes, his word is eternal, and there's nothing we could do to stop it. That's powerful.

The word is a sword. Ephesians 6:17 says, 'Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.' That's how God sees his word; it is a sword. Hebrews 4:12, literally the same thing, 'For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.' God sees his word as a sword. God also sees his word as full of life. It's not some bummer book. God sees his word as full of life.

John 6:63 says, 'The spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of life and the spirit.' That's Jesus. Like, do we see the life in the spirit in these words, or do we simply see religion, routine? The Bible, God himself, you know, through his word, says, 'Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.' Do we see the Bible and the word of God as light, or do we see it as a bunch of walls closing in on us, trying to restrict us from living a certain type of way? Is it rules, or is it life? Is it relationship, or is it confinement? How do I see the word of God? That's the question I think we really need to ask ourselves today. How do I see the word of God? Am I humble before God? Do I take the time to study the Bible the way that Jack called us to do? Do I really study it, or do I just read it and try to get one little thing out of it and move on to my next thing? Or do I really take the time to ask God, like, 'What are you trying to say of my life, Lord? Am I missing something?' God, do I take the time, like Connor called us to, to really understand what it means to be obedient to the word?

I think I was challenged in my heart just a few days ago at the staff retreat. We're having this little staff retreat, and somehow the idea of relationships among staff members came up. And I'm gonna be honest with you guys, I'm a person who does not deeply value friendships at times. I grew up valuing my family, and so it's hard for me to see the worth in investing in friendships. It's really hard for me to see that. And I love people; it doesn't mean I don't love people. It's just the like, spending time and investing into the friendships is hard for me. It's just the way that I see the world sometimes. And as we're talking about these relationships among staff, my first thought was, 'Man, I got work to do. I'm gonna go share my faith and study the Bible with people, man. I got work to do. I need to go, right? And make sure that all the events are planned.'

Why on Earth would I want to invest in more relationships with staff? And then I just felt this, like, it was like a piercing dagger into my heart because I realized I never even asked God what he wanted. I just confined God to what I, to the view I saw the word through. I thought, 'Is it not good for me to study the Bible with people and share my faith?' Yeah, it is good. So then I must be right. Yeah, let's go. And that's how I see the world sometimes. But I don't actually ask God what he wants. I don't go to his word to ask him, 'God, do you want me to have closer friendships?' Because the truth is, I give God a bunch of reasons why I shouldn't have it. 'Well, God, I don't have time. I invest my life into a lot of other good things.' But I don't remember me saying that my time is my Lord.

I don't remember me saying that my priority and the things that I desire in this life is my Lord. It was Jesus who is my Lord; he is my Lord. And so the question shouldn't be for me to reason off five ways I shouldn't follow God because I justify them with good things. I have to ask myself, 'Well, God, what do you really want from me?' And at the end of the day, it just doesn't matter how many reasons I have to not do it. Am I going to follow you, or am I going to sit up here and tell everybody else to follow you and be a hypocrite and not do it? And that's hard for me because as I say it out here, that means I got to do something about it.

That striked my heart because God says anybody who desires to teach his word will be judged more harshly. And so the truth is, I do need to fight for friendships because the Bible says that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. A Bible says a brother is born for a time of adversity. The Bible talks so much about friendships, the Bible talks so much about needing friends in your life, and the Bible talks about not giving up and bearing with each other in humility, being completely humble to each other.

nd have I actually lived like that? I don't know, guys. I really need to sit and like reflect on that. I really need to sit and reflect on that because I don't know if I've just given a lot of 'oh hey yeah, how you doing?' and then talk to somebody for five minutes and then move on, or if I've actually taken the time to invest in the people that God called me to. I say this from—I come as a person who's trying. I'm trying really hard to be humble because I know that it scares me that my pride could kill my relationship with God.

And I pray that every one of us can look into our lives and say, 'Am I humble? Do I really look at God's word and do I actually ask myself how can I follow this instead of what reasons do I have not to, even if they're good? Guys, it doesn't matter, even if they're good reasons. Jesus is Lord. That is the call that we make when we become Christians.' And so this week, take some time and ask yourself, 'How do I see the word of God? How has it affected my life? How have I let it bleed into every part of my life? Do I study it? Do I obey it? Do I love it when I read it? Does it refresh my soul?'

James 4:10 says, 'Humble yourselves therefore before the Lord, and He will exalt you.' Church, let's humble ourselves, no matter how small you think the pride is, maybe in your life. Knock it down. Take a swing at it, please. God calls us time and time again to swing at those walls, and he will help you break it down. It doesn't just have to be you, but he will help you break it down.

Don't walk away today thinking, 'Nah, I'm pretty humble,' and doing nothing about it, and letting something really gross grow in your life that in 5 to 10 years from now, you might not be faithful to God, and you didn't see it coming. I don't want to be like that. I'm scared of that. And so, Church, let's go to God in prayer as we pray for humility before his word and him.

Father God, I just want to come before you and say, 'God, ah, Lord, I love you. God, you are so good. As we talked about communion, Father, you gave everything for us. Lord, you are truly the Lord and Messiah of our lives. God, I'll admit, I think there's so much more pride than I could ever see in myself. God, I pray that you help us all see the pride in our lives. God, please reveal it to us. God, even if it hurts, even if we hate it, God, please show it to us. Lord, I would rather be in pain and with you than be comfortable and watch you drift away. Lord, I pray that for all my brothers and sisters in this room. I pray that for anybody who came here today, God, to see your word, to see how good you are, to see how much life it gives. God, it is so full of life, Lord. Thank you for giving us words of life, God, and not words of death.

God, thank you for how wonderful and refreshing your spirit is, and the fact that we don't have to be weighed down by so much because you are a good God who takes care of us. God, I pray that we can truly try our best to obey your word, God, obey you. God, I pray that we can truly try our best to study out everything you call us to be, Lord, for the rest of our lives. And I pray that every day we could fight to grow closer to you, God, to know you more. I pray all my brothers and sisters in this room, everybody in this room, could know you deeper, God, because that is the most valuable thing we could ever ask for. Lord, I love you so much. I praise you, your holy, wonderful name, Jesus. Amen. Amen.