“clinging to the Word of Life, that I will be satisfied in the day of Christ that I did not run in vain nor did I labor in vain.”
Much can be said from these words of Paul, but I want to focus first on the initial words which follow the statement in the previous verse. What is the way in which we live our lives in a way that is blameless and pure? The answer is that we must do so clinging to the Word of Life. It is the Bible that provides us with every standard by which we may know the life we are to strive to live. It is the Bible that gives us wisdom and discernment for the decisions we make. And it is the Bible that records all of the promises of God that will give us the courage to live the way we are called to live…that is if we trust the Bible.
But Paul doesn’t simply say for us to trust the Bible. He says we are to cling to it like one might cling to the edge of a great cliff lest we fall to our doom on the valley floor below. This clinging is a life or death clinging. These scriptures for us are our very life (Deuteronomy 32:47). For we do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3). And it is not only our calling to live by them, but to speak of this word to others at every opportunity and no matter the cost (Acts 5:20).
Yet, how many professing Christians reject this word that God gives to us…or at least pick and choose that which they want to follow and that which they wish to ignore. Selective hearing does not an obedient follower make.
Thus, friends, set the Word of God before you, which is God’s Word of Life. Do so in all things and in every way. Let it guide your steps and do not deviate to the right or to the left from that which it instructs and commands. Let the Word of God guide your speech and your attitudes as well as your reasoning. Do not let any idea into your life except through the sieve of the Scriptures. It will always prove faithful and reliable…cling to it for it is your very life.
“Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the Lord, and I will be glory in her midst.” -Zechariah 2: 4b-5, ESV
The promises of God for his church are a delight to find, are they not? The fulfillment of this prophesy is not in the post-exilic period as some would suggest, but no, it is in Christ, where God has drawn peoples of all nations to himself. Through the preaching of the gospel, the boarders of Jerusalem have been expanded to cover the corners of the globe. And while the people of God do face the fires of persecution, those fires sanctify, and God has promised to hold us fast, that not one of the elect would slip through the fingers of Christ. The new wall cannot be breached by powers or principalities; no force on earth of around it can breach these new walls; and God’s glory, as revealed in his Son and through his Holy Spirit, is in our midst! There is great hope and encouragement for the Christian within the words of this text.
The question that we need to ask is whether we are living like it. You see, while the full number of elect are coming into the kingdom, we still are looking toward the future, when God’s glory would be fully revealed to every tribe and nation and that this world will be remade without the curse of sin. While we are in the “already” but are still looking for the “not yet,” Satan takes aim on our lives. Do we live like we are heirs to the promise, with confidence in the wall that God has placed around his church? Or do we whimper with fear when trials and tribulations arise? Brethren, let us face them head on. The promises of God have been decreed before creation and while may not have been realized temporally, are as sure as if they have already happened. We can trust and rely on them.
As we go about our day, let us turn our thoughts to heavenly things, trusting in the promises as God has revealed them to us within the words of his great love letter to us, the Bible.