Rick Renner is a missionary, pastoring the Moscow Good News Church in Russia, as well as host of a TV program that can be seen, not only in Russia, but all around the world. He is also a highly respected teacher and prolific author, both in the United States and abroad. His best-selling titles include Sparkling Gems From the Greek, Volume 1 and Volume 2, and Dressed To Kill — A Biblical Approach to Spiritual Warfare and Armor, which have sold more than 3,000,000 copies combined.
Yesterday I received Rick's monthly email newsletter for February 2020 and wanted to share it with you. The original (longer) post can be found here, including an audio version of it.
This post is longer than most found here but well worth reading! Enjoy it for yourself and share it with others.
Greetings in Jesus' precious name.
Last month, I wrote to you about spiritual fire. Today I want to keep speaking to you about spiritual fire and about one of the fuels needed to keep our fire burning brightly. That fuel is the Bible! I am praying for "a revival of the Bible." Would you please join me in prayer for this as well?
The Bible is like fire in so many ways when it is allowed to work inside our hearts. For example, as fire purifies metal, God's Word purifies our consciences, renews our minds, illuminates our spirits, and drives away darkness. Its light exposes areas in our lives that need to be changed.
The Bible brings warmth and comfort in times of difficulty. There is no medication that soothes the soul like God's Word. Like the warmth and comfort I feel when I draw near to the glowing warmth of a burning fireplace, the Word of God warms my heart when I sit before it and allow its life-giving truth to permeate my being.
The fiery impact of God's Word also awakens us to areas that need to be transformed by His Spirit. When a believer hears the Scriptures expounded by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, or when he reads the Bible to take it by faith into his heart, its supernatural power is unleashed. And when that happens, that person's heart, will, thoughts, emotions, and memories are all touched by God's power as if by fire.
The life in God's words awakens the recipient to receive a greater measure of God's presence into his life in the divine process of transformation. As that Christian drills deep, and by faith taps into the divine power and presence contained in the Holy Spirit-inspired words of the Bible, the spiritual force that is released can change anything!
Just as fire has melting power, those who are willing to let the Word of God do its deeper work will see stubbornness and unbelief melt away in their lives. The hardest heart has been known to soften when it draws near to the intense heat of the spiritual fire released by the Word of God. And just as fire is used in the natural world to burn debris, when the Bible is ingested into the soul, its divine fire identifies and consumes waste that needs to be expunged from a person’s life. This consuming fire will burn off any "chaff" left in the soul that hinders your spiritual progress!
This fire also ignites new life in areas that have grown indifferent and resistant to God's will. And if you keep taking the Bible into your heart, the fire of God's Word will continue to burn brilliantly, spreading throughout your entire system as you surrender to its transforming work.
We must choose, however, to yield to the fiery effect of God's Word working in us, and that process is not always comfortable. It blazes a fire so strong, it incinerates those things that are displeasing to the Spirit and need to be removed. When everything is said and done, only the Word of God has the power to permanently transform a life!
Like fire is a purifier, when the Bible is given entrance into the heart and acted upon by faith, it takes on that characteristic of fire as it begins to do its purifying work in us. The psalmist wrote of the purifying effect of God's Word in Psalm 119:9 when he said, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word."
In John 15:3, Jesus spoke of this cleansing quality of God's Word when He said, "Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you." In Second Corinthians 7:1, Paul also wrote of the way the Holy Spirit uses the promises of God's Word to take us into greater levels of sanctification and purity. Paul wrote, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
Just as fire is a source of illumination, the words of the Bible, when they are allowed into the heart and soul, bring illumination to us! Those divinely inspired words illuminate our paths. This is why Psalm 119:105 says, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:130 further says, "The entrance of thy words giveth light...."
The Word of God is like a lamp that provides light in a darkened room. When its truths are embraced, it shines light into every sphere of life, bringing understanding and enlightenment and eradicating the ignorance that governs darkened minds. The Scriptures are God's lamp to give continuous light to a people or society that would lie in darkness if the source of that light was removed. Only the light of God's Word drives away spiritual darkness — which is why demonic forces hate the Light and the Light-bearers!
God's Word — when heeded, embraced, and believed — continuously shines its brilliant light into the dark, murky places of our lives. Whenever any person gives heed to it, its powerful light shines into his or her life, dispelling spiritual darkness. Those who reject the Word remain in darkness, but those who embrace it are delivered from spiritual darkness and ignorance.
The Bible provides freedom for the mind, strength and resolve for the will, healing for the body, vision for a bright future, and light for the path ahead. Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for every problem man could ever face. It can bring new life to hearts, establish order to confused minds, and refresh souls that are being rocked by emotion. When God's Word is decreed from your mouth, that Word has a life-changing and yoke-destroying effect. There is power in the Word of God that even the devil cannot deny!
And just as fire empowers the mightiest engines to operate, the Bible — when ignited in the heart — supernaturally empowers those who take it deeply into themselves. When scriptures are released in a believer's life, they loose supernatural energy and power to enable him to rise above himself and to master whatever challenge he may be facing.
A hallmark verse in my own life is Ecclesiastes 8:4, which says, "Where the word of a king is, there is power...." I promise you, when God’s Word is received as the all-authoritative word of our divine King, it imparts power beyond imagination and transforms weaklings to do feats beyond their natural capability! Those who previously felt weak and insufficient are suddenly energized when the power of God's Word is released into their lives. In fact, the truths of Scripture will impart supernatural strength to a believer to do whatever God has commanded him or her to do.
Psalm 119:28 marvelously depicts the powerful effect of God’s Word to divinely energize a person who otherwise would feel physically or emotionally weak. When the psalmist was confronted with his own humanity, he knew the Word would strengthen him to rise above it. That is why he said, "...Strengthen thou me according unto thy word.”
The role of the Bible cannot be exaggerated in the life of a believer. The amount of spiritual fire you have burning at your core is directly related to how much of God's Word is planted in your heart. There is absolutely nothing to compare with the powerful effect of God’s Word when it is taken by faith into your heart and put into action.
When I was a young man, we often sang the famous hymn at our church, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." That hymn says it well:
...And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us, we will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us. The prince of darkness grim, we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure; one little word shall fell him....
How powerful to think that ONE WORD FROM THE BIBLE is enough to quash the very forces of hell itself! This is why I feel led to encourage you to dive deep into your Bible in 2020. The answers you seek, the power you need, and the authority of God Himself is found within the pages of the Bible — and it’s waiting for you to unlock it so its power can be released in your life!