Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: The Power of the Written Word

The Power of the Written Word
A devotional by Patrick E. Craig

“The pen is mightier than the sword.” 

This often repeated phrase was first coined by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy in 1839. It has been said of Bulwer-Lytton that he “had the good fortune to do, what few men can hope to do: he wrote a line that is likely to live for ages.” And it is true. These words ring down through the years because they reveal an inherent archetypal truth—the written word has enormous power: power to lift up, power to destroy, to bring joy or despair, to illuminate the truth or encase it in shadow.

The Power to Persuade: The written word can change minds, it can bring down kingdoms, and it can set new standards of truth and morality. The Nazi Joseph Goebbels once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” And all around us in these fractured times we see writers who are telling “a big lie” and telling it often—the media is full of this kind of writing. The fruit is that God and his Word are being excised from the day-to-day lives of many people who are being persuaded by what they read.

The Power to Pervade: The written word is powerful in its capacity to pervade the mind and heart of those who read it. When someone picks up a book, there is an implied acceptance of the ideas the author is trying to get across. The reader is thereby opened to the words and thoughts contained therein. Because of this acceptance, written words can penetrate a resistant heart, simply because the choice to read the book opens the door to the truth it contains.

The Power to Testify: I Peter 3:15 (KJV) tells us…“and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear…”

Your testimony as a Christian is one of the most powerful weapons against the work of darkness that God has given you. And a written testimony of the grace of God and His power to bring love and forgiveness out of the most terrible circumstances is one of the most powerful witnesses to those who are longing for peace in their troubled lives. Consider the impact of a work such as The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, or Through Gates of Splendor by Elizabeth Elliot. These written words have reverberated through the years and are lasting proof that God is who He says He is and that He does what He says He will do.

The Power of Permanence: One of the inherent marvels of the written word is its permanence. A sentence you speak can change with each repetition. I am reminded of the game “Telephone” where someone whispers a phrase into the next person’s ear and the phrase is passed around the circle that way. When the last person compares what they heard to what was originally spoken the results can be amazing and hilarious since the original meaning is usually entirely lost. The written word, on the other hand, remains powerful because it can be replicated exactly and reproduced many times as it was written.

Now, here's the point: Jesus is called The Word because He came to communicate God through the things He did and said. His followers wrote down eyewitness accounts and revelations from Jesus and because of that God is communicated to us through the written word. That word persuades, pervades, and testifies of God on every page. It is also permanent.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
~ Matthew 24:35 (KJV)

So, if you are a follower of Christ and a writer then it behooves you to communicate God to a lost and dying, hurting world through your writing. You must let God communicate himself to you. Listen as the Holy Spirit gives you the story He wants to tell and then use that story to persuade, pervade, and testify of God. I'm not saying preach, I'm saying tell His story. That's what Christian writing is all about.

Homework: Consider writing down your own testimony as a witnessing tool to share with those who need Christ. You might be surprised how effective you can become to witness the power of God and the truth of the Gospel.

Author Bio:

Patrick E. Craig is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful songwriting and performance career in the music industry to follow Christ in 1984. 

In 2011 he signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. His current series is The Paradise Chronicles. The first book in the series, The Amish Heiress, a romantic suspense novel, was published by Patrick's company, P&J Publishing, in August of 2015 and remained on the Amazon Top 100 best sellers list in three categories for seven months.

The second book in the series, The Amish Princess, a historical romance novel, was released in December of 2016 and was on Amazon's Hot New Releases for over a month. Harlequin recently purchased the print rights for both books for their Walmart Amish series. Patrick also just released Cracking The Indie Egg—A Recipe For Publishing Your Own Book and it is available in most major digital bookstores.

Patrick and his wife Judy, make their home in Idaho. They have two married children and five grandchildren. Patrick is represented by the Steve Laube Agency.

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