Is God's Word Working In Your Life?
Why are more people's lives not changed by the Bible? God's word will WORK in their lives if they believe it is God's word. Paul said, "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." (1 Thessalonians 2:13) The adverb "effectually" means, "with effect; also, actually; truly." (Funk & Wagnalls, New Desk Standard Dictionary p. 250) God's word will "truly" WORK in a person's life when he truly believes that it is the word of God. If a person does not believe the Bible to be God's word, then it will have no effect on his life.
Maybe the problem is people do not really know what it means to believe the word of God. Some give lip service to the Bible as being the word of God, but they never believe it to the point of applying its truths to their lives. If you believe God and what he says, then you will do what he says. James said, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22) Also from James, "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead." (2:19-20). Devils believe in God, but have a dead faith because they never obey a single thing God says in his word.
Some claim to have read the Bible, but say nothing was changed in their lives. Lost sinners must believe God's word to the point they obey it if they would be saved. Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15-16) Do you believe what God's word says about how to be saved? Did Christ put salvation before baptism or after baptism? Which? The word of God works effectually to save the person who believes God's word enough to do what Jesus says. Jesus says that the person who believes and is baptized will be saved.
Sometimes Christians who have fallen away criticize the Bible by saying that it did not work for them. It will not work unless you are willing to apply its teachings to your life. Jesus said, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:20)
You don't fully believe in God's word if you half-heartedly try to follow only part of its teaching. Some ignore the teaching of Hebrews 10:24-25 and sporadically go to worship and partake of the Lord's supper which is to be taken every Lord's day. (Acts 20:7) They complain that the preaching of God's word has little effect on their children. The real problem is that their kids have had so little contact with the word of God that they have not learned that they should not be conformed to this world. They need to be transformed by the renewing of their minds as they hear and believe God's word. (Romans 12:2) Is God's word working in your life?