John 1:1-3 in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. 1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
The two scriptures quoted above illustrate the personality of Jesus Christ as the Word of God, He was in the beginning before all things were created and it was by him (The word) that all thing were created. It is therefore important to establish as we proceed that any reference to The Word in this write up is referring to the person of Jesus Christ, the Word personified. The bible records several stories of people that encountered Jesus, and that experience never left them the same way. Just to mention a few; you have the woman with the issue of blood as recorded in the book of Mark 5:25, she was plagued for 12 year and suffered many things from many physicians who attempted to help solve her lingering medical condition which kept on retrogressing and depleted all her life’s saving. Her story changed when she encountered Jesus, she heard about him, went out to see, looked for him and touched his garment. Her 12 years, the issue of blood immediately dried up. I can also mention the Woman at the well in Samaria who drank from the well of Salvation when she encountered Jesus. John 4:1-30. Same can be said of the woman caught in adultery John 8:47. She was meant to be condemned but she found salvation. Blind Bathemeus encountered Him and he received his sight, Jairus’ daughter who was dead was brought back to life, the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda was made whole of a problem that has lasted for 38 years. A woman bent over for 18 years in Luke 8:11 got her deliverance after an encounter with Jesus. These and many more of such testimonies we have heard and seen in our days of people who encountered Jesus and experienced a total turnaround. You might wonder which Jesus they experienced; did Jesus come physically to them? No but they encountered the Word and that is Jesus. Whenever you have an encounter with the word of God, it’s as good as seeing Jesus manifest physically to you.
In this piece I will highlight using the above references, how we can progressively encounter the word of God. There are four important elements in 1 John 1:1 that we must look at. First it talked about that which was in the beginning and this we know is referring to the Word. Then ‘which we have heard’, ‘which we have seen with our eyes’,which we have looked upon and finally which our hands have handled. It follows that for you to handle the word which connotes encounter, you need to first hear the word, see the word and look upon the word. Hearing the word is good but it is not enough; engagement will lead to an encounter. What you hear is only calling your attention but you also need to proceed for a search to experience it; for that to happen however, you must engage yourself and progress to see the word for yourself. Greater percentage of what we hear cannot be retained in our memory but you don’t normally forget what you see. The scripture says ‘That which we have seen with our eyes’ you need to see it for yourself to experience it, hearing alone will not give you this experience. This is exactly what the Berean Christians did, as recorded in the book of Acts 17. After they heard Paul speak, they went back to the scriptures to see for themselves. What you hear may not be the revelation that you personally need but a pointer that there is something about the word that needs searching. Hearing the word I say is an invitation to personal study. As a Christian you cannot survive based on the words you hear from the pulpit or from any form of media, you must grow beyond being fed to feeding yourself with the word of God, in doing this you will discover the truth that will liberate you. Going to church on Sundays and listening to the preacher is good but if you don’t go back home and study what you have heard and get a revelation for yourself, you will not sufficiently benefit from the promise in the Word nor gain the benefit you ought to derive from such messages. That is why churches ensure that the messages are put on CD’s, social media and internet for you to listen over and over again and ponder on those words. Faith comes not by hearing once but by continual hearing and listening to the word of God. You hear with your ear but you listen with your mind. So I charge you today, grow beyond hearing alone and start seeing and listening for yourself; by so doing, you have embarked on a journey into an encounter with Jesus.
The next step into encountering the word according to our reference scripture is ‘looked upon’
Looking suggests focus and it goes beyond mere seeing. You see with eyes but you look with your mind. What you focus on will create an image in your mind and what you look upon creates an impression in your mind. Remember what you look longest, you will likely become. This can be further buttressed with the scripture
2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
You are automatically transformed into what you focus on, when you look upon the word of God that you have seen, sooner or later you will begin to mirror the word. Looking will bring you to the realm of meditation and mediation will bring you revelation. Seeing at best will give the logos of the word but looking and meditating will give you the Rhema, which is the Spoken word. This is when the word jumps out of the pages of the bible and comes alive to you in such a way that it makes a great impression and changes totally your perception.
- Hearing will give you notification
- Seeing will give you information
- Looking will give you revelation
Handling the word means you have encountered the word. It means you have meditated to the point that you are doing and benefiting from the word.
James 1:23-25 KJV. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  Forhebeholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
It is the doers that benefit not the hearers. Hearers will only stay in the place of appreciation whereas doers will participate. You cannot get to the point of doing the word without seeing and looking at the word for yourself. You can easily forget what you heard but it’s difficult to forget what you see, look and experience. When you encounter the word, you encounter Jesus. Every revelation of the word is an invitation to an encounter. I charge you today to embark on this journey, engage yourself with the word of God and encounter Jesus. Shalom.
For Further Study
Joshua 1:8- Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (NIV
Questions for you to reflect on
- How real is God’s word to you?
- Have you experienced the power of the word in your life?
- Is the word of God alive in you?
I will meditate on the word of God and it will produce for me.