"The Word for the New Year"
January 1, 2014
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness." 1 Corinthians 3:18-19
In recent years the Word of God has been the focus of a great many attacks.
Atheist and agnostic, doubter and denier, skeptic and cynic have all gleefully thrown their barbs and darts at Holy Scripture. If it weren't so sad, it would be almost laughable to see how they pounce on an imagined and what they believe to be newly discovered inconsistency of Scripture.
Holding their breaths and stomping their feet, they demand the church explain these errors. Unfortunately, they seldom listen to anything that is said in response.
Their actions all remind me of the time when churchman John Wesley received a critical note, which, in part, read, "The Lord has told me to tell you that He doesn't need your book-learning, your Greek, and your Hebrew."
Humbly, Wesley answered, "Thank you, sir. Your letter was superfluous; however, as I already know the Lord has no need for my 'book-learning,' as you put it. However, although the Lord has not directed me to say so, on my own responsibility, I would like to say to you that the Lord does not need your ignorance either."
Wesley was right.
God neither needs our book-learning, nor does He need the ignorance of His self-appointed detractors. What the Lord needs is people who see themselves as sinners and Him as a God who saves. What He wants is people who say, "Lord, be merciful to me a sinner" and, who believe, because of His Son's sacrifice that He is.
What He needs is people who know they need the Savior and people who are willing to share Him.
This is what Lutheran Hour Ministries tries to do. It is what your congregation tries to do. It is what God's people continue to do. Prepared to make a defense of the Gospel, we share the Savior with those who need to hear it the most.
It is for such people that we pray today.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Your Word and plan of salvation will always have its critics. Now I ask that those who delight in challenging Your Word, may be equally open to hearing what that Word says. May they be humbled and realize that if they are ever to be forgiven and saved, it will only be through the blood of Jesus. Lord, I pray for myself. May I be prepared to make a defense of the Gospel to those who need to hear it. Guide and guard my words, so they are effective in touching the lost. This I pray in the Savior's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries