Thus says the Lord, "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so is My Word that goes out from My mouth: it will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:10-11
Do you remember a time in your life when you were waiting for an important word from an important person or group? It may have been waiting for that letter from the university you hope accepted you. It may have been that call from the person who interviewed you for that job or that promotion you really hoped to get. Or, even more importantly, it may have been waiting for that moment when you popped the question, and you were hoping for that "Yes, I'll marry you!" word. Wow! The power of a good word can really change our lives.
Well, that kind of joy is merely a glimpse of what we were talking about in yesterday's message. The Bible, you see, is a word that will not only change your life for the moment, it will transform your life eternally. The Bible isn't just a good word from a fellow human being; it is literally God's Word that goes out from God Himself to bring His blessing, His forgiveness, His power, and His peace to all who believe.
There is no other Word like it.
In fact, no human being could have ever cooked up a story like the Bible. It is God's Word to the world about God's work for the world. The Bible says, "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not counting our sins against us" (2 Corinthians 5:19a). It's a Word of God-earned reconciliation.
But the most important thing to remember today is that this transforming Word was literally meant for you. It was meant for you to read it, to know it, and to believe in its message.
That's the word I have for you! And wow, what a word it is! Isaiah reminds us that God has a purpose for His Word to work in your life. In fact, right now, God's Word can reach into the innermost recesses of your being and mine! No heart is too tough; no soul is too dark.
When God wills it, His Word can pierce anyone, anywhere, anytime. Have you heard about the Hellfire Club? It was a particularly nasty club in 18th- century Bristol, one that especially loved to make fun of the Bible and the church. One of its members, a Mr. Thorpe, was especially good at mocking and ridiculing the work of the famed evangelist, George Whitefield, and the message of God's Word. On one occasion, the Hellfire Club gathered at a pub for such mockery. Mr. Thorpe offered his brilliant imitation of Whitefield, whom he and his friends called "Mr. Squintum" because of Whitefield's eyes. He delivered his sermon with brilliant accuracy, perfectly imitating his tone and facial expressions as he quoted Scripture and Whitefield's exposition. Suddenly, amidst the laughter he had to sit down, for even he was pierced through by the very Word he was citing, and he was converted on the spot.
Mr. Thorpe was a thoroughly nasty man, engaged in a nasty action, yet the Word of God pierced his heart and changed him. Incredibly, Thorpe went on to be a prominent Christian leader in the very city of Bristol, from that moment on. So remember today, news articles may inform us. Novels may inspire us. Poetry may enrapture us. But only the living, active Word of God can transform us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Jesus, give me courage to read Your Word and not only to hear the wonderful message of Your Good News, but to believe it for myself! Amen!
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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