Monday, August 16, 2010

Devotions on the Lectionary: Pentecost 13, First Lesson

by Michael Schottey

Jeremiah 23:29 "Is not my word like fire," declares the LORD, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?" (NIV)

If one lesson is continually needed among God's people. It is this:

The word works.

The Bible is God's own holy word. And that word comes from a God who always keeps all of his promises--both law and gospel--to all people. The promises of God do not change, nor does he.

What does that word do?

It is a fire, a fire that cannot be contained. The message of our resurrected Lord has spread from a locked room on Easter evening to fill all corners of the earth. The words of Jesus that once burned in the hearts of the disciples on the road to Emmaus now ignite among people of all tribes and races. The message of salvation spreads faster than the world or the devil could ever snuff it out.

But, the word is also a hammer which shatters. The law breaks the sinfully proud into pieces and tears down the mighty. The law takes a heart which thinks it can stay afloat on its own power and dashes it against the rocks.

The word does not return to the Lord empty. When the word is planted in rich soil, it enriches the soil further and yields a crop hundredfold. When the hearer rejects God's word altogether, the word hardens that heart all-the-more.

A man who speaks God's word is only the channel for these mighty acts. No ambition of his can improve the power of the word, nor can his faults hinder it. What aid does God need and what shortcoming can he not overcome?

The word is all-sufficient.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, your kingdom come, your will be done. Tame my selfish pride. Let me boast not of what I have done, but what you have done through me. Make me, every day, a vessel more worthy of your holy and effective word. Make me patient when I do not always see the effects of your word. Keep me ever trusting in its effectiveness and its power.

Awake O Spirit who inspired The watchmen of the church's youth,
Who faced the foe's envenomed ire, Who witnessed day and night your truth,
Whose voices loud are ringing still And bringing hosts to know your will.

And let your Word have speedy course, Through every land be glorified,
Till all the heathen know its force And fill your churches far and wide.
Oh, spread the conquest of your Word And let your kingdom come, dear Lord!

CW 567:1,4

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be accepted or rejected based on the sound Christian judgment of the moderators.

Since anonymous comments are not allowed on this blog, please sign your full name at the bottom of every comment, unless it already appears in your identity profile.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License