Scripture for Today – May 4, 2007 – Words of Eternal Life

Dear Friend,

We have read this week that the Word of our God stands forever, that we are to humble ourselves before it, and that it is an active and dynamic Word, a Word that accomplishes God’s purposes, and which sees into our deepest selves. Sometimes the Word is hard to take. It surprises, demands, astonishes, transforms, convicts, and pierces. So we may be tempted to avoid it, as that is surely the easier path for us in the moment. But for what would we avoid the Word of God? For the desires of our flesh? For the pleasures of the world? For the sake of spending our every moment in our worldly pursuits? How dare the Word get in our way! But we look around and we see that the world is deeply broken, afflicted beyond its ability to heal itself. We look inside and we see that we are deeply broken, afflicted beyond our ability to heal ourselves. We know that we, and the earth, were made for more than what can be attained in or by itself, by ourselves. As it says in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” Our hearts yearn for more. We know deep down that we were made for more than this. We know that God has made us for Himself, and that we cane be whole only in Him. So, if we would avoid His Word, which leads us to Him, how will we find Him? How will we find ourselves? The irony is that if we believe that God is the answer to our deepest heart’s needs and desires, we have already been touched by his searching and active Word, that Word which is made powerful by the Holy Spirit’s transforming work in our hearts, making us ready and able to hear it, believe it, and receive it. The disciples struggled with Jesus’ words at times, his teaching about himself as the Bread of life being one such time. Indeed, many people, when they discerned what Jesus was really saying, turned and left Him. It was too much to believe, too demanding, and it would cause too much upheaval to follow him. So what about the disciples? Yes, they struggled, but in the end they knew, because the Spirit and Word had already been active in their hearts, where their home truly was. John 6:60-69:

60 When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? 62 Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

In Christ,

Joel

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