Today’s Bible readings can be found at this link: Jeremiah 28:1-9 and 1 Thessalonians 2:13-20
1 Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.” (NIV)
It’s very easy for all of us – myself included – to cast aside God’s Word and treat it as a basic moral guideline which we can either accept or reject without any serious consequences. We may sometimes use it to thread our thoughts and beliefs together and then throw it away when it does not suit our intentions, choices, or decisions. Instead of being sacred, the Bible just becomes a collection of ancient stories, songs, and prayers which may or may not be relevant to our post-modern lives.
God’s Word can also be taken as a spiritual encyclopedia of what people used to believe in the past and end up becoming a quaint record of old faith communities, whose members and devotees are all dead. We think that what we really need is something that reflects our own ideas, sophistication, and culture, making us the holy heroes of our present generation. In other words, what we want is something spiritual that connects with our personal lives, instead of sacred scriptures that show us how to connect with God.
When Paul commends the Thessalonians for embracing his message as the word of God, he praises them for treating it respectfully, humbly, and faithfully. They understand that the Gospel which Paul preaches is not something made up or manufactured by religious fanatics. When they hear what Paul has to say, they feel the powerful presence of God in the Word. They know that this message is different from anything else that they have heard; they understand that this Word will change their lives forever.
As Christians, we have been called to witness to the godliness of the Gospel, the holiness of Christ, and the existence of God in our lives. We are the products of a faith-forming process that began two thousand years ago, so the fruits of our beliefs also contain the sacred seeds of God’s Word for future generations. However, this fruit will only grow if we are connected to God through His Word – or as Jesus Himself expressed it: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
May we all treat God’s Word as being sacred and may we witness to its power with our lives.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your words have been carried throughout the world for almost two thousand years. Your sacred message and godly Gospel have challenged and changed the lives of billions of people throughout history. Help us to cherish God’s Word as truly holy and enable us to apply its teachings and blessings each day. In Your Sacred Name, we pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s latest lectionary drawings called ‘True Vine.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Vine.
Come and join us for worship on Sunday mornings at 11:00 AM. You’ll be made very welcome ?