I’m sure you’ve noticed in the bulletin that “The Message” follows the reading of the gospel lesson. Do you come, sometimes, wondering what the Message is going to be?
Today I would like to have us think about what God’s Message is for us today from these scriptures. As Joshua had the Israelites gather by the Jordan River he said, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God.” In the last sentence today from Thessalonians Paul said…”it really is God's message which works in you who believe.” And Jesus said, “The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God's Law. You won't go wrong in following their teachings on Moses”
Each one describes God as someone who has something to say to us. He uses words to get his Message through to us.
Have you ever wondered what those words were or are? Jesus said in Matthew’s gospel that the disciples would be wise to follow the scholars and Pharisees teaching of Moses’ Law as given to them by God. Paul says that God’s Message works in you who believe. What does it do in those who believe and why doesn’t it work in those who don’t believe?
It all begins in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy. Moses was giving the people all the commandments or laws that God had given him. He also did a lot of explaining about why they lived and wandered in the desert for 40 years. It was to humble and test them in order to know what was in their hearts, whether or not they would keep his commands. He humbled them, causing them to be hungry and then feeding them with manna, which none of them had ever heard about, to teach them that man doesn’t live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
God warned them to be careful because they would be tempted to turn away from Him and worship other gods. He asked them to fix theses words of mine in your hearts and minds tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you lie down and when your get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give to your forefathers…
God’s words have power. They can build up or destroy. The Prophet Isaiah said, “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 that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 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.”
In the gospel of Matthew chapter 24 Jesus said, “Heaven and earth may pass away, but my word will never pass away.” Think about that. His words will never pass away. God’s words will accomplish what he desires and achieves the purpose for which he sent them.
Paul in his instructions to Timothy said, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
That’s why I believe it’s so vitally important that we read and study God’s word. There is much to be learned in the Word and God’s power comes to us in the Word.
So, the Message today for us is to read The Message; chew on every word and meditate on what God speaks to you.
My brothers and sisters God loves you and so do I. Thanks be to God for his grace. Amen.