Letting the Word have the First Word
Reading: Luke 21, 22
There are times when sermons and studies resemble nothing more than a series of personal illustrations or human philosophy lightly brushed with a phrase from Scripture. The Word of God becomes the illustration for the story instead of the story illustrating the Word of God. While the illustrations and the philosophy might have a positive impact, it is only the Word of God that will have “the last word” as it were. That means it should also have the first word.
Luke 21:33 (NIV) tells us: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” This verses couples beautifully with this promise from Isaiah 55:10, 11 (NIV): “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 the purpose for which I sent it.”
I wonder why I often settle for stale crumbs when I can enjoy the steak and potatoes of God’s eternal Word? I also remind myself that though the stories I tell and the examples I give might be entertaining and informative, anything of eternal value is going to come from that eternal Word of God that He promises to bless.
And isn’t that blessing from God what I most want–for myself and for others? If nothing else, that thought should drive me to let the Word speak, and other voices keep silent.