Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Reformation: Faith Community Reformed by the Word of God
vs 24 Every one therefore that hears these words of mine and does is like a wiseman, who built his house upon the rock.
The word of God which in times past been has been revealed to God’s people by the proclamation and preaching of God’s prophets and apostles, was made known to us through the Bible, and is available to us in the modern world in print and electronically. It continues to be the world’s top selling book having billions of copies sold. What makes the recorded word of God so valuable? The word of God makes a claim about itself. In Hebrews 4:12 it is stated, “Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Simply put the word is relevant at all times and in all seasons, it has the power to transform the individual, and as some say, you read books but the Bile is the only book that reads you.
What should our relationship to the word of God be as a faith community? The word of God should be transformative and reformative for us. The initial hearing of the word should transform our hearts. In reference to the preaching of the apostles, Paul says in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” Continuous hearing, reading, and studying of the word should cause a reformation of our thoughts, attitudes, and actions.
Jesus reminds us in today’s reading portion that our belief/faith in his word should not only manifest in works but be demonstrable in our hearts. In Matthew 7:22, Jesus is talking about a group of people that take pride in work that they have done in His name. He doesn’t deny that they did any works. Rather he includes them in the group of people who address him as Lord, Lord yet do not do the will of the Father in heaven. Jesus says that in the last day they will be on the receiving end of the harshest words one can hear from Jesus, “I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.” This is a dire warning to us to not be self-deceived into thinking that the works we have often convinced ourselves is God ordained, is going to be credited to us on the Day of Judgment. In fact if we look at Matthew 25:31-46, we see Jesus saying, “Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ In one instance we see a group of people who are boasting about the works they have done, in the other case we see a people who were living out the word in their daily lives.
Matthew 7:24-27 is the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount which begins in chapter 5. Jesus tells us that if those who hear these words of his and acts on them will be wise and not be affected by the storms of life. He also reminds us that the fall of those who do not act on them will be indeed a great fall. The word of God should indeed reform our thoughts and minds to unify our wills so much to the will of God that we naturally live out his word daily. This is very much contrary to the rewards based mode of action that this world promotes and that we are all so used to. Let us pray to our Father in heaven to prepare our minds to have paradigm shift and Christlikeness in our thoughts and attitudes.
Lord, enable us to lead a life that is pleasing to you. Let us be like the wise who built the house on the rock and has a solid foundation. Let us be the wise like the 5 virgins who stored oil inadvance waiting for the bridegroom.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Let us be doers of the word of God not just hearers.
Mr Vivin Varughese, The Mar Thoma Church Staten island
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church