ODJ: hear the Word
September 2, 2014
READ: Colossians 4:2-18
After you have read this letter, pass it on to the church at Laodicea so they can read it too. And you should read the letter I wrote to them (v.16).
Paul’s closing remarks indicate how his letters were presented. The church gathered to hear the letter read out loud and, when they had heard it, the letter was copied by hand before it was sent on to another city. So the average Christians heard God’s Word with their ears before seeing it with their eyes.
We thank God for the opportunity to read His Word whenever we want. But we must not neglect the unique power that’s present when the church gathers to hear it read aloud. When we hear God’s Word, we realise that:
- His Word is alive. God’s Word isn’t just letters on a page. It’s “alive and powerful”—making things happen (Hebrews 4:12). God speaks, “Let there be”, and the universe flashes into existence (Genesis 1:3). God says, “Lazarus, come out!” and a dead man stirs to life (John 11:43). God declares, “Look, I am making everything new!” and His words swish around the swill of corruption and spit it out of creation (Revelation 21:5).
God’s Word performs what it describes. Martin Luther emphasised how important it is to read God’s promise of forgiveness (1 John 1:9), but we’ll truly get it when we hear that promise announced to us: “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). This power of God’s spoken Word is the reason the sermon is the centrepiece of our worship services.
- His Word is life. The Word of God that we hear interprets what we see. Our eyes tell us that we are habitual sinners; God’s Word declares we are holy (1 Corinthians 1:2). Our eyes tell us our dead brother or sister is never coming back; God’s Word says their gravesite is resurrection ground (15:50-58).
We trust our ears, not our eyes. Let’s continue to gather with other believers and hear more! —Mike Wittmer
365-day plan› Matthew 21:28-46
Read Deuteronomy 6:1-25 to learn the importance of hearing the Word of God.
Have you been relying on what you see more than what you hear from God’s Word? What promise or truth does God want you to believe today?