Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 12

I Peter 1:24-25 - For, “All people are like grass,
    and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.

Sometimes the Bible gives the impression that it is talking out of both sides of its mouth. Today’s verse is a fine example. There is no bleaker picture of humanity’s fate than what is found in verse 24: You and I, and all people, will wither and die like grass. Thanks of the uplifting and encouraging view of life Peter. What about remaining positive?

But, the Bible is not interested in positive and encouraging platitudes. It is interested in reality; and the reality is that our lives are fleeting. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Our sinfulness produces death in our lives. It has also caused the undoing of creation (Genesis 3:17-18; Romans 8:20). Thus, like our own lives, the creation faces death and destruction. Grass, flowers, and people all will die. The news cannot get any worse than that.

But, the Bible never ends with bad news. God has something to say from the other side of His mouth. Yes, with all people, we will die. But, there is yet hope! For the Word of the Lord endures forever! We might ask, “How is this good news? Doesn’t the fact that God’s Word remains only accentuate my fleeting life?” It might, if that Word was only a word of condemnation. But, it is not!

Peter says that the Word that remains is the Word that was “preached to you.” This is the way the apostle says that the Word is a gift from God that was spoken into your ears. It is no mere word of information, but the declared promise of Jesus that He died for you! You, dear reader, are forgiven. You, dear reader, are free from death! You, dear reader, have a God who put on flesh, suffered for your sins, and rose again so that death is not the end! This preached Word is a promise from God to you. And it is a Word that raises you from death and gives you Jesus, who is the Word made flesh and the Word preached for you! The news cannot get any better than that!

Gracious Father, with your Word of Law you destroy proud sinners. With your Word of Gospel you raise the dead sinner to life. Forgive me for my sin which has deserved death and your wrath. I cannot contain the joy inside knowing that you have forgiven me and granted me life by your grace and with your Son’s blood. Give me ears to hear, faith to believe, and the will to obey your Word. AMEN!

*The symbol on the top of this devotional stands for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.” It is a Latin phrase which means “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” This phrase, based on I Peter 1:24-25, served as the battle cry of the Lutheran reformers as it reminded them that God’s Word alone was sufficient to teach them God’s will. The symbol was on flags, banners, uniforms, and even swords as a sign of unity among those who suffered for confessing their faith in Christ alone. *
Pastor Bob


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