Everything About the Word
Thursday of Easter 3
19 April 2018
What would we think of a husband who claimed to love his wife intensely, but who mostly ignored what she said to him? Would she not begin to suspect that all his protestations of love were merely perfunctory? If this state of affairs would continue, and if she saw him recoil whenever she spoke, would she not begin to question his very love for her? She would indeed.
The same things obtains when a person ignores the Word of God. If His speech makes us recoil at the sound of His voice we are recoiling from God Himself. By hating the Word of God we hate God. All our protestations of love are indeed hollow, not matter how loudly or how often we make those claims of love, if we are intent upon rejecting the Word of God. This is all the more intensely the case with God and His children than it is with husband and wife, in which case either he or she might be mistaken in their views and speech. With God no such mistakes are possible. His Word is always truthful (Jn 17:17; Eph 1:13; Jm 1:18). So to reject His Word is to reject Him.
This is also the more intensely true considering that the Son of God is also the Word of God. God has delivered His speech in Christ, His Son begotten from eternity. The ever-begotten Son is the speech of the begetting Father. God's speech is the living relation of eternal birth from the Father to the Son. The Son is the Word of God (Jn 1:14). Thus to reject the Word of God is to reject God Himself. God's speaking is a conferral of Himself and all His gifts to His people. So to neglect the Word of God is to neglect God. All our pious protestations of heartfelt love toward God sound foolish when we ignore His Word. His Word incarnate, Jesus Christ, calls on us to hear, learn, trust in, and believe the written and preached Word. He even prays passionately that we might do so (Jn 17:17). Everything is about the Word.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"The object of your highest devotion is certainly the thing to which your heart has attached its love and desire, the thing for which your whole body and all your organs yearn. As Christ said earlier: 'Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also' (Mt 6:21). What a person loves, that he will certainly pursue, that he will enjoy talking about, that will occupy all his heart and his thoughts. Therefore St. Augustine says: 'Whatever I love, that is my god.' From this you see what kind of people they are whom Christ terms 'enemies of God.' They make a great show of serving Him as if they were His dearest friends, but fundamentally all they are is genuine demonic saints, who hate God cordially and persecute Him, His Word, and His work.
"For hating the Word of God is really hating God. This is how it works. You denounce a man for his unbelief and greed, and you hold the First Commandment up to him (Ex 20:3): 'You shall have no other gods before Me.' That is, 'You shall not attach your heart, your desire, and your love to anyone else but Me.' And he refuses to hear that denunciation or to stand for it. He starts ranting and raving against it, until in his heart there is bitterness and venomous hatred against the Word and its preachers. That is why the text of the Ten Commandments contains the threat: 'I am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children of those who hate me' (Ex 20:5). He is talking about these very same greedy bellies and money-servers, for Scripture calls greed 'idolatry,' or the worship of idols (Eph 5:5; Col 3:5). And yet, as we have said, they lay claim to titles like 'the greatest of saints' and 'enemies of idolatry and heresy'; and they absolutely disclaim the title 'haters of God.' But they are convicted by their inability to hear or see the Word of God when it attacks their greed, and by their insistence that they get off without any denunciation. The more they are denounced and threatened, the more they deride and mock, doing whatever they please to spite God and everyone else."

Martin Luther, Sermons on The Sermon on the Mount, 6.24
Matthew 6:24-34

"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (ESV)
Lord Jesus, incarnate Word, You have spoken Your life into our ears. Help us to believe Your Word that we might believe only You. Amen.
For President Matthew Harrison of LCMS, that the Lord would grant him joy in his service to the church
For LouAnn Webber, that she would be strengthened in body and soul
For all pregnant mothers and unborn children, that the Lord of life would keep them safe
Art: GRÜNEWALD, Matthias,  Resurrection (c. 1515)
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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