Isaiah 6:1-10; 2 Peter 1:19
In an article entitled ‘The Word-less “Church,”’ Robert Godfrey writes,
‘Many American churches are in a mess. Theologically they are indifferent, confused, or dangerously wrong. Liturgically they are the captives of superficial fads. Morally they live lives indistinguishable from the world. They often have a lot of people, money, and activities. But are they really churches, or have they degenerated into peculiar clubs?’
‘What has gone wrong?’ he asks. To which he responds that ‘at the heart of the mess is a simple phenomenon: the churches seem to have lost a love for and confidence in the Word of God.’ Many still carry Bibles and declare the authority of the Scriptures. They may even still have sermons based on Bible verses and still have Bible study classes. But not much of the Bible is actually read in their services. Their sermons and studies usually do not examine the Bible to see what it thinks is important for the people of God. He notes that ‘increasingly they treat the Bible as tidbits of poetic inspiration, of pop psychology, and of self-help advice.’ However, ‘Congregations where the Bible is ignored or abused are in the gravest peril.’ Yet, for all, ‘Churches that depart from the Word will soon find that God has departed from them.’
What solution does the Bible teach for this sad situation? The short but profound answer is given by Paul in Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” We need the Word to dwell in us richly so that we will know the truths that God thinks are most important and so that we will know His purposes and priorities.
Since the Word of God is what it professes to be – the Word of God – it comes with a glory second to none. As Martin Luther once said, ‘Let the man who would hear God speak read Holy Scriptures.’ For the next couple of months this summer we are going to take a journey in a few of the parables of Jesus that we find in the Gospel of Luke. We need the word of Christ to dwell in us richly today more than ever. Then churches may escape being a mess and become the radiant body of Christ as God intended.
I hope you are able to join us this week as we talk about awaking to the glory of God from the prophet Isaiah 6:1-4 and the apostle Peter in his second letter 1:19. Here are some of the parables we will look at over the next couple of months.
The Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37
The Rich FoolLuke 12:13-21
The Unfruitful Fig TreeLuke 13:1-9
The Great SupperLuke 14:12-24
The Prodigal SonLuke 15
The Unjust StewardLuke 16:1-18
Rich Man & LazarusLuke 16:19-31
3 Parables on PrayerLuke 11:5-13; 18:1-14
For His Glory,