Summary: A summary of our faith in God’s Word.
Sermon for Matthew 13:1-23
July 13th 2008
“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold.”
Like I mentioned, this past week I had the privilege to serve as Camp Pastor at Lutheran Hills in Nashville Indiana. I say a privilege, because it is not very often one has the wonderful opportunity and awesome responsibility to have 61 high school youth as a captive audience for one uninterrupted hour each and every day to share with them the most important words they may ever hear in their lifetime—The Word of God.
I’m not sure if you have ever noticed that many of our worship weeks center a round a central theme. And today it just so happens to be the Word. The Word of God. Look at the front of our bulletin, the prayers, the readings, even the songs all point us to that Word of God.
So now I ask the exact same question I asked when I sat down to prepare for Servant Camp. What exactly is that Word? And I now I share the basic same message I shared with 61 high school youth in a wooded chapel for some 5 hours, with you today—minus some 4 hours and 40 minutes, for the same reason. It just may be the most important words you may ever hear in your lifetime.
As I have said many times in the past, God comes to Us, and while God can come to us anyway God chooses, God promises to come to us through the Word. And so I began the lesson with the 61 inquisitive minds the same way I begin today by saying what a thing really is.
There are only two possibilities when it comes to the Word of God, and the promises found in the Holy Scriptures. The Word of God is either true or it is not true. It’s true or not true. How’s that for simple. If the word of God is not true then guess what folks? It won’t mean squat for us in this life or the next.
I think the apostle Paul says it best in 1st Corinthians 15:17, “If the words of this book are not true, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” Simply put, if the claims made in the Holy Scripture are not true, we are wasting our time and I don’t know about you, but I’m not real fond of this possibility.
The other possibility is that the Word found in the Bible is true. And if God’s Word is true then you and I are promised strength, comfort, healing, forgiveness, guidance, hope right here, right now, and life eternal in the future. If the Word is true then it has enormous meaning and impact upon not only my eternal life, but for my daily life, and the lives of those around me.
So I asked these little searchers as I ask you, If the stakes are so enormously high and there really only two possibilities don’t you think that one should invest the time and effort to closely examine what is found in a book that may contain a Life Saving—Life Giving—Living Word?
So for the next five days that exactly what we did. We started at the beginning, Genesis and examined these stories to see for ourselves if they might be true. What we found was amazing.
We learned that the first line of the Bible may be the only line of the Word that requires a lot of faith. “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth.” Yet most of us deep down know that God/Something created all there is.
All one needs to do is reflect upon the majesty of it all, the diversity, the order and say wow! Now all one has to do is say to oneself, “If God created all there was, all there is, and all there ever will be, then how difficult would it be for this awesome Creator to change my puny little life?” Not very hard!
So then we looked at the creation of human beings, something we know to be true. Human being that are rather different than the rest of creation, for the simply fact that we can ask what I call the depth questions. “Who am I? Who made me? What is my purpose?” We are free creatures not programmed by instinct, but free to obey and not obey, free to love or not to love.
And God then gives you and I the world on a silver platter and says, “I give you two simple commands—One, be fruitful. Meaning to take care of this glorious creation and all that is in it—including each other. And two—trust Me—don’t eat from that one single tree in the middle of the garden—the tree of knowledge. You don’t need it and you for sure can’t handle it. You don’t need to know everything—like what you are going to be in 20 years, when you are going to die, that God’s task. God simply says, “Trust that I have your best interest at heart.”