So much information bombards us it is next to impossible to sort out truth from lies, what is worthy of our trust from what we should just discard. There is a torrent of advice about how to live. We are counseled about what it means to be a man, a woman. There are multiple advisors about parenting – strict, permissive – what is the best way? Financial advisors will offer you many ideas about how to invest your resources. What does a healthy diet look like? In my lifetime the accepted wisdom for all of those things, and more, have been radically rewritten.
There is one thing that is unchanging, a solid foundation for life. The Gospel, God’s Message of hope and life in Christ Jesus, is one thing not subject to revision. Paul writes of his joy in the believers who accept that Word by faith. “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13, NIV)
Peter joins Paul in affirming the truth of the Gospel. “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16, NIV)
There is no better hope than the anchor of the love of God, shown us through Christ Jesus. Regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, social status – there is one message. It is that Jesus Christ came into the world to save us, to restore us to our Creator Father, and to assure us, by His own Resurrection, that we can live beyond this brief existence on this earth. This is Truth. Do you believe it, receive it, and hold to it?
Many other roads to God may be suggested, but there is but One Way. We cannot reach God with a bridge built of our own goodness. We need a Savior. We cannot reach God by study and discovery. We need Someone to reveal the truth. When we respond to His invitation, in faith, a whole new kind of existence begins to emerge for us. We learn to love. There is hope and joy. Peace is possible, with other people and with God Himself.
Jesus describes the settling of the Truth as being like the planting of a seed. His parable used 4 soil types to represent the human mind and heart and our response to the Word of the Gospel. “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.” (Mark 4:3-8, NIV)
Some hear and are just hard, the seed unable to germinate.
Others hear eagerly, perhaps in a desperate time, but fail to grow roots to sustain their faith.
Some let life get too full of other things and the Word Seed’s growth is stunted.
Some are fertile rich soil where God’s Gospel produces a rich quality of life.
Who are YOU, friend? Are you receiving the Gospel, acting on it, loving Christ? In one way, we could speak of this as a ‘once and done’ moment, for we are born into the kingdom by faith, given new life at a moment of conversion. Yet, it is also true that the Gospel is received anew each day so that the life of the Spirit can flourish making us fruitful in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5: 22)
This Monday morning, the first day of Thanksgiving week, thank God for showing you His love in Christ Jesus. Receive the Word as the word of God, not as some bit of advice from a counselor.
Here is a word from the Word. “When God wanted to guarantee his promises, He gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because His word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God.” (Heb 6:17-19, The Message)
(listen and know peace)
I have this hope
As an anchor for my soul
Through ev’ry storm
I will hold to You
With endless love
All my fear is swept away
I will trust in You
There is hope in the promise of the cross
You gave ev’rything to save the world You love
And this hope is an anchor for my soul
Our God will stand unshakable
Who was and is to come
Your promise sure
You will not let go
Your Name is higher
Your Name is greater
All my hope is in You
Your word unfailing
Your promise unshaken
All my hope is in You
Ben Fielding | Dean Ussher © 2012 Hillsong Music Publishing Australia (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)
CCLI License # 810055