What a beautiful reading today from Isaiah 55. We’ll talk about it in a moment. Our Gospel reading today from Matthew 6 is where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray. He teaches them the “Our Father.” But that’s not the end of the story. Immediately after the prayer, Jesus tells them, “If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” So, if we don’t offer forgiveness, even to those that hurt us badly, then we won’t receive forgiveness? I don’t really see much wiggle room here.
Today in Isaiah 55, we read, “So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.” We have God’s word available to us always in the Sacred Scriptures. And we see that His word will achieve the end for which He sent it. So what is that end for which God sends His word? I think we can safely assume that it is for our salvation. But it is for so much more. God’s word gives us a blueprint for how to live our lives. And it all shakes out finally in the person of Jesus.
So, if the Bible is the best selling book in the world, translated into almost every known language, then why does it seem that so few are actually affected by it? Two thoughts on that…1) We have to be open to receiving God’s word. Anyone can read words on a page. But for God’s word to be effective in our lives, we must be open to changing. 2) We must be willing to act on His word. It must change us; draw us closer to Him. It is one thing to know what is the right thing to do. It is a whole other thing to actually do it. So my question for you today: Has God’s word achieved the end for which He sent it in your life? Is it changing you? Drawing you closer to Him?
Father, may we hunger for your word and allow it to change us into all that you desire us to be. Amen.
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