Sunday, October 31, 2021
God’s Word Exposes
Like Smoke in the Trees
And Gives Us Life
But I the Lord will speak the word that I speak, and it will be fulfilled. It will no longer be delayed; but in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and fulfill it, says the Lord God.
1 Corinthians 4:20
For the kingdom of God depends not on talk but on power.
Words of Grace For Today
Paul writes to the congregation at Corinth, a very divided and problematic congregation, filled with strife and people seeking to gain power. Paul speaks to the issues through the letter, and here addresses the arrogant ones who are full of divisive talk. Paul speaks to the bullies.
While Paul has preached (spoken) about the grace of Jesus, forgiveness of sins for sinners as we all are, and renewal of life given as a free gift (grace) so that we can share the gifts God gives us each day with others who need what we have, here Paul uses his written words to move people to recognize that these promises given to us in Jesus’ story are not mere words. These promises carry the reality of the universe’s maker and all of God’s unlimited power in them.
Words carry God’s promises. The Word, Jesus the Christ, as John teaches, existed before the beginning with God, and God spoke to create all that is. Words are very powerful.
Words are also empty vessels of deceit and deception, of irreality, of things that are not, though corrupt people and the Devil wish they were, and with their wishing they give them a semblance of reality … but only a reality that dissolves like a holo program on a spaceship in a fictional story of the Star Trek series.
God’s power is in words that are fulfilled, even for a rebellious house, like Israel and like us all as we seek our own way through life. God’s power is in healing that relieves diseases of body, mind, heart and soul. God’s power is greater than anything else we could imagine and infinitely more! God’s Word creates all that is, all reality that does not dissolve but stands in time … and in hearts and minds … for bodies and for souls.
The arrogant bullies in the Corinthian congregation and all the bullies of all times and all places are no match for the power of God, the Word of God. So unsure of themselves, bullies present a false front of self-assurance and self-made power. Their so called ‘power’ and deceiving words dissolve in the face of truth, in the face of God’s Word, in the face of Grace, in the face of real power, in the face of sacrificial love, and in the face of hope that cannot be extinguished by evil.
Bullies everywhere: listen up! Bullies everywhere: stand down! Bullies everywhere: God will deal with you, will heal you, will send you out to be messengers of God’s Word that gives life (instead of the words you now use to destroy others’ lives.
Bullies everywhere meet God. God’s been with you through all time.
Bullies everywhere quake in fear, for God has spoken and your bulling days are coming to an end.