God is watching over His Word – Sunday August 5th 2012.
“I am watching over My word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:12b
Beloved in the Lord,
There are not many things in life that come with an iron clad guarantee. There are not too many people or too many things that we can be absolutely sure that we can rely upon and fully trust. The Latvian’s have a saying that a promise does not land in your purse. A promise until it is fulfilled is just a promise.
With God, we never have to doubt whether His Word will be fulfilled. God always keeps His Word and all of His promises do come not only with an iron clad guarantee, they cannot fail because God does not have the capacity to fail. We can be absolutely sure that what God promises, He does.
Our text today is a conversation that God is having with His prophet Jeremiah. God says to Him: “I am watching over My word to perform it.” God is all powerful, He knows all things, and He is everywhere; therefore He can say “I will perform my Word.” Through the prophet Isaiah we have this Word from God:
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
And do not return there without watering the earth
And making it bear and sprout,
And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
It will not return to Me empty,
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it. (Is.55:10-11)
God could not have stated it any clearer. This is why, even though throughout history, many have tried to stamp out the Bible, to discredit it, to wipe it out of existence, they have not succeeded. The Bible has been burned, it has been banned, but it always remains. That is because it is the Word of God, not the word of man. Everything that God has said will happen has happened or will happen. Over and over we read in the Bible how everything that God says will happen, happens.
Every person has to make a choice in his or her life whether to accept or deny God’s Word. If you choose to accept it, live by it, subject your life to it, you are blessed. On the other hand if you reject God’s Word, ignore it, disbelieve it, you remain under the curse of sin and death. Death in the bible is separation from Almighty God. You are a loser here and in eternity.
Concluding The Sermon on The Mount Jesus told a parable about two men and their relationship with God’s Word:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
Obedience to the Word of God is important. It is not enough just to hear it. Jesus said who hears and does is blessed. That is a wise life, to hear and do The Word of God.
James writes in his Epistle: “22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25
One thing I absolutely love about The Bible is that it is given to us in a way that we can understand if we want to. Both Jesus and James use very simple and easy to comprehend illustrations from life to bring us the message.
Jesus is talking about foundations. We all know that in order for a building to be strong it must have good foundations. A building erected on a weak, on a poor foundation, will not be able to withstand pressures placed upon it. A building erected on sand will not stand. The waters, and the winds will erode the foundation and the building will eventually come crashing down.
To build upon the rock, requires a lot more effort, but it is worth it. It is much more secure. The rock can withstand the beating waves and the blowing winds. The sand is clearly the world and it’s systems and philosophies. Many people build their lives on worldly principles and ideals, and philosophies. They choose the easy way falsely believing and hoping that all will be well. Many simply do not think, but just go along with the flow.
To build your house upon the rock is to build it on Jesus and His Word. That requires dedication, self sacrifice, perseverance, sometimes ridicule and scorn from the World. It is much more difficult, but oh it is worth it. If your life is built on the solid rock of Jesus and God’s Word, it will stand no matter what comes against it. God has promised it will, and it will!
We read in Isaiah: “But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
3 “For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; “ (Is.43:1-3)
This promise from God is to all who trust in Him, who believe in Him. If your life, your family is built on His Word, if you trust in Him and live in faith, you need never fear anything, because God has promised to protect you. He has stated that He keeps careful watch over His Word to perform it. Hallelujah.
On the other hand, if you are not founded on the solid rock of God’s Word, you do not have any guarantee. You have no hope, no security. Your whole life can come crashing down in an instant. A good foundation is of vital importance.
The only truth, the only foundation is Jesus Christ and God’s Word. They are inseparable. Please understand that is not enough simply to build on a good foundation, we must continue to live out our life according to The Word of God. We must read and obey it every day. Remember Jesus said: “Whosoever hears and does.”
James exhorts us to be doers and not just hearers of God’s Word. He also used a very simple illustration from life. He said to hear and not do God’s Word is like looking in a mirror and then immediately forgetting what you saw. You were getting ready for Church this morning and you looked in the mirror and noticed that your tie was crooked, or ladies, you noticed that your lipstick had smeared. You noticed that something was wrong, but did not act to correct the problem. Your looking in the mirror was in vain.
To listen to a sermon, but not act upon the message, renders your listening in vain. You need to commit to and do what God is teaching you to do.
Please understand, that when we do commit to obey God’s Word, He help us and gives us the necessary resources to do so. God gives us His Holy Spirit who is our Helper. The Holy Spirit works in, with, and under God’s Word. He helps us to understand it, to interpret it correctly. He helps us to live it out, if we let Him.
Remember that God says: “I am watching over My word to perform it.”
God keeps His side of the agreement. It is important that we make a commitment to receive God’s Word, to heed and obey His Word, to live it out in our lives. If we do we are blessed. This is so beautifully stated in Psalm 1:
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.”
God is watching over His Word to perform it, and if you will stay in His Word, abide in Him, you will be like that tree planted by the waters, bearing good fruit. That is my prayer for you.
Pastor Colvin S. MacPherson Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sydney.
All Bible quotations taken from New American Standard Bible.