Going for the Highest Good
by PASTOR MARK W. LOVE
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Rockford
“Silence is a text easy to misread.” These words taken from the “Quotable Quotes” in Reader’s Digest speak a great truth about the way people communicate with each other.
The lack of communication in any relationship leaves those in the relationship to be guided by ignorance, assumptions and guesswork. The lack of honest and continuous communication is the chief cause for relationships to breakdown, whether in marriages, families, friendships or faith.
Jesus Christ was born into the flesh for the purpose of accomplishing several things. One of the most important purposes was that God might speak to us in these latter days by His Son (Heb.1:2). This Jesus did and still does to make sure that there is no lack of honest and continuous communication from God to us. There is no silence on the part of God for us to misread. God offers us no reason for our relationship with Him to be guided by ignorance or guesswork and no reason for it to break down.
This is not to say that God tells us all, that is, He tells us everything there is to know. God tells us all that is necessary for a vibrantly living faith life with Him. Let’s be clear, there are many areas where God would have us be ignorant, because our minds cannot grasp what He is able to do in every single thing, nor are we able to comprehend the “how” or the means through which He does things.
God’s communication with us is living and fresh every day. While this seems hard to believe, we must remember, “The Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart,” Hebrews 4:12.
As we approach the Holy Week it is important we do not travel with a “been there, done that” attitude. This journey is with the living and active Word of God, a Word that will speak with a freshness that is new every day. This God promises us “His mercies are new every morning,” Lamentations 3:22-23. Now if His mercies, which are offered to us in His Word, are new every morning, will not His Word by which they come also be new and fresh to us every morning, afternoon and evening?
The believer approaches the opportunities for listening to God with a full expectation of having God speak to him or her personally. For the Word of God is not only living and active, but it is essential and useful for the daily life of everyone. This is essential because “faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God,” Romans 10:17. Useful because God promises: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work,” II Timothy 3:16-17.
Our Lord Jesus did not misread the silence of God He suffered on the Cross. This silence was God’s punishment on our sin. In our place, Jesus suffers the silence of God we deserve. He is not allowed to hear any divine word of comfort or consolation, because we refuse to hear the divine word. Jesus knew what the silence meant, and He knows how critical it is that we always be able to hear, not what we want to hear but what our sin troubled souls need to hear: God’s words of merciful forgiveness and love.
As we prepare to celebrate our Lord’s sacrificial death for us and His resurrection victory for us, the question we need to ask ourselves is not, “Do I go to church?” but, “Am I listening to the only God in Jesus Christ who speaks to me the words of eternal life?” As you journey through Holy Week and on to the resurrection, I hope that you will use this time to increase and enhance your two-way communication with the Lord.