Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | March 25, 2015

March 25, 2015 “And now…A Word From Our Sponsor”

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

Good Morning Everyone!

As a child of the 1950’s, I grew up during the advent of the age of television. Saturday morning was my favorite day for watching those shows that were on the three available networks, because they always broadcast shows geared for kids on those days. There were cartoons, westerns, jungle adventure shows, and lots of commercials (usually touting some sugary breakfast cereal). They were usually introduced with the voice of a commentator uttering, “ And now, a word from our sponsor.” It’s funny how those commercials have remained in my memory more so than the shows themselves. I speculate it has to do with two factors: 1) They always had a catchy tune that would stick in your head. As a kid, I knew all the jingles and would often sing them. 2) The product was usually personified in some fashion. Talking toothpaste tubes, singing cereal boxes, and dancing donuts were not at all uncommon.

As I watch television today, I notice that marketing hasn’t changed much since those early days. There are still catchy tunes and almost any product from toe fungus treatments to bladder control medications are personified by silly cartoon figures. By now, you may be wondering where all this is leading to anything of a spiritual connection with the verse from Hebrews that speaks of God’s living word. While toes wearing football helmets and talking auto insurance policies may actually entice us to purchase the products they represent (though one has difficulty imagining how), the Bible, God’s word, actually is a real living thing. The description of it offered in Hebrews 4:12 is spot-on. God’s word is “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword”. It has a life of its own, for its origin is from the mind of God, the “Living One.”  Here, it is compared to a sword “piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow” with the ability “to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Only a truly living thing could possess such ability. It is more than a diagnostic tool that a doctor might use to determine what is going on with a patient. It not only diagnoses…it has the ability to discern the thoughts and intentions of each one of us.  Christian reformer Martin Luther personified God’s word like this:

The Bible is alive; it speaks to me. It has feet; it runs after me. It has hands; it lays hold of me!”

Scripture has compelling power, for it is a living entity. In Isaiah  we read, “so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11) If you want to experience something more meaningful than talking candy pieces or smiling scrubbing bubbles, turn off the television and get into God’s word. It has feet that will run after you. It has hands that will lay hold of you. It has life that will transform you. Let’s pray!

O Lord; My heart hungers for Your word. May it penetrate my heart, my mind, my spirit, and my soul as I feed upon it…the Living word. Transform me, Lord. Discern the thoughts and intentions of my heart and renew me without and within. This I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

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