Reading Dad’s Sermons
For the word of God is alive 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
Dad was the minister at our church, and every week he would work on his sermon for the Sunday morning service. He also had to prepare a Sunday night sermon, and a Wednesday night message. Dad was a very busy man. He also worked very long hours at a car manufacturing plant, jogged several times a week, planted summer gardens, did the yard work, and if there was any spare time, he did artwork. Yes, dad’s hands were never idle.
To help out, when I was a little girl, dad gave me a job. Every Sunday morning, while he was getting ready for church, he would have me read his sermons out loud to him. It was not an easy task, because dad wrote very small, in little bits, and pieces of fragmented sentences. Even though he was an artist, his handwriting was very difficult to decipher. I would plod along with dad filling in the blanks during my pauses. He never grew impatient with me, but lovingly listened. I always felt honored to help him.
Later when I was an adult he said to me, “You know Jenny, I had you do that job when you were a little girl, not for my sake, but for yours.” Here I thought I was helping dad, when in fact, he was helping me. Dad was nurturing me in God’s word, and for that I will be forever grateful.
As an adult, I go to God’s word daily. I would not think for going a day without rest, drink, or food so why would I want to neglect the spiritual nourishment which I find in God’s word?
2 Timothy 3:16 says that the word helps to teach, rebuke, train and correct. Psalms 119:130 says that the word brings light, and understanding, and Proverbs says we receive wisdom and knowledge from the word. The Bible says that hiding His word in our hearts will help us not to sin. Also, His word helps us find strength, peace, joy, love, direction, and so much more.
Everything will pass away, but the word of God will endure forever. In it we find the truth, and the truth sets us free. It is the bread of life. It is a light for our path. Ephesians says that the word of God is our sword, so in essence, it is our weapon.
We should not only desire to be in the word, but feel a need to be in it every single day. Yet, there is one more thing. James 1:22 says, “Do what God’s teaching says; don’t just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves.” We need to soak it in, apply it to our lives, and let it spill out in love to the world.
Dear God, Thank you for the words of life we find in you. Amen
~ Jenny Calvert