This last Sunday we had a fantastic gathering. For those of you who know, at West Side we strive to keep God’s Word as the guiding factor for every portion of our Sunday service. We read His Word aloud together before we sing. While we sing there are portions of Scripture at the bottom of the screen to remind us of how and why we sing God’s Word back to Him. We focus on a portion of Text as we worship with our giving and we hear the Word read aloud prior to the sermon. Finally, we engage His Word with our minds as we focus on the sermon and the implications it has on our lives as believers and non-believers. To sum all of that up, Bob Kauflin said it best in his book, Worship Matters, when he said this, “the Word of God fuels our worship to God.”
The next morning I came in to the office and grabbed my acoustic guitar to run through some songs for our next Sunday gathering and realized the guitar was starting to show some serious signs of wear and tear. I took a moment to study the features of the guitar and began to see things I have overlooked for quite some time. The spacing between the frets are caked in oil and grime from my fingers. The frets themselves have been severely worn down by years of play like tiny valleys carved out of little metal mountains. The body of the guitar has had it’s finish shaved away from innumerable amounts of grazing by who knows how many guitar picks and the sound hole is chipping away for the same reason. There are dents in the body’s surface from when the lid of the hard case has inappropriately been shut, (my fault,) on the top of the guitar. The back of the neck is wearing down from the constant friction of the palm of my hand. The 1/4” plug is loose. The tuning heads rattle and jiggle as I move the guitar around. The saddle and nut are in need of replacing and the guitar itself is appearing to age from environmental influences.
All of these details caused me to think about how old this guitar actually is. After I finished practicing the songs I went to put the guitar back in it’s case and in a pocket of the case I found the original receipt from when I purchased this guitar. The date on the top of the receipt read 09-06-08. By the magic of mathematics I discovered that this guitar has been with me for over nine years. Nine years! I spent some time thinking about that. A lot has happened in the last nine years. I’ve lived in plenty of different cities, traveled to several and lived in a few different states. I’ve gotten married, bought a house, had a baby, transitioned from volunteering to part-time to full-time at our church, lost family members, led worship at camps, conferences, myriads of Sunday services and band practices… you get the idea. This guitar has been with me through all of that. For nine years this guitar has journeyed with me through a lot and it has served its purpose so well during that time.
This reminds me of the faithfulness of God’s Word.
Isaiah 40:8 reads, “the grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.”
How incredible is this? God’s Word will stand forever. For all of eternity. God’s Word, full of promises in regards to His goodness, His provision, His wrath, His grace and mercy, His Son and His glory. It will stand forever.
God’s Word and His faithfulness are closely tied together. I say this because in His Word are constant reminders and proof of His faithfulness. The writer of Hebrews , (ch11,) beautifully displays God’s promise-keeping, promise-fulfilling nature in walking through the patriarchs to show that in the midst of their messes, God’s faithfulness is made loud via His provision and power. 2 Corinthians 1:20 shows us that “the promises of God find their yes in Him…” Most importantly, we see God’s faithfulness in keeping His promise to send us a Son. Isaiah 9:6-7 the promise reads, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forever more.” Paul addresses God’s faithfulness in addressing this promise in Acts 13:23 “…Of this man’s offspring, God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as He promised.”
God’s promises are similar to that guitar, but vastly better. Like that guitar, God’s faithfulness is there with us throughout our lives. In the midst of the joys of making friends, buying a house, getting married and having a baby. His faithfulness is there through the pain of losing a loved one, the heartache of a broken relationship, the chaos of a divorce or the distress of infidelity. God’s faithfulness endures with us.
But unlike that guitar, God’s Word endures with us, forever. His Word will never have worn out application for our lives. The Word of the Lord will never have dents or cracks in it’s soundness. The Bible will never have blemishes from my constant seeking, praying, page turning and studying. The Words will never dry out or lose their beauty and the Words of Christ will never cease to play their perfect tune in our lives, throughout all of space, time and eternity. The Psalmist sung it loudly and accurately, “For the LORD is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.”
Do you rest in God’s faithfulness? Do you seek out for proof of His goodness and faithfulness, daily, actively in His Word?
I would encourage you, in the midst of whatever season of life you may find yourselves in, whether it be a time of sadness, distress, anger, depression, loss, or whether it be a time of joy, happiness, celebration and thankfulness, rest in truth that God’s faithfulness and His Word are everlasting.
“Summer and winter,
springtime and harvest,
sun, moon and stars in their courses above
join with all nations in manifold witness
to Thy great faithfulness,
mercy and love.”
-Thomas Chisolm, Great is Thy Faithfulness, 1923.