Daily Thought For February 7, 2019

Indeed, God's word is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates and divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the reflections and thoughts of the heart. Nothing is concealed from Him. All lies bare and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must render an account (Heb 4:12-13). 
     God's word is alive! That fact is a source of great joy and consolation, but it is also a source of constant challenge and conviction as we follow Jesus. I was amazed after receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to find out how alive God's word could be. The words of Scripture seemed to leap off the page to speak to my heart. In Psalm 119 we read that a young person can keep his life pure by guarding it according to God's word. God's word needs to be stored up in our hearts that we might not sin against the Lord. As the Holy Spirit teaches us, He often uses the Scripture which we have read and meditated upon to shed light on the circumstances of our everyday life. 
     I had a powerful experience years ago of this "two-edged sword" of God's word piercing my thoughts. I was visiting my family, and as I unpacked I noticed that my brother was using a cheaper brand of contact lens solution than the one which I brought home. This meant very little until the next morning when I noticed my bottle of solution left open on the sink. Obviously my brother had tried it out. I used the solution myself and put it on the shelf. 
The next morning once again, I found the bottle open on the sink. I was a little irritated but I used the solution and returned it to the shelf. When on the third day I found my contact lens solution had been used, I was upset! There it was, left open day after day, evaporating into thin air! I took the bottle and hid it in my room. After all, I had invested in a better brand of contact lens solution and I should benefit from it, right? 
    Later that day at Mass, during the Offertory, I said to the Lord, "I offer you everything I am and everything I have." There immediately came to mind a vivid picture of my bottle of contact lens solution with a Scripture passage underneath. The passage, from Luke's Gospel, concerns someone who wants Jesus to settle a dispute over an inheritance. Jesus says, "Avoid greed in all its forms, for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions" (Lk-12:15). 
     God's living word had penetrated my thoughts and revealed my actions for what they were: selfishness. I knew I could not honestly offer myself to the Lord without giving Him this "precious" bottle of contact lens solution. I became determined to remove it from hiding so my brother could use it again. Perhaps this seems like a small incident, but many relationships and families have been destroyed because of greed that started small and grew big. 
     Sharper than any two-edged sword? Yes, indeed! And God's word will hurt when it cuts us because it judges the reflections and thoughts of our hearts. Let's continue to store up God's word within us, for as it wounds, so will it heal if we are willing to change and so share in His holiness.

from More of God — Inspirational Selections from the Notebook Column by Patti Gallagher Mansfield pp. 171-172.

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