Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July, 2014

 

In my experience parents generally like it when their kids pay attention to them, things just work better when children know how to listen and obey (Say, “Amen,” if you agree). But why should they pay attention, listen and obey? (You’d better have answer for that question because the likelihood of it coming up increases with your child/rens’ age, and with that increase in age they really can mess with your mind and heart.) Children should pay attention to, listen to, and obey their parents because:

  • We love them, and in that love we have nothing but their best interests, their success, and their happiness in mind.
  • We know what is best for them. We have insight, foresight, experience, maturity, and wisdom they do not yet possess.
  • We provide for them, we pay attention to their needs, we can do things they can’t.
  • We have disciplining power, veto power, privilege power, etc. (I regularly informed our great kids that they were living under a benevolent dictatorship run by Susie and me regardless of how much they clamored for a full democracy).
  • Paying attention to, listening to, and obeying your parents is right before God (Ephesians 6:1).

In my experience life goes so much better when we pay attention to God, when we listen to him and obey him. Homes and families run much better when Dad, Mom, and the children all pay attention to, listen to, and obey God (Feel free to say, “Amen,” if you agree). But why should we pay attention to God, listen to Jesus Christ, and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit and his written word, the Bible? We should do so because:

  • God loves us, and in that love He always has our best interest, our success, and true and lasting happiness/blessedness in mind.
  • God knows what is best for us. Like children, it is our ignorance, pride, and rebellion that cause us to think otherwise. God has ultimate and infinite wisdom, insight, foresight, and perfection that we do not possess.
  • God provides for us, every day is a gift from him, every good thing comes from His hands, and every plate of food we eat has God as its source. But God also knows that we have need for provision in regard to eternal things, forgiveness of sins, deliverance from judgment, victory over death, eternal life, all of which He provided for through his Son Jesus Christ.
  • God holds the power to hold each one of us accountable for every action, attitude, word, and thought. He not only has the power to discipline, but to judge and condemn. We do well to regularly remind ourselves that Heaven is not a democracy but a monarchy eternally ruled by the King of Kings.
  • Paying attention to, listening to, and obeying God through faith in Jesus Christ is the only way to be in a right relationship with God, the only way to be a true child of His. But to all who believed him (Jesus Christ) and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God” John 1:12-13 (NLT, parenthesis mine). “This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us” 1 John 3:23 (NASB).

To God be all glory, love you, Pastor Hans

 

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

“If the Son sets you free, you really will be free” John 8:31-36 (HCSB)

Americans really do enjoy and have been proponents of an uncanny conglomeration of freedoms: national freedom, political freedom, religious freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and individual freedom. I wish all people everywhere were afforded such freedom.

Freedom is a beautiful thing; it sure trumps tyranny, oppression, and exploitation in all its forms. You can breathe, relax, rest, and be yourself where there is freedom. Somebody should say, “Amen!”

We are not as free as we think we are, even in America. We love the notion of freedom being able to do whatever we want, but that is impossible because we share this planet with seven billion other residents and we have a responsibility to the generations to follow. If we do not link freedom with responsibility then we will soon forfeit and destroy it. As always, the written word of God, the Bible, has invaluable wisdom and guidance for us, “For you were called to be free, brothers; only don’t use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement: Love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another, watch out, or you will be consumed by one another. I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” Galatians 5:13-16 (HCSB). Freedom, as the signers of the Declaration of Independence recognized, is a gift of God. It carries with it the responsibility to love my neighbor as myself, which in part means I cannot claim for myself what I am not willing to grant my neighbor and I cannot force my neighbor to give up what I choose to give up.

Why would the Apostle Paul even have a need to tell the Galatians to not use their freedom in a wrong way? Because humanity is fundamentally flawed, we share a sinful disposition that bends us toward godlessness, self-centeredness, corruption, shortsightedness, foolishness, arrogance, and evil – “the flesh” as Paul summarizes it. It is by the flesh bright, educated men and women manage to steer nations into insurmountable, enslaving debts. It is by the flesh people who are well of become insatiable monsters of greed. It is by the flesh and under the mantle of individual liberty millions become slaves of addictions. Look closely, where there is violence, terror, war, oppression, exploitation, and entirely avoidable heartache, pain, and suffering, and you will witness freedom being destroyed, perverted, abused, and horded among a few, by the works of the flesh.

Who is best qualified to set the boundaries for freedom? Who can legitimately assign the responsibilities of freedom? God and God alone, who gives it in first place. The majority has proven itself as incapable. Emperors, kings, presidents, governors, houses of government, and high courts all have proven themselves to be greatly flawed when at their best and outright evil at their worst. And even we, the small people, fail on our own home-fronts. We are all men women of the flesh. And yet, somehow in our flesh we insist that the answer lies in us, that God is not needed. The answer of the word of God is clear, only the Spirit of God can enable us, creatures of the flesh, to not be ruled by the flesh. Everything else is self-dilution and wishful thinking. It is the Spirit of God, imparted through faith in Jesus Christ, who enables us to be men and women of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control” Galatians 5:22-23 (HCSB) – to act as truly free men and women.

To God be all glory, Pastor Hans

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: