Monday, January 11, 2021

Trust In God Is More Than A Motto

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant [through Jesus] with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” – Jeremiah 31:31-34

I listened to a sermon yesterday – two actually – when I do my goal is to be spiritually alert – anticipating the Spirit of God prompting me with the words of the preacher.  What is said may or may not be intellectually interesting – but there are always a few spiritual nuggets that can be  gleaned from any sermon. It is all to easy to be drawn to the personality and presentation style – the performance if you will and not the spiritual truths meant to be communicated. Ah, but that is not what this devotion is about. It is about the spiritual nugget.  In one sermon that pastor showed the back of a 100 dollar bill. On it was written – “In God We Trust”. In recent years there were movements to remove the ten Commandments from public buildings – did you know that only three of the Ten commandments are upheld by laws in the United States? The commitment to following Jehovah God by faith in Jesus has never been mandated in this country – freedom of religion has been foundational since its inception.  Many of the original settlers came to this country to be free to worship and believe differently from the mandates of the government.  So what is my point? Although the Christian faith has had an influence on the course of the history in this country, although there are remnants of the influence even on our currency and in some public buildings -  they are not reflective of the society and the morality it embraces on the whole.

A motto written on a building, currency, or even a bumper sticker does not make it so. It is the “motto” written on our hearts that makes the difference. Inscriptions on buildings are not effective in testifying about Jesus to a lost world. Hand someone a 100 dollar bill and I can almost guarantee you that they will be looking at the numbers and think about how they can spend it and not that they should obey the inscription on the back and trust in God. The most effective spiritual influence we can have on others is the testimony we give in the way we live and love. We cannot change hearts – only God can do that through faith. But we can show Jesus to the world by the way we live. People may act differently around us out of respect for our faith, but that does not mean that they embrace the Word and serve our God.  But then again, they may not show us respect. In fact they may resent us for what we stand for. Something that is contrary to the life they embrace and have declared to be good. One of the pastors yesterday shared Psalm 56 which I am going to share in its entirety.

Be merciful to me, my God, for my enemies are in hot pursuit; all day long they press their attack. My adversaries pursue me all day long; in their pride many are attacking me. When I am afraid, I put my trust  in you.  In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin. They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, hoping to take my life. Because of their wickedness do not let them escape; in your anger, God, bring the nations down. Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll— are they not in your record?  Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me? I am under vows to you, my God; I will present my thank offerings to you. For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” – Psalm 56

David wrote that Psalm while he was being pursued by King Saul. Perhaps you can identify with  David with all the mess that is going on around us. Don’t trust in a political party, don’t trust in your retirement fund or bank account, don’t trust in the government – trust in God. Make it more than a motto. Just do it!

We must look to the hills from whence our help comes (Psalm 121) and wait on the Lord.  In the meantime, shine Bright my friend and glorify God with your life.  

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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