Jubilee Weekly June 12, 2018

“Can We Trust God?”

The story is told of a man out for a walk, when he suddenly slipped over a cliff on his way to an almost certain death.

Somehow, about halfway down, he managed to grab hold of a bush sticking out from the face of the cliff. He began to yell for help and soon he heard a voice from above saying, “Have faith my son, and let go!”

He waited for a moment considering his predicament and then he yelled, “Is there anybody else up there?” Have you ever felt that way — not sure if it was God urging you to let go or was it our sinister foe, the devil, trying to deceive and destroy us? He will use any distraction to keep us off balance spiritually and learning that, “We Really Can Trust God!”

Question: Is your life governed by a temporal or an eternal value system? these are competing paradigms and they promote radically different value systems. Listen to what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 4:16-18,

“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Folks, the things of this world are temporary. They don’t last. The things of God and heaven are eternal.

They last forever.
It is not easy to let loose of everything that we have been taught, to seek and strive for and control. We can see the things of this world. It is not so easy to envision what is on the other curtain called death.

The counsel of Jesus is right on the mark. In Matthew, 6:33,

He said:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

The Apostle John wrote, 1 John 2:15-17,
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And, the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

In Luke 8:11-15, Jesus is teaching about the parable of the sower and He said the seed being sown is “the Word of God.” He talks about the fact that the seed fell in different places — the wayside, among the rocks, and thorns and some on good soil.

In verse 14, He stated,
“Now the ones that fell among the thorns are those who, when have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.”
These are sound, sobering inspired words designed to help us get our priorities right.

Are you preoccupied with anything that is choking out your interest and commitment to our Lord and God’s word?

What is your passion?

Where is your heart?

Listen to the words of our Lord in Matthew 6:19-21,

“Do not layup for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Is Jesus the treasure of your heart and life?

• He wants to be.
• He should be.

In Matthew 10:37-39, our Lord challenges our love for Him —

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake, will find it.”

Jesus is not saying we shouldn’t love father or mother or son or daughter. Rather, He is saying all other loves should pale in comparison to our love for Him.

Let’s compare the values of the world with the values of God’s Word. (Kenneth Boa)

1. The world promotes pleasure as an end in itself. God’s word ways that knowing God is the greatest pleasure of all. He is the source of all true pleasure.

2. The world says that the recognition and approval of people is so important.

• God’s word challenges us to seek the approval of God. In Galatians 1:10, the apostle Paul wrote, “For am I now seeking the favor of men or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”

3. The world encourages us to pursue fame and popularity.
• God’s word calls us to emulate the servant-hood of Christ.
Horace Mann wrote, “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”
• Our others-centered acts of kindness and sacrificial service that are born out of love of Christ will last forever.

4. The world raises wealth and status as a standard of success, security and identity.

C.S. Lewis, in Screwtape Letters wrote, “Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is ‘finding his place in it’, while really it is finding its place in him. His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintance, his sense of importance, the growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build up in him a sense of being really at home in earth.”

• God’s word raises the standard of integrity and character.
The prophet Jeremiah wrote, “But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them.” (45:5)

5. The world drives us to amass power over people and circumstances.

• God’s word teaches us to walk humbly before our God. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)
Let me close with this thought — by Ken Boa,

“Life is about God and not about us; all things have been created by Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16) “… and we exist to serve God and not to persuade God to serve us. In essence, the Lord’s repeated message to us in Scripture is, “I am God, and you are not.”

Dear friend, we can trust God because He is trustworthy.

For His Glory,

Pastor Leonard