Many of us want to believe and follow God because of the promises of good things and to avoid receiving the penalty for not doing so. Is this a good enough reason?

He is Lord - part one

December 4, 1998

Deut 6:6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9“You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

The scriptures are filled with all kinds of promises that God has made to those who would follow Him. On the other hand there are many warnings given to those who would hold on to what they believe and want to do contrary to what the Lord wants. I would like to ask you why you are following the Lord today? Is it to attain the blessings that He has promised, or to avoid the penalty of sin, or by chance both reasons in some proportion? Have you ever considered that perhaps you should be following the Lord simply because He is the Lord? Not because of the promises of blessing nor threats of punishment.

When I was a child I spoke as a child but when I grew up I put away childish things. Sometimes our reasoning for being with the Lord stays on the level of being a child. For many, coming and walking with the Lord is a continual "carrot and stick" approach. This is fine enough for the unsaved and the new christian but when do we decide to follow the Lord because of who He is and not because of what He can give us or how He can hurt us if we don't?

Each of us has or will go through times of crises that will test the heart of our decision. The death of a loved one, financial ruin, sickness, etc... The list is so long it can't be type here. When these moments come they will seem like a betrayal. How could God allow that to happen. We will grope to understand and if we can't our world is shattered and many will fall away. Each of us knows someone that it has happened to. They are children because they believed that God didn't follow the rules and they go to play some other game.

Ask Job what He thought about how God was dealing with him. He never considered it fair. His friends tried to convict of some offense, or pride or something because they too believed that something terrible doesn't happen unless you did something awfully wrong. The end of the story was simply that Job had done nothing wrong. God's purpose was to prove to the devil that there was faith in the world. Job's faith brought glory to God and yet it had a tiny flaw. Job thought that he deserved an answer. When God did show up He did not explain His reason for allowing Job to go through such a terrible time. God simply appeared and Job knew that He is God and he repented and humbled himself in His presence.

Listen - Lam 3:16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel, and covered me with ashes, etc... Jeremiah was being put through the the grinding mill, by God, and do you not think that there won't be times in your life when nothing makes sense?

In the New Testament we are given great insight in to how much God loves us and He has taken time to tell of some of the reasons we are going to go through hard times. These are...

  1. Chastisement and correction. No one is walking such a perfect life that God doesn't need to correct them at some point in time. We can make it easy or hard for ourselves but it does come. If you never undergo any chastisement for your actions or thoughts the word says then you are not a son. (Hebrews 12: 4-8)
  2. Various trials. When the Christians were being brought into the Roman forum and being burned alive for the Roman citizens amusement that certainly seemed unfair. Yet through their sacrifice, as they sang praises to God while on fire, the Romans knew that this God they served was powerful and so was the faith of those saints. This is an extreme example yet it was for the perfecting of their faith. (James 1: 2-4)

God allows, permits these tragedies to come upon us. He is looking for a people who will believe and follow Him. If we at times decide to step out from under the anointing power of God it should come as no surprise that the enemy who is waiting to strike at us takes advantage during those moments. James 3:16...For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.The enemy loves it when we drop into the flesh because then he causes the greatest damage.

So why do we follow Him if He is going to put us through such hard times? If your answer is to receive a reward you are still a child. Yea though He slay me yet I will believe Him. Why? For reward? or because He is Lord? ..... Because He is Lord!

Do you not understand why mankind is in the mess that they are in? It is because of Lordship, who do you belong to. In Genesis we read that God made all things including man and gave him a few simple instructions. No sickness, disease or death. Then the enemy inhabited a serpent and spoke to Eve. She believed the serpent not God. Adam believed God but ate of the fruit anyways because he didn't want to be separated from his wife. He joined her and mankind fell that day. Why? Because Adam made the enemy, Satan, his lord. Do you know that who you believe, who you listen to, who you follow, is lord over you. (Romans 6:16) Mankind has been Satan's slaves for thousands of years. The good news is that God is Satan's Lord.

Whoa! What are you talking about?

Satan thought that he could take God's place. He has been proven very wrong. Even though Satan is in rebellion toward God he can't go beyond any limit that God has placed on him. He needed God's permission to strike out against Job. Satan needed God's permission to attack Peter on the day that Peter betrayed Jesus by denying he ever knew Him. This is good news?

YES! Because God is Lord of all. Jesus paid the penalty for the rebellion of mankind and offers us a chance to leave Satan's lordship and be joined to Himself and His Lordship. We can easily grasp the hope that Jesus is our Saviour. Will you also grab hold of the fact that He is Lord. If He is Lord, we are duty bound to obey Him, believe Him, follow Him even to death.

Again, why? Because He is Lord. When you can grasp the full significance of that statement many of your decisions will become easier to decide. Not because of rewards. Not because of punishments. But because He is... Lord.

Father in heaven, we are the vessels of clay to be formed and molded as you see fit. Open our eyes to the truth that Jesus is Lord. Help us to understand that that is the reason for obedience to His call on us and why we should obey.

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