Giving God Control

GOOD MORNING,

I just wanted to send a letter to say “hello”. As the pastor here at Living Word I feel it is important to send out words to keep our minds on Jesus. If we listen to only the “News on TV” we will surely be in a state of unrest. When we are told the same harsh, depressing news over and over it can cause us to lose hope in God and His true ownership of this world. He has never given the “Deed to His Earth” to anyone. We say we own this world, but we must remember we are all just temporary. We have a lifetime lease on what we need for our daily bread but after that someone else will take charge.In this time of trial in our world we are living through huge changes.

So, what are we to do when we feel so scared and in so much doubt? Do we stomp our feet and say we want it back the old way; like a child with no experience, or do we learn to move forward and face the battle with a mature faith in God? Do we not only ask God for guidance but actually follow it. That may be the biggest set back in a true faith. We tell ourselves we are faithful to Jesus, we tell others we are truly faithful, He blesses us with many prayers answered and gives us rest, then we become like King Asa of ancient Judah. He too forgot it was by God’s grace he had been given so many blessings and a true peace.

A parishioner shared a devotional about the story of Asa, king of Judah in 2 Chronicles this morning. King Asa was truly a great example of someone in the world that had God’s blessing, when he followed God’s guidance. But like anyone who takes the control of their lives too tightly and pushes God out, he lost everything in a short time.

2 Chronicles 14 : 2-6

Asa King of Judah

Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones, and cut down the Asherah poles. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. He built up the fortified cities of Judah since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest.

He was at rest, things were good. And THEN:

2 Chronicles 16 : 7-9

At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. Were not the Cushite’s and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen? Yet when you relied on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

King Asa lost his understanding of what true faith was. He decided he could do it on his own. He lost his commitment to the Lord and depended on the riches of the world to give him peace.

We are all in different stages of faith in this life. That is part of being human in nature, it is also a part of our sinful nature. The part that takes our eyes off Jesus and our Father in Heaven. The war against the Covid virus will be won if we keep our eyes and minds on our guidance from God.

Jesus’ final command:

Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”What does “love your neighbor” look like? Well it may be staying close to home while there is a chance you could spread this virus .It may look like a mask over your face; to possibly not spread your germs to someone else. It may look like something you never imagined before. I know it looks like the actions of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He never tried to take control from His Father, and He gave peace to everyone He met.

Take your minds off the world and trust in God every moment, watch how fast you will find peace and as the last line in 2 Chronicles 14 : 6 tells us:

“No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest

The Lord is the only one that can give you true rest. Love Him and then your neighbor. God is Good all the time and FOREVER.

In His Service

Pastor Scott

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

The Lord’s Prayer is the main example of prayer that Jesus Himself gave us. It is used as a prayer in itself but also to show us how to pray. I want to examine the line; “lead us not into temptation”. What exactly is Jesus saying?

 Well it is simple; we are asking God not to give us too much. To limit us to the amount we can handle.

“Give us too much?” What’s that supposed to mean?

First we must realize God tempts no one, but sin turns blessings into temptation. We are sinful by nature; we unfortunately lack self control in many areas. If the Lord gives us His bounty in His loving way we can be overwhelmed. See we all need things in life to survive; water, food, shelter just to name a few. God loves to give us these things and the Bible tells us some will be given more. Does that mean they should consider themselves rich? By no means; that is the danger of temptation. When we receive more than we can use we are tempted to store it away and claim ownership of the blessing. God provides what we need and the rest is to be used for the blessing of others. It is not for us to hide away, it is to be used wisely. He will show you how if you let Him.

 Luke 12  (NIV Bible)

The Parable of the Rich Fool

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

 The blessings that God gives are not ours alone; he expects us to manage those blessings wisely. Trust God to guide your steps in all you do. He will not “lead you into temptation” “but deliver you from evil”

Pastor Scott