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
2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones, and cut down the Asherah poles. 4 He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. 5 He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. 6 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
7 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. 8 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. 9 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