Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Bethany Bullet Sermon Message - Week of September 8, 2019

Sermon: “More To It Than That”

In addressing His chosen people, in which direction they are to go, God leaves no nuances, no shades of gray and nothing left open for interpretation.  “Today I set before you Blessings …. AND ….. Curses; Life ….. AND ….. Death.  Choose life, that your children may live, The LORD is your life.  If your hearts turn away, if you’re drawn a different direction it will lead to destruction.  So walk in God’s ways and in His commands” (Deuteronomy 30:15ff). 

Stark is the contrast, obvious is the difference, unquestionable is the conclusion.  Now, it is fair to admit that not all choices in life are quite that easy.  Ask anyone who, two bites in (while dining out at a restaurant where the bill will be as much as your car payment), has said, “I should have ordered that!”  Ask anyone who invested their portfolio with Bernie Madoff a year before his arrest or in their fantasy football league drafted Andrew Luck a day before his retirement. This is not a case like those.  Here the contrast is stark, the difference obvious, the conclusion unquestionable; when given the choice between blessings and life or curses and death there is only one choice to be made. 

Now before we ponder some of the choices of the chosen people let’s remember that God Himself has made a choice.
V  After Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, God chose to promise a child born to crush the head of the serpent, bringing the couple into grace, covenant and each other’s arms again.
V  God chose, in Christ, to leave the land of eternal promise and enter this world, to walk the path He and He alone could navigate.
V  Christ chose to obey His Father’s will without question, to follow His Father’s course without detour, to “walk in God’s ways and commands.”
V  Jesus chose life … a perfect ONE and a pure ONE. 
V  Jesus chose not to depart from the path of the cross.  He chose to take the place of each and every one who has at one point chosen to go the wrong direction; He chose to suffer for all who wander!   And who hasn’t? 

Like the Israelites before us, we the chosen people of God are directed to choose blessings and life and to walk in the way of God.  Yet, we the chosen people, like the children of Israel, go astray, wander and head the wrong direction over and over again.  The internal compass of fallen creatures like us is drawn to a false north – ourselves.  In fact, to be “turned in on ones-self” is one of the definitions of original sin.  In sin we so often choose to deviate from God’s ways and commands.  We choose to listen to the GPS’ of this world: the Goading Pernicious Snake, the Global Persistent Sirens; the Gluttonous Penchant Self (or as the catechism identifies them: the devil, world and own sinful flesh). The trio often cry, “Go that way, come this way, venture the other way”. Yet, it’s always the same direction:  the created over the Creator, the temporal rather than the eternal, the self above HE who is sovereign. 

Yet HE in love chose us! 
In grace He continues to choose to make His goodness known in Christ, experienced in ministry and delivered to His chosen people through His chosen means.  And once again, to His Chosen People God says, CHOOSE!  There are no nuances here, no shades of gray, nothing open for interpretation.  Serve Him only.  Pick up your cross daily; Fix your eyes on Jesus.  While still bombarded with the voice of those GPS’ identified above; while as fallen creatures still bearing broken internal compasses, as His chosen people we are also a new creation who have been provided better GPS’ (if you will) and had a new true north set before us – God Himself. 

Who directs us by a Guiding Promised Spirit, Who grants us the Girding Pure Scriptures and Who lives within us as our Governing Personal Savior Guided by the Promised Spirit:  Jesus promised said Spirit to His chosen disciples.  “I will send you the Holy Spirit.  He will lead you into all truth.  He will live within you.” 
Girded by the Pure Scripture:  The Lord Himself has not left us to wonder about His goodness and grace, nor His will and ways.  His Word is a lamp to our feet, a light to our path, able to make us wise unto salvation and useful for our learning, correcting and training. Governed by a Personal Savior:  Universal and Cosmic is His reign; yet the corporate magnitude of His rule is also intimate and individual.  (As the children songs goes:  “He is the King of the universe…and He is the King of me!”).

Chosen people, Choose Life!  The Lord is your life!
-Pr. Kevin Kritzer


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