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Faith Clings to the Word and Promises of God

Faith Clings to the word and promises of God

Faith Clings to the Word and Promises of God
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Pentecost 19C

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Most people don’t like to be told what to do, especially if they are wrong. A standard joke about this is that there are two ways of doing something, the right way and the husband way. To which I usually respond, yes dear. From teenagers who rolls the eyes, to the yes dear, we really like our way of doing it, until it fails. Keep this in mind as St. Paul tells Timothy and us:

2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

We may tolerate teaching as long as it is exciting, but reproof, correction, those words are very challenging to us.

Why would the Holy Spirit lead St. Paul to say these things, if everyone knows we don’t like it. Because there is something more important at stake. What is more important? Eternal Salvation.

Consider St. Paul writing to the Romans 10:17 (ESV) 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Faith is a gift from God, how do we receive this gift, through the Word of God. Hearing that word of God, being watered in the Word of God and eating the Word of God. So if Faith comes from the Word of God, faith is maintained in us because of its source. Likewise Faith naturally will Cling to the Word and Promises of God.

Just like the refrigerator in your home which keeps your food lasting longer. When it is installed, it does nothing until it is plugged into the source of electricity. Without that gift of electricity your food will spoil much faster. But with that gift, food lasts longers. Would we ever say, I feel bored tonight, for some fun lets up plug the refrigerator for a bit of excitement. No, but yet this is exactly what some people do with the gift of faith. So St. Paul tells Timothy and us, don’t unplug from the gift of Faith, even if there is a cost. Electricity does have a cost, and being connected to Christ through His Word, the Word will correct us, rebuke us. Are we willing to admit that we need these things to continue to be connected to Christ or do our own ideas refuse to allow it.

Where was the disconnect? St. Pauls continues by saying 2 Timothy 4:1–2 (ESV) 1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

This was Timothy and every pastor’s marching orders. Proclaim the word of God, because the Word of God is powerful, maintaining God’s Gift of faith in us. So was it Timothy’s sermons that needed to be improved, no. This charge was not necessarily for Timothy’s benefit. Sure he like all pastors could use the reminder, but the next verses tell us who these words are intended for.

2 Timothy 4:3–4 (ESV) 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

This is the unplugging from God’s Word. Not enduring sound teaching and having itching ears, that say honey let’s unplug the refrigerator for this week we can plug it in again next week, but only for an hour, for we don’t want to waste the electricity.

Who would say and do anything like this? We do. We want some excitement, we want something special, we want something different. We are looking for the great spiritual mountain top experience, and we are afraid we not getting it here at Peace Lutheran Church in Plainfield. So our ear get itchy and we start looking elsewhere. God knows who we are and our natural reactions, so let’s look to Jesus again for the answer.

Matthew 17:1–5 (ESV) 1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

You can’t get a better spiritual mountain top experience than this. Jesus, shining along with Moses and Elijah. No wonder why St. Peter wanted to make tents and stay there, but as the words were coming out St. Peter’s mouth, God the Father redirects St. Peter and us from the mountain top, God says

5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

God redirects our itching ears back to Jesus, back to listening to Jesus, just as St. Paul directs Timothy to redirects the hears back to Jesus and God’s Word, for Faith clings to the Word and Promises of God, not to the great mountain top experiences.

But are we willing to come away from the great mountain, and cling to the words and promises of Jesus. Where else would we go?

2 Timothy 4:4 (ESV) 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Like the previous follows of Jesus in John chapter 6 when Jesus gave them sound teaching:

John 6:66–68 (ESV) 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,

Simon Peter got it right, faith clings to the words and promises of God. I don’t know if this was one of the many accounts that Luther had in mind when he wrote the explanation to the

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

But it seems to fit our text for today. Faith Clings to the Word and Promises of God. For it is in the Word and Promises of God that we see our Savior Jesus being delivered for you.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

October 19, 2019 at 1:50 pm

The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy

The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy

The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy

The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy
Luke 16:1–15
Pentecost 15

Philippians 1:2(ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I will admit this is one of the toughest parables of Jesus. It is tough to comprehend. I will also admit I dont have the perfect interpretation for the parable. So we take Holy Scriptures as it presents itself, as we see what God is trying to teach us. We have to start near the end as Jesus tells us what He is trying to teach us.

Luke 16:13(ESV) 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

While it may seem obvious Jesus does need to spell it out, by the way this is also related to the 1st commandment

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

The second point of this parable are the characters. The rich man we will say is God. For God created all things out of nothing in six days. The manager, what that is us.

Job 1:21(ESV) 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

It is all belongs to God and God gives it to us. We didn’t come with anything of our own, we don’t leave with anything on our own.

The Manager was guilty of “wasting the Master’s possessions” and will no longer be a manager.

Now before we start trying to justify ourselves like the Pharisees

Luke 16:14–15(ESV) 14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. 15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.

All of us have misused mismanaged God’s creation given to us to manage. None of us are perfect. Remember the purpose wasn’t who is the most frugal, but Jesus is teaching us that we cannot serve God and Money. So the manager was allowing the money to be his god so to speak.

So we need to go to the 4th petition of the Lord’s Prayer for clarification.

The Fourth Petition

Give us this day our daily bread.

What does this mean?

God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What does God what us to realize? As the title states: The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy.

God gives grace and mercy to us without our prayers and even to all evil people. God gives to underserving people like us, for the purpose as Luther reminds us that we receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

God wants to be know as the Good gift giver. That is who He is for the Lord is Rich in His Grace and Mercy.

Than why take way the manager’s position? God can create more money, He is rich isn’t He? Yes, God is rich in His grace and mercy, why take away the position, because the manager wasn’t trusting in God, but trusting in the money. The Manager was serving his self with money, reason for the firing, it is not about the money. It is about the heart.

For us: What does it mean when we hear that: “The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy”

Does it mean what can I get away with regards to sin and self-serving actions?

Or as Luther said in the explanation of the 4th Petition: God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

For Us it first means to be thankful for what we have.

The next point is in Luke 16:9(ESV) 9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

Verse 9 teaches us that we can’t take it with us. Wealth will fail. So use it, leverage it for the purpose as verse 9 teaches that your friends may receive you into the eternal dwellings.

Friends in heaven, Christians. As in your own life, who taught you the Christian faith. Who utilize their resources so that you believe that The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy. Who gave of themselves so that you may believe? Many people with money, time, energy and other resources, they gave of themselves, instead of being selfish. They worshiped God instead of the gifts that God gave them.

We also, like the Christian witnesses who nurtured our faith, have the opportunity to take what God has given to us to help other learn that The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy.

So we come, confessing our sins, we haven’t always served God, we have been selfish with what God has entrusted to us. But we also trust that The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy and has forgiven us. So we thank God through Jesus Christ that He Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy in forgiving us our many sins and still providing for us here on earth, and we are bold to declare to a struggling world that: The Lord Is Rich in His Grace and Mercy. In His Holy Name, Amen.

Philippians 4:7(ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

September 21, 2019 at 2:48 pm

Priorities

 

Priorities

Priorities
Luke 10:38-44
Proper 11

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The garbage needs to go out, your child who is responsible for taking out the garbage is playing video games. Hmm the response after some patient responses, finally gets angry with the child who recently takes out the garbage.

Let me change the situation a little bit.

Your child is reading their Bible in their daily devotion. Do you side track your child to take out the garbage? Or do you sit with your child and read with them, afterwards then reminds them the garbage needs to go out.

I know the former is more realistic than the latter.

Would you pull your child away from Jesus? No.

What are your priorities?

Two Sisters one event 2 different responses. Help with the preparation or listen to Jesus.

What is more important. Without food you die, without Jesus you die eternally. I know spoke like a true Lutheran Pastor.

Time for everything,

Ecclesiastes 3:1–4(ESV) 1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

but we seem in today’s world to run out of time very quickly. We are told to set priorities.

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

Notice the despise preaching and His Word hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

Gladly hear. Think of it this way, on Sunday morning do you say, I have to go to church. On on Sunday do you say, Its Sunday morning, I get to go to church.

2 different viewpoints. The results may be the same, but is the heart glad to hear and learn it.

Don’t we all have the same priorities? No

Here is the Good news: The Word of God won’t be taken away. It will be there.

God’s Word will go out and at the moment it is available.

Isaiah 55:6 (ESV) 6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;

How long will it be available here, I dont’ know, but while it is available we get to hear it.

Amos 8:11 (ESV) 11 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.

What about Martha? Jesus didn’t exactly condemn her for not listening.

Luke 10:41–42 (ESV) 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

We are not going to beat up on Martha, because at the death of Lazareth, she has some important words.

John 11:21(ESV) 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

John 11:24(ESV) 24 Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

John 11:27(ESV) 27 She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

John 12:1–2(ESV) 1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with Jesus at table.

Serving was not the problem, trying to take someone away from learning more about Jesus is the problem. Being overwhelmed with worry and anxiety is a problem.

Matthew 6:34 (ESV) 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

There is going to be enough trouble.

Psalm 31:14 (ESV) 14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

As we are connected to Christ, we have more confidence that God is handling the things of this world. The same God who created this world, redeemed this world, is concern for you.

With Mary and Martha Jesus allowed both to serve in their own way. So we don’t allow the things of this world to pull us away from Christ, for we get to be with Jesus right here at Peace Lutheran Church. Amen.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

July 20, 2019 at 3:04 pm

An Eternal Gospel

An Eternal Gospel
Revelation 14:6-7
Reformation Day
28-Oct-18

Philippians 1:4(ESV) 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,

This weekend the we celebrate Reformation Day. Sometimes people ask why? Even though the day is marked by Martin Luther nailing the 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, but that is not the reason why we celebrate Reformation Day. For the church isn’t about Martin Luther, but it is about what we lost and what was rediscovered, that is the Gospel.

During the time of King Josiah

2 Kings 22:8(ESV) 8 And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

They found the book of the Law and it was read. What happened, it was hidden, lost, we don’t know but what we do know it was previously unavailable to the people of Israel.

Do likewise the reformation was a rediscovery of the Gospel, because of the Gospel was hidden from the people for many different reasons, but it was still hidden.

Revelation 14:6–7(ESV) 6 Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. 7 And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

This passage was used at Luther’s funeral. Relating Luther as also a messenger of the eternal Gospel. By the way angel in Greek is a messenger, here in Revelation a messenger of God. But with Luther God used Luther to proclaim the Gospel that was much forgotten in Luther’s world.

Please notice with the text, it is all about the Gospel, not the angel. So much so we would love to ask “Other angel” where was the first all the way back to chapter 10. But just like the angel or angels at the tomb, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that Christ rose from the dead.

It doesn’t matter who proclaims God’s eternal Gospel, just as long as the eternal Gospel is proclaimed.

Just like the questions, “How many men or angels appeared at the tomb?” It doesn’t really matter as long as the Eternal Gospel gets out. We need to be reminded, because we often get side tracked in life.

It happen during the time of Luther and it happens even in today’s times.

Consider what I named last week in the message. What is the greatest gift you can give to your children, grandchildren. Or maybe a better way of asking the question would be how long does a gift last? Eventually gifts break, fall apart, or are not utilized. However the eternal Gospel, which is the great gift, lasts beyond the time of this earth. For faith is a gift given by God.

God uses messengers, not necessary angels, but people to communicate His gifts. Christ uses Parents, Grandparents, relatives, friends, coworkers, besides teachers and pastors to communicate the eternal Gospel.

The Gospel that Christ Jesus died and rose to take away the punishment of sin, so that we are no longer enemies of God but now children of God. This precious gift surpasses all other gifts, which will eventually fade away, but the Eternal Gospel, is Eternal.

The message is so simple, but it gets lost so quickly. Here is proof on how quickly the message gets lost in today’s world. Consider what was the response of hearing the eternal Gospel

 

Revelation 14:7(ESV) 7 And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

Fear and worship of God. Luther says this in the Small Catechism

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

Do we gladly hear and learn it? If we are not gladly hearing and learning more about the eternal Gospel, maybe it is lost from us.

So the messengers of God need to continue to proclaim the Eternal Gospel, constantly, to the ends of the earth.

As Isaiah 55:6–7(ESV) 6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

So we return to the Lord, not just this day, but everyday. For Christ Jesus is gracious, and His Eternal Gospel is a priceless gift, so we come and worship, And we ask God to continue to raise up messengers to proclaim an Eternal Gospel for people to hear,

Philippians 4:7(ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

Written by dballa

October 27, 2018 at 2:59 pm

The Evil Within

The Evil Within
Hebrews 3:12
October 14, 2018

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 3:12(ESV) 12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.

Is there anything that would cause you to question the love that God has for you?

We live in a world of broken relationships, and we get used to them being broken around us. So why no God. However, God never breaks His relationship with us, instead we break our relationship with Him.

Why?

Isaiah 55:8(ESV) 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

But whose thoughts are ways are better, yours or God’s? We may be quick to answer God’s ways are better, but be careful. Then why would we rebel against God?

Well, there is something in this world that we attach ourselves. So the author of the Hebrews encourages the believers to Take Care, lest anything if I may summarize would lead you to fall away from the living God.

Would there be anything that would cause us to leave the living God? Be careful how you answer. While we think that nothing can shake the faith that God has given to us, we do have some areas of our lives that are more sensitive than others, because our ways are not always God’s ways. Consider the following passage of God’s Word.

When Jacob in the Old Testament says to God:

Genesis 28:22(ESV) 22b… And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”

Ooops I mentioned the Money word in church and even worse the tithe that is a tenth or 10 percent. Our hearts may start to harden, why? Something we value very much is at stake. Some people may even leave the church, why because we are attached to the things of this world instead of the living God. That is why the author of the book of Hebrews notes

Hebrews 3:12(ESV) 12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.

The author know that even though we are Christians, this is why he used the word brothers, to incorporate himself in the discussion, the author also knows that as Christians we are still stained with sin, and that sin is evil.

St. Paul puts it this way:

Romans 7:18–19(ESV) 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

Our world is trying to teach us that that the evil is out there somewhere. But the real struggle is actually with our own flesh.

The author of Hebrews quotes from the Psalms

Psalm 95:7–8(ESV) 7… Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah

Ahhh remember Meribah…

Meribah, where the people of God rebelled. God was caring for the people as they traveled in the wilderness, the people started to complain. Why would they complain, their flesh, their ways are not God’s ways.

Exodus 17:7(ESV) 7 And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the Lord by saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Even Moses was who also struggled with a human flesh

Deuteronomy 32:51–52(ESV) 51 because you broke faith with me in the midst of the people of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, and because you did not treat me as holy in the midst of the people of Israel. 52 For you shall see the land before you, but you shall not go there, into the land that I am giving to the people of Israel.”

Moses did not treat God as Holy.

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

1st Commandment, I’ve got this no you don’t.Remember Meribah!!!! What was their complaint, water. So what is your complaint to God? Money, life, success. The same God who cared for the people of Israel is caring for you.

Psalm 32:10(ESV) 10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.

So we continue to fear love and trust in God above all things. The Psalmist focuses us to God and His word, to put our trust and worship knowing that He will care for us,

Psalm 95:6–7(ESV) 6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! 7 For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. What beautiful words, and you have heard the next line.

Today, if you hear his voice,

8 do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,

So we continue to trust in God, we continue to study His word, we continue to come into His presence for strength and forgiveness, why, because we know that the evil is within us and we remember Meribah, and we remember we have a God who cares for us.

In His Name Amen.

Philippians 4:7(ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

October 13, 2018 at 1:46 pm

Posted in 10 Commandments, Original Sin

Tagged with

Repent Before God

 

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here at Peace we celebrate the Lord’s Supper at every service. It is a joy to receive Christ in His body and blood, it is a joy to receive the forgiveness of sin, through Christ’s body and blood. St. Luke tells us in

Luke 22:19–20 (ESV) 19 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Oh what a joy it would have been to be there with Christ. But how long does this joy last? How fast does the joy of being with Christ begin to fade. How quickly do we go from the Lord’s Table to the Devil’s Business. The answer to these questions may surprise you 4 verses, : from verse 20 to verse 24

Luke 22:24 (ESV) 24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.

Wow, they hadn’t even left the table, any were arguing among themselves.

The questions we need to ask ourselves: do my conflicts with others affect my relationship with God? The answer is yes, even though they just had received the Lord’s Supper, that unique special joy given by Christ Himself, but yet our sinful nature is strong. It is not me and Jesus, during Holy Communion, but as the word Communion implies a community of those in Christ Jesus, which included those around us, and all believers in Christ through the world and even in the past who are with Christ in paradise. So how we interact with others is important for we are all part of the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12 (ESV) 12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ…14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many….19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

We see this connection again when we look at the Law of God and especially of the 10 Commandments, we see as Jesus responds in

Matthew 22:36–40 (ESV) 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

When we look at the 10 Commandments, we see two tablets. The first tablet is dealing with our relationship with God, the Second, dealing with our relationship with our neighbor. During confirmation class we learn that when I break any of the commandment I am also breaking the first commandment,:.

The First Commandment You shall have no other gods. What does this mean? We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things. By breaking any other commandment we are not trusting in God above all things as Luther puts it. The results of which is that my relationship with others does greatly affect my relationship with God.

The Psalmist says:

Psalm 51:4 (ESV) 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

When we break or fail to do any part of the commandments, we are sinning against God. For God know our heart. It isn’t just stealing or being angry against someone, but a heart that is not trusting God to provide.

What is God looking for? The Psalmist puts it

Psalm 51:17 (ESV) 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

A realization that we haven’t kept the commandments of God. Christ wants us to love our neighbor.

1 Peter 4:8 (ESV) 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

As we love our neighbor, we forgive our neighbor. As we forgive, we overlook their faults which will lead to less conflict with our neighbor.

For this is why God forgive you. God doesn’t want sin to stand in the way of you being with God for eternity.

Romans 8:38–39 (ESV) 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Not even your sin, for Christ Jesus has forgiven you. So Jesus forgive, because His relationship with you is more important than your sin.

But do we express the same with others? How long do our relationship with other last if we don’t forgive.

Jesus notes: Matthew 6:14–15 (ESV) 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

How do my conflicts with others affect my relationship with God?

Our conflicts of not forgiving others have a direct relationship on our relationship with God. Not that God withholds His forgiveness, but that we are not coming to God with a

Psalm 51:17 (ESV) 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

There is a connection between the horizontal relationship ( us and God) and vertical relationships (community of people around us)

When we are in conflict with our neighbor it affects our relationship with God and theirs and they also struggle with the conflict.

Remember God as St. Paul tell Timothy 1 Timothy 2:4 (ESV) 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

So Jesus notes:

Matthew 5:23–24 (ESV) 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

So we remember that our relationship with others, does affect our relationship with God. We remember that we have a broken spirit, that needs Christ’s mending, along with our brother and sister, because Christ want you to be saved.

We celebrate the Lord’s Supper with joy, reminding ourselves that we are sinners in need of Christ forgiveness and strength. We need that strength and forgiveness from God for it can take only 4 verses before we are doing the devil’s business. In His Holy Name. Amen.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

February 21, 2018 at 9:39 am