Friday, November 4, 2016

Pastor's Desktop Article for November 2016

“Then Job answered the Lord and said:  I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.  ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.  ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
(Job 42:1-6 ESV)
            Who is this God we claim to know?  Do we really know Him?  Have we not created in our own minds a god who is less disgusted with our sin; a god who second guesses, and changes His mind like we do?  We have created in our minds a god who is weak like us; who is faulty like us?  And because we have created this weak faulty god in our minds, we are not able to trust Him, because this god we created is prone to the same failures as we are.  But this is not the God of the Bible, the God who has created us; given us life and breath; given us redemption through the blood of His own Son, Jesus Christ. 
            When we fail to recognize the sovereign nature of our God, it’s no wonder that we worry that this one or that one will be elected to the presidency, or that this party or that one will be in power in our government.  When we have forgotten that God inspired Paul to write in Romans 13:1, “Let every person be subject to the government authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God”, it’s no wonder that we act and think as though the world as we know it is coming to an end.  If the world comes to an end, it is the end that the Lord, the sovereign God of all has set for it.  If our once great nation ceases to exist, it will be because the Lord has deemed it so. 
            If that were to happen, if our worst fears were to come to pass, what might be God’s purpose in allowing it to happen?  Just as the nation of Israel got fat and happy when they had finally arrived at the Promised Land, and subdued so many of the nations around them, they began to think it was because of their own strength, their own goodness and righteousness that won them that position, and they soon forgot the provision of the Lord that made their current status possible.  They forgot how they were slaves in Egypt until the Lord delivered them out by His own might and supernatural power.  They forgot how the Lord fed them in the wilderness where there was neither food nor water for them, but He provided it to them.
            Have we not traveled down much the same road?  Before this nation took shape, before patriots dreamed of such a nation, this land was sought out as a place of refuge where people could freely worship God; a place where force of government did not determine the mode or model of their relationship with their God.  Now we have largely forgotten who this God is, and we have made a god that is much easier to please, a god who has lowered his standards to smile at our scandalous behavior.
            One thing will be true on November 9, 2016, whether we choose to recognize it or not.  God, the Lord Almighty will still be on His throne in heaven with Jesus Christ, His Son at His right hand.  He will still be a God who is perfectly righteous and holy, but for those who would be truly repentant before Him, He will quickly pardon through the shed blood of His Son.  Let us leave room for Him on the throne of our own hearts and lives, and allow no other, not some political leader, nor our own ego to reside there.  Let God be God, and let us faithfully serve Him, and not pretend it to be the other way around.           

By His Grace Alone,
Pastor Bruce Jacobsen