Some Will Disagree!

UntitledIn our country, the Supreme Court can make a ruling where 5 of 9 judges agree and 4 dissent and the outcome becomes the Law of the land. The decisions they make are far reaching and long standing in forming the direction that our country takes, good or bad. Some people agree with the decisions and others do not.

This happens on a local level as well. Consider the many recent rulings that have taken place around the country concerning the actions of police officers. Some of the situations have brought about indictments and even convictions of officers. Other cases have found that the actions did not merit any charges against the officers. With that, the public agrees or disagrees and there is often much clatter among those who do not agree with the court’s decision.

As the LCMS approaches its Synodical convention in July, this is something that plays out in our church body as well. There will be, as there have in the past, decisions made that some will abide by and will embitter others. This goes so far as to even cause some people to consider leaving the Church body.

Let’s bring it down another level. There are decisions that are made by voters’ assemblies within churches which some people agree with and others do not. At times this has resulted in some who rather loudly lamented the decisions or even have left the congregations because they did not agree.

On a more singular level, there have been decisions that have been made by pastors which some folks in the churches have agreed with and others disagreed. Even these have at times made for feelings of consternation among the laity, resulting in bad feelings and folks skipping church.

Then, there is the Word of God. The voice inside my head recalls the Jim Nabors’ show back in the 60s called Gomer Pyle, Pyle’s phrase, “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise,” people don’t agree. In everything up to this last point I can perceive why some people might have a variety of opinions which run counter to any decisions made. But, when it comes to God’s Word, there should not be any arguing, voting, or reason to even consider making a “decision” on the veracity of what is said (at least not among any who would call themselves Christian).

God did not give us a Word that is unclear in the areas that pertain to our salvation or to His expectations for us as His children/disciples. Where God has said something is good, who are we to judge? The same goes when God speaks concerning what is evil, sinful or even in some cases an abomination. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (Isaiah 5:20).

Evangelist Billy Graham once wrote, “Someone has said: ‘A wrong deed is right if the majority of people declare it not to be wrong.’ By this principle we can see our standards shifting from year to year according to the popular vote!” We need to get our values straight with God and then start working in reverse of this letter. From being right with God all the way back to getting things right in our country. If we all submitted to God’s authority, then the other areas of life would begin to work out better because the faithfulness of a country (or any group of people) depends on the faithfulness of the individuals who make it up. It all starts with God and obeying Him. Or, if you will not yield to God, well “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise” the old beer commercial is right “It doesn’t (or wont’) get any better than this”

Pastor Bill

 

 

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Has God Not Given You What You Deserve?

imagesAre you upset because you think God has not given you what you deserve? Perhaps others (not as worthy as you) have what you want (1)? They have the good job, a great salary, a happy family, toys and material blessings. But, you’ve worked harder and longer and you deserve _______, right (2)?

Have you considered the debt of your sins (3)? Do you deserve forgiveness? If so, what makes you feel that way? What have you done to earn it (4)? Did Jesus get what He deserved in life (5)?

Fortunately, you and I don’t get what we deserve. If we have faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we get something much better (6), forgiveness and the promise of eternal life are because of God’s mercy, not your works. Perhaps you should consider, “Do you really want what you deserve?”

Perhaps you feel you’ve done everything you should and so God owes you (7). Perhaps somewhere along the way

you forgot that this life is not about you. It’s about Jesus, His grace, His mercy, His love, and He can do whatever He wants with that which belongs to Him. So, again, do you really want what you deserve (8)?

Quit comparing your life to that of others. There is good and bad in both, I guarantee you! Never take the blessings you have for granted, there are others who wish they had what you have. Thank the Lord for what you have (9) instead of complaining about what you don’t have.

Everything comes from God. The failure to recognize this is where the virus of indifference invades our spirit. God’s generosity, is not based on what we deserve. We deceive ourselves when we believe that God’s grace is distributed according to what each and every one of us deserve. Have you ever noticed how happy and excited you are when the bad guys “get just what they deserved” (10)? We lack compassion when we see it as undeserved. We want people to get what they deserve for the evil they do (11). God is better. He sees His undeserving people and is merciful.

I don’t want what I deserve. I hope you feel the same. But, I do hope that together we desire to live a faithful life with Jesus, in response to His love, generosity and His even handedness in giving us, what we don’t deserve (12).

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  1. Matthew 5:45 “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
  2. Matthew 20:10 “So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive. But each one of them also received a denarius.”
  3. 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death.”
  4. Isaiah 64:6 “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.”
  5. Romans 4:25 “He was delivered over to death for our sins”
  6. Acts 13:38 “Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.”
  7. Luke 17:10 “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’”
  8. Psalm 103:10 “He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.”
  9. Romans 11:36 “For from him and through him and to him are all things.”
  10. Luke 18:11 “I thank you that I am not like other men.”
  11. Jonah 4:1&4 “But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry…. And the Lord said, ‘Do you do well to be angry?’”
  12. Jeremiah 31:34 “For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”