søndag 15. mars 2015

Death, the Final Enemy

1 Cor 15

Death. We have a funny relationship with death. It’s a natural part of life. Everybody dies. Nature is based on death. Yet we fear and hate death.


It will happen to all of us, without fail. Statistically speaking: living is the most dangerous thing you can do: 100% of people who are alive, die! It is the circle of life.

It is natural, it is inevitable, but it feels unnatural, it feels like a curse, and we hate it.

But why do we die? Why do we fear death?

1. We die because we are sinners

God says through His Word, the Bible, that we die because we are sinners. Romans 6:23 : For the wages of sin is death.

Death is our just reward for being sinners. If you are a sinner, you die. Alright then, I’ll just stop being a sinner, I’ll clean up my act, wash my face, brush my teeth, put on my Sunday best, and be nice.

That’s what many of us think, isn’t it, when we come face to face with the reality of death. And the problem of sin. But we have got it totally wrong. “Being a good person” – that’s not Christianity. That’s humanism or Hinduism or even Islam. Humanism: Act well, and then you will live a good life and live on in people’s hearts; Hinduism: act well and then you will be reincarnated higher up the spiritual chain; Islam: act well and follow the Five Pillars and then God will have mercy on you. You see, none of those work because the problem is not sins – what we do; but sin – what we are. We need to be fundamentally changed from the inside out. And that’s what Christianity is about. You see, if you get the problem wrong, you’ll get the solution wrong. So let’s stop here and ask “What is sin?” Because all of us will have very different ideas of what sin is. But what does God say sin is?

Sin is not naughtiness, or like the adverts like to use it “oh, that’s sinful”. Sin is not primarily what we do or say or think, either. Those are sins: wrong behaviour, wrong thought, wrong words – but they themselves are not the root cause. The root cause is sin: the fundamental distance between us and God. It is a broken relationship. It is a rebellion against our creator. We have taken God’s moral laws and broken them into pieces. We have covered ourselves in shame by our thoughts, words and actions.

To illustrate: here we are, here is God, and here is the gulf of sin, cutting us off from him. There is life, eternal life. Here is death, eternal death.

Now you might not think you’re a sinner. You might be a very good person. I know some of you, and I know that you are very good people. Most Norwegians are.

But that’s not sin. Sin is that state of our heart, your inner being, towards God. Jesus Christ summed up all of God’s law like this “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind”. Oh dear. Sin is not naughtiness. It is our relationship to God. It is our attitude to God.

There were three men who got married. The first man beat his wife, wasted their money, and never gave her anything. The second man tried to give his wife a good home and generally provided what she needed – but he totally ignored her. He never even spoke to her. The third man loved to make grand romantic gestures for his wife. He would do all the right things – but he never once asked her what she wanted or needed – all the romantic gestures were for his sake, not hers. None of the men actually loved their wives. None of the men were good husbands.

And that’s kind of like how we are towards God. None of us want to listen to God. We all want to do things our way. Some of us are the first husband: we rant and rave and trash our lives. We’re the “bad” ones, the ones we see on the news.
Many of us are like the second husband: we kind of muddle along doing the best we can, trying to do what is right and making excuses for ourselves when we get it wrong (I was tired, I had a headache, that person was so annoying) – but we totally ignore God. And some of us are like the third husband: the religious people who try to win God over by their actions, by performing good works.

But none of us are listening to God. We’re all doing things our way. Even the religious people are insulting God because they’re not listening to him. He says you cannot please me with good works, you must humble yourself and come through my Son – and they ignore him and try to impress him with good works.

Outright evil, doing our best, pious religion. All useless.

How do we know that none of these ways of living work? Because we all die. Death shows us that we are sinners. It reveals that none of our little schemes to beat God or please God actually work. And that is why we fear and hate death. We don’t even want to talk about death because it pulls the wool off our eyes and makes us face reality. Nothing I do is good enough. I cannot be right with God. I will die. And I will die forever.

Death is our enemy, and we cannot defeat it. We have tried. And we have failed.

One day I will die. One day you will die. And the verdict stamped on our life is “sinner”. On this side of the canyon.

But that is why it is so important to face up to the reality of death. No one achieved anything by hiding their head in the sand and pretending there is no problem. If you’re standing in the street and the garbage truck comes around the corner, closing your eyes and saying there is no truck, lalala, I won’t think about the truck, lalaaa, let me distract myself with thoughts of pleasure: ah a nice hike in the mountain- urk!

So well done for being brave enough to come this morning. It takes great courage to face up to your fears. And for many of you it took great courage to come to a church in case we were a bunch of wierdos... J

So, the problem we’ve got is death. And death is caused by sin. So if we can deal with sin, we deal with death. Beat sin and we beat death. But we already know that sin is a state of being. We are sinners – we can’t suddenly turn that off. It’s like a cat wanting to become a dog. We are sinners. It is our nature. And so we will die.

So how can we beat death? Well, like every good adventure story we need someone to swoop in at the right time and rescue us. Indiana Jones with his whip. Tarzan swinging in. Your “one true love” appearing in a coffee shop at just the right time. We need a rescuer, and that rescuer is Jesus Christ.

We die because we are sinners - but

2. Christ died for our sins and so defeated death

Ok. V3 says I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.

Hooray. All done. Right, give your life to Christ, and then let’s have tea and cake.

Woah, woah, woah, you might say – not so fast. I’m not just going to leap in and change my whole life to follow this Jesus fellow! What if it’s a pile of nonsense? I mean, even the guy who wrote this thing here says in v17 “And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.”

And that’s absolutely right. There is no room for blind faith when we are dealing with matters of life and death. There is no room for blind faith in “science” just as there is no room to have blind faith in “God” or “Jesus”. To live for Jesus, to obey Jesus, to give your whole life over to him if he did not rise from the dead – well that’s foolishness indeed. Because if he did not rise from the dead then nothing he said was true and then we’re a bunch of idiots wasting our time here in church! That’s why I really cannot understand people who don’t believe in the resurrection but still want to call themselves Christians. Why would you do that? Your life is based on what you believe to be a lie. It’s utterly bizarre. Worse still are those who are ministers yet do not believe. Why would you give your whole career over to something you don’t believe in? As it says here in v19 if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world!

And pity them I do. Because they do not know Jesus, and therefore they are still dead in their sins, and all their religion counts for nothing. Because they’re depending on themselves, on their own performance – instead of what Christ has done. You see – back to this illustration: only Christ and his death on the cross can deal with sins and therefore bridge the gap. Only Christ. Nothing else. All other religions, all our good works, fall short. And what happens when the rope is too short to get to the other side? You fall.

I pity them because they are building a bridge that will fall, trusting themselves instead of the completed, secure, perfect work of Christ. I mean why try and rebuild the bridge when he’s already done it?

For if they looked into the evidence for the resurrection, their lives would be transformed from dead religion to a living relationship.

Evidence. Particularly 2 sources of evidence, and you can see them there in v3-8: the scriptures and eyewitnesses. 3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him

The Scriptures he’s talking about are the prophets who prophesied what the Christ would do (just by the way, Christ isn’t Jesus’ surname, but his title. It means rescuer, anointed one, or King and is the same word as Messiah).
There are many prophecies, between 100 and 300, depending on how you count them, and some are extremely specific. Psalm 22, for example, has by itself 11 specific prophecies that were fulfilled when Jesus was crucified. The Psalm was written by King David of Israel about 1000 years before Jesus was born. He wrote it because he was under such extreme pressure from his enemies that he felt like he was going to die – but the way he described what he was going through was so strange. People thought nothing of it until Jesus’ death on the cross - and they realised that this Psalm written 1000 years previously described exactly what happened to Jesus on the cross. 11 different events which happened exactly as written. And that’s just one of many prophecies. Too many to just be coincidence or someone trying to twist the facts to make them fit. But don’t just take my word for it, go read it yourself. Investigate. People have battered away at the resurrection since the day it happened – and after two thousand years of battering the evidence still holds up. So fulfilment of prophecies is one huge body of evidence.

The other big piece of evidence is the eyewitnesses – those people who saw Jesus die, then saw him raised to life again. Many of them literally did not believe their eyes. I mean, would you? Just like you and I, they were not gullible people, and they knew that when someone dies they stay dead. But there was Jesus standing in front of them. He was not a ghost – he was flesh and blood. He ate with them, talked with them, touched them. It was Jesus since he bore the wounds of his crucifixion: scars on his hands and feet where the nails were driven in, a gash in his side where the sword pierced him through to his heart. They could not find any other way to explain it away. It really was true. Jesus has defeated death. Our great enemy has been conquered. He really was dead. And now he really is alive again.

And we, too, have the same evidence. We can examine the prophecies and compare them to the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We can read the eye-witness accounts in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John of what Jesus did and said and how he rose from the dead. And we can see how his follower’s lives were changed, and see how they gave their lives to tell others about the good news: death is defeated. Christ has won!

But what if they were lying – making up this story? Well, that could be a possibility except there was no upside, no advantage for them. I mean, we lie only if it is for our own good. We never tell a lie to put ourselves in a worse position. And proclaiming the gospel got them nothing except hardship, suffering, persecution and a brutal death. There was no reason for them to tell this story – no power, no riches, no fame, no glory – except for the fact that it was true. Jesus defeated death. And so the way they lived their lives after the resurrection showed they believed it to be true. They were totally unafraid, even willing to die brutal deaths in order to get the truth out. Our sins are dealt with. Death is defeated. Christ has won.

We die because we are sinners – but Christ has dealt with our sins and so defeated death. And so

3. If we belong to Jesus, we do not fear death!

51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. 54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

When we die we sleep until we are raised to life again on the last day, judgement day. And our bodies will be made new, ready for the new creation, the perfect world – no sin, no pain, no mourning, no death – only life. So through Christ we can say “Where O death, is your victory”. Death is defeated. Death has lost. We have been given the victory over death because on the cross Jesus took our sins upon himself. There he swapped places with us – he took our sin, and gave us his perfection.

Let me illustrate: if this Bible was my sin, this is me, and the light is God – sin blocks my relationship with him. I cannot get to God. This is what Jesus does – he takes my sin upon himself – and now I am in the light while he goes through the darkness of death for me.

In Christ, death is defeated. And we do not fear death!
But be warned: that is only for those who belong to Jesus. If you are His, if you follow Him, if He is your Lord and Saviour and all of your life belongs to Him – then do not fear death. You have eternal life, won for you by Him on the cross, your sins have been wiped away, He has swapped places with you.

But if you do not belong to Jesus, if you have never come before him and said please save me, please let me follow you, please take all of me, all my sin, and give me eternal life, not because I deserve it but because of your great mercy. If you have not done that.... then fear death. Fear it! For death is a terrible thing, and you will face it alone.

There are only two ways to live. Fear death, or come to Christ.

onsdag 11. mars 2015

Skype names for Bible study:

Skype names for Bible study:

søndag 8. mars 2015

Exodus 1-20 overview: The God who rescues

Exodus 1-20

An Australian preacher called David Cook tells the story of the time he invited a friend of his who was very legalistic, very religious - thought you could earn salvation by obeying God and by being good – he invited him to a talk on the ten commandments. The next day David asked his friend what he thought and his friend said “you know what really struck me: you said 2 comes before 3” “What?” thought David “that’s what he got out of it? 2 comes before 3? What a useless....” But he’s right and it’s a deep insight. Look at chapter 20. 2 comes before 3

2 “I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.

3 “You must not have any other god but me.

Rescue before law. Salvation before obedience.

God does not save the Israelites because they were good obedient religious people. He saved them while they were disobedient slaves – and then called them to obedience. Obedience is the result of salvation, not the cause.

And if we get that the wrong way round we do not believe the gospel, but man-made or Satanic religion. You cannot please God through obedience but only through his sovereign grace. 2 comes before 3.

That is why Jesus came to seek and to save the lost – as we’ve been reading in Luke’s gospel. He came for sinners, not religious performing monkeys. Praise the Lord.

We’ve learned a lot from Exodus these past few months, but this morning I want to zero in on the central themes of Exodus and particularly what they reveal about the God whom we serve.
God’s sovereign power to save.
God’s sovereign power to judge.
God’s sovereign demand over our lives.

And we see illustrated in the great works and miraculous signs of Exodus the greater work, the greater miracle, the greater rescue in Jesus.

1. God’s sovereign power to save

Exodus opens with the Israelites very quickly in trouble. A new king comes to power, sees the Israelites as a threat, and decides to enslave them and to kill all the baby boys.

The Israelites are in trouble. And so in 2:23–25 [T]he Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. 24 God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.

And we go yay! It’s kind of like the moment in Die Hard when Bruce Willis’ character, John McClane, now has a machine gun. Ho.Ho.Ho. The turning point. The advantage has swung to the hero. Or in the recent men’s 50km at the World Cup in Sweden when Petter Northug was in fourth place – and then suddenly starts his sprint.

Something’s going to happen. Something magnificent. God knew it was time to act.

Actually, we lose a little bit in the translation. Because the original Hebrew just says “God saw the people of Israel... and God knew”

God saw. And God knew. And it’s just another indication of the character of God. He does not watch from a distance. Like in Genesis 16 when the Lord “sees” Hagar, whom Abraham and Sarah had just terribly abused. In her suffering – the Lord sees her, and knows her situation and meets her. He is the God who sees. The God who knows.

It is one of the great mysteries of our faith that we find revealed in the Bible a God who knows us. A God who shares our pain and suffering. A God who became human in order to save us.

John 1:14 So the Word became human and made his home among us.

Luke 1:35 The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.

Our Lord Jesus laid aside his majesty, was born as a baby, in order to live as one of us, to be the Son of Man as well as God’s Son, so that he could rescue us. He heard our cries as we groaned under our slavery to sin, with our king, Satan, the devil, seeking to kill us and destroy us. And he saw. And he knew.

You see, Exodus, for all its displays of power: plagues, pillars of fire, the sea rising up and parting – all of that is just a shadow, a mere shadow, of the reality of Jesus Christ and his saving work. That is where we really see God’s power to save. The Exodus is just a picture of that.
Want to know if Jesus can save? Look at what he does in Exodus, as he leads his people out – the angel of the Lord in the pillar of fire.
Want to know if Jesus can sustain us, provide for us? Look at how he provides for his people in the wilderness. Manna from heaven – every day for forty years, without fail. Water from the Rock, miraculously given at the right time.
Want to know if Jesus can protect us? Look at the waves crashing down on the Egyptian army as His people go through the same waters safely. Look at the ring of fire protecting the people from their enemy. See them arrive safely at Mount Sinai, just as He promised Moses.

God has sovereign power to save!

But wait there’s more. Because his salvation plan starts before we are even aware that we need saving. That’s how in control he is! The people cry out to God at the end of chapter 2 “Please save us”. But look at the beginning of chapter 2, and what do we see? Ex 2:1 About this time, a man and woman from the tribe of Levi got married. 2 The woman became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She saw that he was a special baby and kept him hidden for three months.
Before the people even cry out to God their saviour has already been born. Moses was the chosen saviour, kept miraculously safe through, ironically, Pharaoh’s own daughter. The plan to save was already in motion even before the people cried out to God. 2 Ti 1:9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.
Rom 5:8 (NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God saw our helpless situation. God knew us. And he set his plan in motion planned from before time even began: to save sinners like you and me. He himself would be the miraculous saviour. He himself would take the judgement we deserve upon his shoulders. He would face darkness and death and go through it.

The first thing we see in Exodus is God’s sovereign power to save. He decided out of his own great love, to rescue us. He is our saviour.

But the second thing we see in Exodus is God’s sovereign power to judge.

2. God’s sovereign power to judge

Ex 7:4-5 [The Lord says:] ...Pharaoh will refuse to listen to [me]. So I will bring down my fist on Egypt. Then I will rescue my forces—my people, the Israelites—from the land of Egypt with great acts of judgment. 5 When I raise my powerful hand and bring out the Israelites, the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.”

Ex 7:17 So this is what the LORD says: “I will show you that I am the LORD.” Look! I will strike the water of the Nile with this staff in my hand, and the river will turn to blood.

Ex 8:22 But this time I will spare the region of Goshen, where my people live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the LORD and that I am present even in the heart of your land.

God is the judge of the world. He made us. He owns us. And his judgement on our sin is therefore right. His judgement, however, is not without a purpose: then you will know that I am the Lord. I am Yahweh.

We are made to glorify God. That is our purpose. All of creation calls out “glory to God, glory to God”. Look up at the stars on a clear night and you can almost hear the Milky Way, millions of stars crying out “glory to God”. You drive through Telemark and see the beauty around you crying out “glory to God”.

But we? We rebel against God. We ignore God. We don’t want to give God glory but to glorify ourselves. I am the great I am. I am number one in my life. I am all that matters.

Ex 10:1–2 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my miraculous signs among them. 2 I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them—and so you will know that I am the LORD.”

Ex 12:12 On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the LORD!

Ex 14:18 When my glory is displayed through them, all Egypt will see my glory and know that I am the LORD!”

Ex 20:2 “I am the LORD your God...You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.

To set ourselves up in opposition to God is foolishness indeed. Pharaoh did – and the Lord took his rebellion seriously. Time had run out for him: the Lord, horrifyingly, said you will now not repent, you will be stubborn and you will face my judgement. There is no way out. And what a judgement he faced!

Opposing God = FAIL! But that’s what I do every time I disobey his commands. Every time I look at his word and think, naah, I disagree. Every time I ignore him and dishonour him. Our attitude is like that of Boromir of Gondor in the Lord of the Rings. When Boromir finds out that the King is in front of him, the heir to the throne of Gondor, he says “Gondor has no King. Gondor needs no King”.
Is that not the attitude of so many around us? Is that not the default attitude of our own hearts? Oh what fools we are when we, like Pharaoh, fancy ourselves as equals to the Almighty God.

For one day all of us will know that HE is the Lord, and not me. A pastor in the US called Mark Driscoll said that we need to understand 2 things: 1. There is a God. 2. You are not Him.

Funny, but very very true. 20:3 I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.

You see, the Lord God will be glorified whether we like it or not. He will either be glorified in salvation and joyful obedience – or he will be glorified as he destroys those who rebel against him. Israel – saved, brought out by His mighty arm – glory to God. Egypt – in rebellion, refusing to acknowledge God – who is this God – instead turning to other gods, worthless idols which cannot speak and have no power. Judged. Destruction, darkness, and finally death covered the whole land of Egypt.

It is a stark picture and a sober warning to us here in Norway, thousands of years later. Learn from the Egyptians. Their voices cry out to us across the ages – do not rebel like we did. For one day, suddenly, God’s judgement will fall and there will be no chance of repentance. Suddenly you will stand before the Holy God whether through your death or the return of Jesus, and he will open up the book of your life and what will it say? Perfect obedience to God? Honoured him with every breath? No. It will say “sinner”. Rebel. Imperfect. Unholy. And you will be cast out into the outer darkness where, Jesus says, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Yes, it is meant to be scary! It is meant to make us afraid. It is meant to make us act! To seek God. To cry out for mercy. Yes God is sovereign to judge, but he is also sovereign to save, and if he can save people like the Israelites, if he can save a failure like Moses – a murderer, a coward, running away and hiding in the desert – well, there is hope that he can save you and me is there not? So if you haven’t asked him, fall to your knees and plead with him to have mercy on you. And so on that Final Day when the judgement falls “sinner, OUT!” – suddenly Jesus will step forward and say wait, not thi one, his sins are covered by my blood, the price has bdeen paid, I have taken his life and he gets my life. And the gates will open to Eternal Life. Will Jesus step forward for you? Do you know him? If not, ask him now. If you need help to pray Christian will be at the back of the room. Go to him and he will help you pray and ask Jesus to save you.

I’m now going to spend some time talking to the Christians. Those of us who have been saved – 2 comes before 3, salvation before obedience. But, 3 does follow 2 – obedience follows salvation, and so I want to end off by challenging us with

3. God’s sovereign demand over our lives

20:1 Then God gave the people all these instructions (commands).

In chapter 3 God calls Moses to be the rescuer of his people. Moses says no. God says oh yes you will. Moses belongs to God. Ex 3:14 God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.”

6:6 “Therefore, say to the people of Israel: ‘I am the LORD. I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and great acts of judgment. 7 I will claim you as my own people, and I will be your God.

Now there is a great comfort in belonging to God, in being saved by him – but there is also a great demand there. To belong to God means that you belong. To God. All of me, all that I am, my thoughts, my actions, my reputation, my future, my money, my family, my time – belong to you O Lord. Of course, everyone belongs to him anyway – we’ve just stopped pretending that we don’t. We know that we belong to him.

So, if you belong to him, then live like it. Make decisions in the light of the fact that you belong to him. The Israelites have been a crushing disappointment haven’t they? Moaning and groaning, longing to go back to slavery in Egypt – what is wrong with them? And so they pierced themselves with many unnecessary sorrows. Why?

Brothers how often do we do the same thing – deliberately do what is wrong when we know it is wrong and suffer the consequences. Or take so long to do what is right. Even simple things like find a church, find a place to live near the church, then find a job near where you live – so simple. Priorities right: spiritual food, a place to serve God’s people, people who will encourage you to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. That’s what we NEED. But no we panic and we seek a job first, yes I’ve got that, then we find a nice house because we need that and then we thing Oh, oh dear, I need to find a church. Oh that one will do. And we suffer the consequences because we’re not thinking Christianly about these things. Who do you think provides “your” job, provides “your” salary? Is it not the Lord? Of course it is. He is sovereign over us. He is our Father. So trust him. Risk obeying him. It is glorious when you do and dull when you don’t.

What does Jesus say “seek first the Kingdom, and all these other things will be added”.

Oh Lord, expand my vision of you to fill my mind. I am so stupid when I make decisions, so blind, so hard-hearted. Lord, be my wisdom, be my faith, because I just can’t seem to trust you. I need to pray that kind of prayer more, and, I’m sure, so do you.

The Israelites were in the desert for goodness sake. There is nothing there but rocks and dust. You are in serious trouble if you’re there with no food or water (or a car to get you out of there. The desert can KILL you. And they were about two million people, plus herds etc. Panic, panic. But the Lord knew. The Lord saw. The Lord is sovereign. And so for forty years the Lord provided food and water sustained the people. Shouldn’t this be a lesson to us. Oh, that was then we say, as if that excuses our lack of faith now. Same God. Same ability to provide. And Jesus said “don’t worry about what you will eat or wear but seek first the Kingdom” and “your Heavenly Father knows you need these things”

Time to wrestle yousrself to the ground and say “Time to repent, time to change. Confess your sins, plead with the Lord to help, and then trust that his Spirit is at work in you – and He is – and then make deliberate decisions to change the way you live.”

And remember as you do this that you do this as a beloved child of God because 2 salvation, comes before 3 obedience. Praise God that he is sovereign to save, sovereign to judge, and sovereign over us.