Believe and Obey

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The Primacy of God

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Tough Words

This week’s text is Matthew 10:24-39.  This passage is what pastors would consider a “tough text”.  It is full of scary predictions of some awful things that await the followers of Jesus.  It does offer comfort but to find that you must look closely.  God is not one to mince words or mislead His people.  Following Jesus will be difficult, anything of value is.  We should not be discouraged by difficult words or predictions of burdens to bear.  Rather, we should rejoice that God does not lie to His people nor promise them beds of roses to get them to follow Him.  This should make us wary of those preachers who claim that everything in your earthly life will be grand if you follow Jesus.  Why would we think this, when the life of Jesus Himself was a testament to burdens to bear.

It’s All About God

Other than promising woes, this passage makes clear that we are to be oriented completely toward God.  It is this orientation that will create the conflict the rest of the world will have with us.  Yet this fact should not deter us from giving all of ourselves to God.

We are to boldly proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God.  Tell of this news in the full light of day, that is, make yourself and your witness known to all.  Yes, there are those that can and may kill you for this witness.  Do not fear those who can kill the body, but rather, fear God who can destroy body and soul (although I would argue that it is the choice of people to throw away their souls by rejecting a relationship with God).  Do not worry that God will forget or forsake you from His eternal presence.  He knows every sparrow that falls and counts all the hairs on your head, that is, He always has His people in His care.  This is the comforting word that I said you must look closely to find. 

It is so much about God that He states plainly that your witness will bring division.  This is not to say that God wants division.  He is not joyous at family being set against one another or His followers bearing a  burden.  He simply states that this is going to happen, so best be prepared.  The other comforting word that is discernable is at the end of the passage.  God clearly states that all those who “lose their life for God’s sake”, that is give themselves wholly over to God, will find their life.  This of course means an eternal life with our Father in heaven.

What this points us toward is that it is to be God above all things.  Trust that the word of God is true and that He will being His people home regardless of how bad things get here on earth.  This text orients us toward the idea that a God who gives us everything is a God whom we should give everything in return.  This is joyous news indeed.  So, if we trust God’s word is true, we believe.  Then we go out and obey.

Praise Be to God

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