Monday, June 27, 2016

Pastor's Ponderings, June 27, 2016

Let’s Not Exit God’s Union

On Thursday, June 23, 2016, the United Kingdom citizens voted to leave the European Union in the EU referendum.  But hours after the vote, one of the most goggled questions was "What is the European Union?" Apparently many citizens voted to give up something that was begun in November 1, 1993 even though they did not realize what it was or how it benefitted them. They had the benefits of the union for much of their lives, yet they decided to reject it in favor of freedom from it.  Yet “freedom from” is different from “freedom to.”   One may ask what can they do and what are the benefits when they are totally free?

There is another union that many want to be free from and that is a relationship with Christ. Some people don't think they want God or need His rules, His commandments, His protection, or His love.  They want to be free from God, but then what? Is there some other god that will never leave you or abandon you?  Is there some other entity that promised to supply all of your needs?

The God of the Bible has made many promises if we will obey Him (Deuteronomy 28:1, 2).  He says He will be with us through the end of time (Matthew 28:20).   We are told that we can joyfully and freely serve Him, but He wants a close relationship with us.  The prodigal son in the Bible wanted to be free of his father, but learned the hard way that he had more freedom obeying his father than when he rebelled against him (Luke 15:17, 18). 

No one knows how Britain's leaving the European Union will work out.  However, those who love the Lord have made the decision that being willing and obedient to God will greatly benefit us (Isaiah 1:19). We have decided to make Jesus our Lord. We don't want to know a life separate from Him. We remember that life wasn't so good before Jesus was our Lord and we really don't want to find out what separation from God will bring.

Let us continue to think about all His benefits, remembering that He takes care of us, loves us, and keeps us from the evil one.  Let us continually vote to remain in a close relationship with the Almighty and not forget that His goodness, mercy, and benefits towards us will follow us all of our lives (Psalms 23:6, Psalm 103:2, 5). 

Deuteronomy 28:1, 2
New International Version (NIV)
If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.
2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

Matthew 28:20
New International Version (NIV)
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Luke 15:17, 18
New International Version (NIV)
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

Isaiah 1:19
New International Version (NIV)
19 If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land;

Psalms 23:6
King James Version (KJV)
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Psalm 103:2, 5
New International Version (NIV)
2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

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