Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ordinary Time: Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Old Testament Lesson

Numbers 16: 20-35

We see quite often in the Old Testament that God is a holy God and is not to be trifled with. He is to be obeyed. He is to be honored. One thing that God demands of His people in the Old Testament is complete and total obedience. We read things like this, and we think, boy aren't we lucky that we live under grace?

Yes, that is true. We can be forgiven. We can be restored and redeemed. Today is the day that the Lord will give mercy and grace. But, there will come a time when all that is done will be seen. God has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And, He stilled demands obedience. As Jesus said in John 14:15, "If you love me, you will obey what I command."

For those us that believe, the great hope is that we have God's grace and the Holy Spirit. Grace is not merely God's power to forgive sins, Grace is the empowerment to live a holy life. John Wesley taught that through grace, we can be changed and shaped into who God would have us to be. We are to obey God, but the miracle is that through His grace, it is God Himself that gives us the power to obey.

New Testament Lesson

Romans 4: 1-12

We see here in this passage what that grace Wesley taught looks like. Abraham believed, that was credited to him as righteousness. We are saved by grace through faith. We are not saved by our works, we are not saved by our deeds we are not saved by our parents, we are saved only by grace through faith. That is the only way to salvation. Abraham believed, and that belief was credited to him as righteousness.

And then, Abraham believed and he sat on his couch the rest of his life doing nothing, right? No, the Word teaches us that he followed God's voice. He obeyed. Now, his righteousness came from belief, but that belief caused to be faithful. Right belief will cause right action. Right belief will cause us to obey and be faithful. It is all well and good for us to talk about belief, if we have no works. But, true belief will be accompanied by a transformed and redeemed life.

Gospel Lesson

Matthew 19: 23-30

It is hard for the rich man to enter into heaven because he will be tempted to love his money more than God. But, this verse could also be. .

It is hard for the athlete to enter into heaven. . .

It is hard for the career man to enter into heaven. . . .

It is hard for the soccer mom to enter into heaven. . . .

It is hard for the popular to enter into heaven. . .

None of these things are bad. Money in and of itself is not bad. Nor is sports, a job, your children, or having friends. When they become a problem is when we love them more than we love God. Only those that love God first, only those whose first love is Jesus Christ, only those will enter in.

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