Sunday, December 7, 2008

7 December 2998

Deuteronomy 11:1-32

Today's lesson is very much a continuation of last week's lesson. We are told, "love the Lord your god and keep his requirements." This commandment is not done to try and to gain God's favour, but an act of thanksgiving. As the Israelites had seen all the wonders the Lord, they were to walk in obedience for thanksgiving, and they were to obey the Lord, so as to have the strength and ability to do as he commanded them.

In fact, from this lesson, we see how very much Jesus saving actions on the cross are reflected in the Passover. We as Christians are to obey Christ for two reasons. The first is because we are thanking him for what he has done and because we love him. Not a very hard concept. We owe God our obedience not to gain salvation, but because he has already saved us. Secondly we obey God so as to have power to fullfill his commandmenst here on earth. These commandments to love God, to love our neighbour, to proclaim the Gospel are not really very hard if we truly love God. He will give us the power.

An example: Many years ago, I used to use snuss. I really had gotten into it bad, using two to three cans per day. I had promissed myself that I would quite when it hit $1.00 per can. Well $1.00 came and went, but I was still using it. Oddly enough, no-one challenged me on this sad to say. At the same time I was one of the adult helpers with the church youth group. One night, one of the kids asked me for a dip,and I told him he shouldn't have any as it was bad for him (no rules against giving it or selling it to people uder 18 in those days). He asked me then, if it was so bad, why was I using it. As I went home, I considered several things. First, since my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, I shouln't be polluting it. Secondly, as an adult helper in the youth group, I needed to set a good Christian example I loved the kids enough to know that I had to do something, so I did. I went back to church (it was never locked in those days), carried my snuss to the altar, kneeled down and prayed something to the effect, "Dear Lord, this is a bad habit, and I am addicted to tobacco. This is a bad example for the kids at church. Lord, you are bigger than a can of snuss. Please take the desrire away from me." I left the church a free man and have never touched any since.

When we truly thank God, he give us the power, the power to be free from sin of whatever type. We who are mature Christians have events in our lives demonstrating the power of Jesus Christ. I regularly share the above even with people who are addicted to cigarettes, so they will know that Jesus can set them free. That too, is part of the lesson today. We who have experienced the living God in our lives are to tell kids, adults, anyone who will listen what God has done for us. He has set me free from tobacco and several other sever addicitons. If he can set me free, he can set you free, and those whom the Lord has freed are free indeed if they want to be.

So let us share the good news. Halleluiah, Jesus is risen, He has freed me from sin, and mean it. God's love gives us the power to even move mountains, if we truly follow him.

So let Jesus free you to conquer sin and deth.

Shalom b'Yeshua haMoshiach,

Mar Michael Abportus

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