We Will Serve The LORD
You know, it's getting harder and harder to distance ourselves from what this world believes. I'm not saying it's getting harder to believe what scripture says, that doesn't change, but I'm saying it's getting harder because of the forcefulness coming from the other side. I say that, because we are told almost daily that we need to change our way of thinking, like the world has. We need to accept what is politically correct, because the world has. We are the ones that need to change. According to them, it is us who are out of touch. If we choose not to participate in something because we believe it violates our beliefs, they are quick to turn that against us, and verbally lambaste us.
This happens because we are devoted to our beliefs which come from the understanding we get from God's Word. When our beliefs differ from their opinions, they accuse us of being intolerant and hateful because we disagree with them. They may have run across someone or read something by someone who claimed to be a Christian who was indeed hateful, but I fear more often than not, we are just lumped all together because we wear the name of Christ, whom they despise and reject.
Well it seems all of that division is actually nothing new. A few thousand years ago, Joshua, a leader, military leader, and saintly man of the Lord's people after the death of Moses, said, "But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)
We face similar decisions when we are asked to swallow things we know Jesus would never approve of. We are told to do it in the name of love and 'tolerance'. We are told we are hypocritical if we claim to love people, yet don't approve of certain actions and beliefs in our society. The response is often a very quick quote of John 8:7, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."
Funny thing though, that verse doesn't give us permission to sin, nor does it suggest we accept, condone, hide or ignore the sin of others. On the contrary, it causes us to look within, at the sin in our own lives, and to clean it up. It reminds us we are not the judge, but it certainly doesn't remove Christ as judge. Let us finish the story of John 8, after everyone left because they too were sinners, Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “Then neither do I condemn you,” But then comes the part that negates their argument, Jesus tells the woman “Go now and leave your life of sin.” This teaching in no way turns a wrong into a right. It reminds us we are not perfect, we need to have mercy on others who sin just as Jesus demonstrated, because we sin too at times, and need mercy ourselves. But it never suggests that sinning (adultery in this case) is OK, or that we're entitled to sin because we are not perfect. Let us not mis-understand it that way, like the world does.
In our post earlier this week, we quoted John 14:15, "If you love me, keep my commands..." That's our charge, keep His commandments, which tell us to "avoid sin", "leave [y]our lives of sin", "stop sinning", "go and sin no more", and any of numerous other ways scripture says it. Scripture never says for us to accept sin, our's or anyone else's, simply because we all have sin in our lives or because it's no longer considered sin by the majority.
Today, knowing we all do sin, and we all do fall short, and knowing God will cover that sin for those who are in Christ, let us meditate on Joshua's words again. We need this so badly in our lives and in our world. Regardless of what the masses choose to do, AS FOR YOU AND ME AND OUR FAMILIES, LET US DETERMINE TO SERVE THE LORD!