Deuteronomy 11:18-21, 26-28
Second Sun. aft. Pentecost
Our Savior Lutheran Church
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
June 9, 1996
(Biblical Bkg: Now ready to enter the promised land, BUT... God was holding out a blessing, but the people were unwilling to trust God to deliver. Their refusal resulted in a curse...40 years on the march, death in the desert. NOW life is before us too.
Challenges, pitfalls, possibilities...blessings and curses. How will we choose? How will we live?
BY OUR OWN POWER, WE ARE INCAPABLE OF CHOOSING A BLESSING.
What blessings do we want?
We want what everybody wants:
A happy life
A meaningful existence.
A purposeful direction for living.
Most of the world is utterly convinced that if we strive hard enough, we will bring such blessings to ourselves.
Sure of ourselves, we disdain our need for God, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit.
We have listened to the words so frequently spoken at high school graduations everywhere:
Henley: "I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul".
We cheer when Frank Sanatra sings, "I did it my way!"
Here's the kicker: Despite our attempts, we fail to obtain the blessings we seek
We need to admit our failures and quit sticking to solutions that never work.
ILLUS: Joke in USSR...Sahara Desert.
Likewise, we continue to find fulfillment in life through ways that continue NOT to work.
2. You'd think that we'd learn...Sin is stupid!
WE MUST STOP LOOKING FOR OTHER GOD'S TO HELP US.
Our "gods" are exposed by our excuses:
If only I were smarter...
If only I were thinner...
If only I had more money...
Adam had an excuse too..."If only I had been alone..." = God's fault!
In our seeking after such false gods, we have chosen the curse.
They let us down because they are by nature false.
They have no power.
They promise much, but never deliver.
They are false because they are by nature backed by Satan...the liar! (Jn.8:44)
His intention is to be a curse to us.
He is a master of illusion...Looks like a blessing, but is a curse.
OUR GOD CALLS US TO A BLESSING, BECAUSE HE IS TRUE, POWERFUL, AND MERCIFUL.
He is the God who can bless us!
He kept His promises to Israel.
The land of Caanan was given to them.
They did receive blessing after blessing in their new land.
He has kept His promise to save us from ourselves and Satan.
Echoing across the millennia the promise of the Messiah has been heard.
The curse of sin, death has been paid through the suffering and death of Christ.
The promise of life forever with God is our through the resurrection from the dead of our Lord.
He is still keeping His promises to us in preserving us in the faith.
How many doubts have we NOT had?
How many temptations has He enabled us to overcome?
He blesses us, not because we have kept His Laws, but because of Christ.
Jesus is the obedient One...the Law Keeper...the original Promise Keeper!
Jesus is the burden bearer. (Isaiah 53:11)
Jesus is the blessing bringer.
The signs of the life of blessing are both earthly and eternal.
He calls us to "Fix our hearts" on Him. (Focused on Christ in faith.)
All else must take a back seat.
All of life must flow from the forgiveness we have received.
He calls us to "Fix our minds" on Him (Worship/Bible Study.)
Learn to grow in the faith leads to personal integrity.
ILLUS: Much is being made of personal character in this election year...We too are called to take those actions, speak those words and live our lives integrated with Christ.
Christian growth in integrity of faith bring growth in God's blessings.
Now we can see the incredible blessings of God in our life...faith sees the reality of the blessing!
The more we learn about God, the more we see the blessings.
As recipients of God's grace, forgiveness and earthly blessings, does it show? Is it obvious that
we are His people? Is God the constant content of our family discussions? Are the things of God written large on the "doorpost" of our lives? By the grace and mercy of God, Christ will indeed be seen in our lives and others may come to know Him through us. Amen.
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