Fresh sermon writing tonight – not something I do enough of. The memories of spending Wednesdays in my study with a hot cup of coffee and worship music in the background seem very vague these days. I’ve been thinking about our expectation regarding God’s blessing. I was in a church service lately where I heard someone talk about the all the good things God has provided them…and thus they were thankful.
That always makes me feel a bit uncomfortable. Not that they shouldn’t be thankful, and perhaps it is a poor choice of words, but what if things weren’t going so well. Would they still call God good? Would they still have an attitude of gratitude?
On top of those thoughts was a prodding that God gave me a couple of weeks ago. For some reason Philippians 2:5 popped into my mind. Not the New International Version which I know so well and use so often, nor the New Living Translation which has been my version of late. No, it was the old King James Version which reads; “Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus.” What struck me was the first word…”let”…
I have a choice to make. I can chose to follow the words, priorities, desire, mission of God’s Son. Or I can chose to follow my own.
So tonight I dug out my Greek New Testament and started to do some digging into the original language. That will prove to be some of the thoughts behind my next sermon, which doesn’t happen until Thanksgiving, but I’m enjoying building these thoughts.
It has, as a point of interest, led me back to the story from Daniel 3, in which we read: “...the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
The important phrase of course is “…even if he does not….”
The confidence of the men faced with a life and death decision perhaps reflect on King David’s words from Psalm 46:
And of course, the great example of God’s Son…who laid his life down so that we might have forgiveness of sin. The desperate need for forgiveness in the lives of people is a needless weight to be carried. Forgiveness is for all, for any, for you.