Greetings for a new week from St. Paul Lutheran Church of Bulverde, Texas. I’m Lee Harder, the senior pastor, inviting you to consider St. Paul as your spiritual home for worship and growth. We celebrate Christ every Sunday at 8:30 and 10:45 AM. Check us out with our streaming worship services at our website on www.redroofchurch.org.
In the lull that follows the rush and hectic time of Christmas, I had the chance to relax at home. For me, that includes a recliner, handy beverage, and an old movie on our new large screen TV. One of the movies I chose this time was Cecil B. DeMile’s “Ten Commandments.” I’ve been on an epic kick lately.
Anyway, my favorite scene is when Yul Bryner, playing pharaoh, returns from pursuing the Hebrews where have his army is crushed in the waters of the Red Sea. Confronted by his wife, Nefretiri (this isn’t history folks), when explaining why he has not killed Moses, says, “Because his God is God!” I love that line.
I mention this because many of us need to experience the same kind of reality check that pharaoh did. Far too many Christians want God on their terms and not His. They want to believe the way they want and find God can sometimes be difficult to work with and understand. Here are a few examples I’ve dealt with over the years.
1. In worship — we want it to be an entertaining and painless experience, not instructional that is conditional and demanding.
2. In believing — we believe in Jesus, but we don’t want to exclude others who don’t believe in Him from eternity. In other words, I’m okay and you’re okay. We’re okay together.
3. In confronting sin — Sin shouldn’t bother us or be an issue since we are all saved.
There are more examples, but I hope you get the point. It’s as if we Christians have never read a word from the Bible because these notions are not biblical. What they are is us defining how God should act. Bad move!
The Christian faith lays out some definite specifics as to how God works. I’m not talking about the man made church stuff that can and does frequently get in the way of our relationship with God. That’s religion. I’m more concerned about the faith stuff. You know, the God stuff, the stuff about Jesus from Jesus as it is revealed in Scripture.
I would be the first to admit, there’s a lot of stuff about God, the way He works, the things He has, is and will do that I do not understand and probably never will. However, there is a lot that is crystal clear when defining a relationship with Him. For the Christian the path is Jesus, period. That is the path I choose to walk, aided and guided by the Spirit. When I fall off (and I do fall off) I believe that God will help to get me back on the path. The rest, other belief systems, what God will do in the future, and a whole lot more, I don’t have a clue about and am content not to understand unless He decides to make something clear. I leave it all in God’s more than capable hands. I have tried to stop putting my agenda for God before His. I’m more than willing to let God be God because He is God and I’m not. More of us need to learn that lesson.
And those are my thoughts.
God bless. Hope to see you next week.
Pastor Lee R. Harder