Sunday, November 14, 2010

As Is The Case Today

There have been many times in my life where I haven't completed understood why the things that happened, happened.  When someone makes a statement like that, you usually think of all the negative things that have happened in your life.  For example, Job went through so many hardships and trials with the loss of fortune and family that I'm sure he didn't completely understand what was going on.

However, there are times when there are good things in our lives that happen and we ask ourselves, what is going on?  Why do I deserve this?  Why am I so blessed?  It doesn't always have to be so negative.  Sometimes the positive situations of our lives confuse us and we come back with, "why?"

My life has had some pretty positive moments as of late.  Both professionally and personally there have been things happening in my life that have left me feeling so blessed.  In all of that, I caught myself recently asking myself, "why me"?  Who am I that I am so blessed?

Tonight during a celebration service at London Gospel Temple, David Wells (the General Superintendent for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada)  was speaking and he asked the question, "What is the case today?"  based on Deut. 6:1-9, 20-24.
1 These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 2 so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. 3 Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you.
 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.


20 In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has commanded you?” 21 tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 Before our eyes the LORD sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. 23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. 24 The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.
As I reflected on his message tonight, it suddenly struck me that God; the Creator of the Universe; the All-Sufficient; the All-Powerful; the All-Present cares about me and my needs.  God cares for me.  God cares!  God cared for the Israelites as they came out of Egypt and wanted them to possess the promised land.  God cared for Job and restored to him all that he lost plus some.  God cared for my parents in times of need when money was tight and sales were slow.  And God cares now for me in this stage of my life and he wants me to "prosper and be kept alive" (Deut 6:24, NIV).  I like how the New Living Translation puts it that God "can continue to bless us and preserve our lives".  But the key to that comes in the first part of that verse.  "And the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear him".  Now, I don't do everything right.  Honestly, I get it wrong more than I get it right, but because of God's grace (which means that because I could never do enough right to deserve what God gives) that God pours out His good gifts on me as I strive to obey Him and follow his decrees.

So the question is, what is His decrees?  One of the greatest commandments which comes partially in verse five (underlined above) was given by Jesus in Matthew 22:37-39:
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
Do we really love God with all that we are and love the people around us the way that they are?  Are we obeying God to see His hand at work in our lives?  With the help of the Holy Spirit, and through the miracle of grace, we see obedience taking place as we daily take up our cross and follow Christ.

So as I ask myself "WHY?" the next time I start thinking about the way that God has blessed me, I simply turn it back around and say, "as is the case today" so that when my kids (Lord willing) look to what their mom & dad went through and how their God got them through it, they will know that God cares for them too.  I am so thankful for the example of God's hand at work in my parent's lives!  May that be the case today!

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