P.R. Carberry 11/5/2017
Dr. Johnson, said, “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.”
I am sure you are aware that people are creatures of habit. We need to be reminded of things. And, we
develop patterns of behavior, both good and bad. St. Paul gave us an analogy that the Christian life is a
race. It’s more like a marathon, a life marathon. God gave us the scriptures to know about him as our
creator and to live our life in accordance with his purposes. He made us out of love. Did you know that
what God has revealed to us is for us and our children? In the book of Deuteronomy, “The secret things
belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we
may follow all the words of this law.” Deut. 29:29. Sometimes, people tend to think that the Bible is the
only revelation of God. Not even close to being true. God can revel himself in many ways. He does not
limit himself to what he has revealed to us in the Bible. Even though, it is his revealed word to us. But, it certainly is not all that God is and has done. For example, in the last chapter of John we are told that if someone was to write down what Jesus actually did in his life, all the books in with world would not be big enough to list everything. Wow!
“There are many other things that Jesus did, and if they were written down one by one, I think that not even the world itself would be big enough to hold the written volumes.” John 21:23
When Philip was inquiring to Jesus to Show them the Father, Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father. Do you not believe that that I am in the Father and that the Father in in me? I am not the source of the words that I speak to you.” John 14: 7-11
Jesus is God. God is limitless in his love and power. He is timeless. No age or boundaries of time to hold God. He is the creator of all things.
The Old Testament taught the Israelites to love their fellow man. Jesus used teachings from the Old Testament, from Deuteronomy and Leviticus, and summarized the law accordingly, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 34-40) As Theologian Christopher Wright points out, “these are commands not just cheerful recommendations.” The Lord expects us to show kindness and benevolence to our fellow man out of love. This may include suffering for the Lord and for the Gospel.
Now more than ever, persecuted Christians in the Middle East and Africa need for Christians in the west to stand up and speak up for religious freedom and liberty. We are to be imitators of Christ. God offers help and guidance to anyone willing to bring comfort to others, but the responsibility lies with each person to choose to do so, or to choose to increase suffering in the world, either actively or passively, through neglect or apathy. 1
1 Donal P. O’Mathuna, “‘Why Me, God?’ Understanding Suffering,” Ethics & Medicine 15.2 (1999): 44-52.
The world is not the way that God created it and because of that, all are vulnerable to the effects of sin in the world. Why does one person suffer and another does not? Why do catastrophes happen to some and no others? It is because sin is in the world. But there will come a day when the Lord will return and cleanse this world of all sin and all suffering. C.S. Lewis described pain as God’s megaphone and it can be a terrible instrument. It could lead a man to God or to final and unrepented rebellion. At the same time,it gives bad men the only opportunity they are afforded to achieve atonement. 2 Let’s pray not only for the Persecuted but also for those who are doing the persecution. Let’s pray that God would remove their blindness so they can see and hear the good news of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Lewis, The Problem of Pain, 93-94.