Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's time to die!

Leviticus 27: 28-29

28Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD.
 29None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.

Mark 8:35
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

2 Timothy 3:13
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

We live in an ever changing world. It seems that no sooner have we all gotten adjusted to living with the "new things" we have in our lives, then along comes the newest thing that makes OUR former "new thing" obsolete. 

I am old enough to remember the old vinyl records (33's and 45's) that were around for decades. Then, the 8-track came along and made them obsolete. Less than a decade later, cassettes came along and away into oblivion went the 8-track. Cassettes hung around for a while, it seemed, until the CD took the world by storm! Now, we have MP3's and MP4's that have made most CD's obsolete- much to my personal chagrin. 

There have been many changes in our society, as well. Our Government began as a Constitutional Republic. Unfortunately, over the last 100 years (and especially the last 50 years), the powers that be have slowly and steadily whittled away at our Constitution and changed our Government in such a way as to place centralized authority in the Federal Government, and push the states to their collective knees. Government "aid programs" have created a populace that all to easily looks to the Government for their help and support- a FAR cry from the founding Fathers and Settlers, who looked to God and their own backs to make their living and to help their neighbors in need.

The problem with all this technology is that, as good as it is, it has made us somehow lazier and less willing to work hard to earn our keep. The problem with the welfare state is that Socialism ALWAYS either leads to Communism or Fascism- both of which have killed millions in the name of "the greater societal good". The truth be told, these 2 "isms" wind up killing off people in order to consolidate their own power and control the populace. 

What does this have to do with the verses above? EVERYTHING! 

As Christians, we are called to give Jesus our all, understanding that it is in HIM that we live and breathe and have our being! It is HE who exalts and throws down. It is HE who gives us freedom of choice, but somehow works through our choices for our good and his glory. "Whosoever will find his life, shall lose it, but whosoever shall lose his life, shall find it." We just need to lose ourselves in him.

We spend most of our waking hours trying to figure out how to live our lives and care for our needs. The truth is that what we need to do is DIE to ourselves and allow Jesus complete control. HE cares for our every need- so why worry? HE lives to care for us, so why fret? The future is unsure, but we can trust our lives into the hands of the one who controls the future.

While the world is going crazy around us, and the things that we try and anchor our lives to keep changing and disappearing, we need to anchor ourselves to Jesus. Politics, while important, won't save a soul. Jobs, though necessary, will change and disappear to be replaced by something else. Even churches and ministries change. One pastor leaves and is replaced by another who does things differently and sees things slightly different than the one we knew and loved for so long.  

The only true ROCK in this old world is Jesus! HE is the only one we can count on. HE will never fail us. 

Will we fail him? Sometimes. We are human, after all. But, when we repent, he is right there to pick up the pieces and help us to put our lives together again. We can keep this to a minimum, however. 

Just as the Leviticus passage above says, the things that we have dedicated to God are his, and are dead to this world! When our old man tries to rise up and get us to go back to the things we used to do, we need to get on our knees and kill him all over again, through repentance. No matter how enticing the "new thing" appears to be, HOLD on to Jesus, and tell the devil NO.

If, as the old song says, we will just "Hold to God's unchanging hands", HE will see us through to the finish, both in THIS life, and the world to come.