Good Monday Morning To You!!!
I hope you had a tremendous week since we met last Monday. By the way, Happy Labor Day to you. Today we honor the American worker; those who have made America strong. It is not the politicians in Washington who have made this country great. It is the men and women who have worked in our factories, driven our buses, mined our coal, took dictation from their boss, taught us, then later our children. It is those who have staffed our hospitals, manned our courtrooms, and gave that much needed daycare to our kids. This list could go on for miles, but you get my point. Thanks goes out to our farmers; try to survive without them! Thanks to our truck drivers who literally are the life blood of this nation. Where would we be with out them? The American economy owes its very life to the small business owners; those who own the florists shops, the roofing companies, and the home based businesses. Again, I do not want to leave anybody out, but you know who you are. Thank you for all you do, or did if you have retired.
Yesterday saw another fine service at Friendship Harmony. With that service, we officially began our second year as a congregation. As I look back over this past year, it is truly amazing to see all the blessings bestowed upon us from on High. God is surely in this venture! I should call it an adventure, for certainly is has been that!
Yesterday's message came from Matthew chapter 19. We listened in on a conversation between our Lord Jesus, and a rich, young ruler. Twice in one breath he uses the word “good” when speaking to Jesus. He called Jesus good master then asked what good thing could he do to insure eternal life. Jesus replied in verse 17, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God...” What Jesus was waiting for was to hear the young man say something like this, “But of course you are good. You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus essentially tells him that even keeping the commandments were not sufficient; you must be as good as God. This boy had been raised in religion. He knew that was not possible.
As we read further, we hear Jesus tell him to, “go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.” The Bible then tells us that he sorrowfully left Jesus. The young man received his answer, counted the cost, and decided it was too expensive to follow Jesus. What the LORD was showing him was the condition of his heart. Very likely had he told Jesus that he was willing to do that, and had made plans to follow through, the LORD would have stopped him as he did Abraham when he was bringing the knife down on Isaac. Jesus isn't against riches. I personally have known some very wealthy people who love God with all their heart. I have also known many “regular folk” who put what few things they might have in front of God. Jesus clearly has shown this rich young boy that he has not kept the commandments. He violated commandment # 1 which states, “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3) Matthew Henry writes these words, “The first four of the ten commandments, commonly called the FIRST table, tell our duty to God. It was fit that those should be put first, because man had a Maker to love, before he had a neighbor to love. It cannot be expected that he should be true to his brother, who is false to his God. The first commandment concerns the object of worship, JEHOVAH, and him only. The worship of creatures is here forbidden. Whatever comes short of perfect love, gratitude, reverence, or worship, breaks this commandment.”
Another commentator, Adam Clarke wrote, “This commandment prohibits every species of mental idolatry, and all inordinate attachment to earthly and sensible things. As God is the fountain of happiness, and no intelligent creature can be happy but through him, whoever seeks happiness in the creature is necessarily an idolater; as he puts the creature in the place of the Creator, expecting that from the gratification of his passions, in the use or abuse of earthly things, which is to be found in God alone. The very first commandment of the whole series is divinely calculated to prevent man’s misery and promote his happiness, by taking him off from all false dependence, and leading him to God himself, the fountain of all good.”
As the rich young ruler knew better, so do we. How do I know he knew better? Because he went away sorrowful. Had he not known, he would have had no sorrow! How do I know we know better? We have the indwelling Holy Spirit telling us. As a born again believer, you literally have God living in you, and He cannot be quiet to your sin and rebellion --- including putting things, or even others before Him. Jesus said in Matthew 10:37, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” Did the rich young ruler ever turn his life over to Christ? I hope so, but only in Heaven will we know for sure. However, he is not your concern. He lived and died centuries ago. You are your concern. Is following Christ too costly for you? Would you be willing to give it all up for Him. When I consider what He gave up for me, the answer is easy. I know how to answer this question, but would I really? Would you really? I hope so.
It's been good visiting with you. I hope you have a good week and that you keep your eyes upon Jesus. I'll see you next Monday Morning With Pastor Vic!