The Certainty of God's Grace, part 1
Monday, October 8, 2018
Last week we finished up a
series of studies on the Life of Abraham, the father of faith. And with my upcoming
trip to Ukraine, I thought it would be good to jump into a new, short series,
one I preached a couple of years ago, which will enable me to get the
devotionals setup and scheduled in advance, to be sent out while I am gone.
Hopefully, they will just keep coming while I am busy in ministry and more
often than not away from a good wi-fi signal.
How many of you have ever bought something because of a TV commercial? Have you noticed that they have become really creative in making those 30 second commercials? Most of them used to be boring and predictable, but now some of them are quite exciting and effective. There are a few things that every infomercial seems to have in common:
- an amazing product or service to sell
- an energetic/well-known host/hostess and an enthusiastic crowd
- first-hand reports of people who have used the product and have found it to be amazing
special limited-time offer – usually a discount on the normal price, and
special bonuses (i.e.. if you buy now, you will also receive...).
Now let me ask you this: What is it that really seems to lure you in / convince you to make the purchase?
- Product is brand new/easy to use/proven effective by others
- Remarkable claims made by the host/manufacturer
- There is a little something inside of us saying “I just have to have that!”
Now, if that is the case: Why is it that many, if not most, of us generally don’t buy things very often, from TV commercials? Too expensive, trendy and or it just seems too good to be true? I’m guessing, that the greatest reason we don’t make these purchases is that all of us have been burned at one time or another. All of us have had the experience of buying a product (from a commercial or a store), and we’re really excited. But then we get it home and find that it really wasn’t as easy, effective, or as durable as they claimed it was.
How did that make you feel? Do
you feel: Upset, frustrated, betrayed, disappointed? What would happen inside
of you if this happened to you a lot? You would probably become cynical, lose
faith in people, or not trust others easily.
Unfortunately, I think
that a lot of us have been disappointed too often by products and people and
have become extremely cynical to the point that not only do we fear
disappointment, we seem to expect it. As a result, many of us have learned not
to trust: not to trust our neighbors, our government, our schools,
institutions, etc. Unfortunately, a further result is that many people have
become very cynical about GOD and spiritual things. They’re afraid to place
their trust in the church and the Bible because they don’t want to be disappointed
again, so they stay away and/or keep them at arm’s length.
Truthfully, this affects us as Christ followers as well. Knowing that people are watching us, and judging Christ by what they see in us, many of us as followers of Jesus have become fearful of saying or doing anything for God in case we mess up and turn someone off. We seem to have lost confidence in ourselves and, at times, even in spiritual truths.