Read Matthew 10:27-31 – If the start of a New Year is about building up, then the close of the Old Year must be about validating the foundation on which to build. In Matthew 10:27-31 we are treated to two aspects of the character and person of God. Both of these must influence our relationship with Him and our quest to fulfil His will for our lives in 2016.
The first is His awesome power and might and judicial sovereignty. He is no secular or religious persecutor. He is no cruel human antagonist with a commitment to terrorize and kill his victims. They have the ability to destroy the body, and there their power ends. But it is our loving Heavenly Father who is also the Righteous Judge of this world that has the power to destroy both body and soul in hell.
For every Christian, this must be a wake-up call and a grim reminder of how blessed we are by being called Sons of God and Joint heirs with Christ. When challenges arise, and the road seems rough, it is a good reminder that the temporary hardships and trials that we may encounter along our Christian journey are not to be compared with two things. First, they are not to be compared with the suffering and torture in hell that we escaped when we surrendered our life to Christ. Secondly, they are not to be compared with the glory that we shall one day share with Jesus. These are fundamental core beliefs of which we must daily remind ourselves in order to lay the best possible foundation on which to build a life of spiritual prosperity.
But in our text today, there is equal emphasis on the awesome wrath and judicial authority of God, as well as on His infinite love and concern for us and every detail of our lives. We are reminded that the same God who takes care of, provides for and is daily involved with the details of the life of each bird, is also concerned about us. But He is not as concerned; He is more concerned because we are more valuable than the birds. I may add, there is no comparison between us and the birds for at least two reasons. First, the birds were not made in the image and likeness of God. Secondly, Jesus Christ did not die on the cross of Calvary to redeem the birds. It was for use He died. In light of this assurance of His intimate love and concern for every detail of our lives, we are admonished, “Do not be afraid!”
I am working on a book that could be called, “Spiritual Strategies for Success”. The premise is that there is something wrong with the fact that the average Christian seems content to go around the mountain over and over again, instead of growing in the knowledge and love and image of God. Yes the Devil is alive and alert and aggressive. But I feel that there are major gaps in our Christian philosophy that retard our ability to grow as fast as we could and should. One of the foundational gaps is our failure to fully believe that God loves us and all that goes with it.
If we believe that God, even occasionally, wants to “rain on our parade” or spoil our fun, or does not have our best interest at heart, we will be reluctant to fully yield our lives to His control. If on the other hand, we believe that His love for us is eternal; that He has only the very best plans for our lives; and that everything He tells us to do, or not to do, is ultimately in our very best interest; we would have won a major spiritual victory.
Let us establish these two foundations on which to build in 2016 and beyond. We serve an awesome, powerful, judiciously authoritative God who loves us, provides and cares for us; has the best plans for our lives, and wants us to be optimally happy every day, hour and minute of our lives.
Remember to visit RBC’s Our Daily Bread Devotional today at www.ODB.org