Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cold Weather and Faithful Hearts

It is a cold November morning. This is merely the first of many cold mornings that we have ahead of us as the winter season is just beginning. While this morning is cold, tomorrow morning is going to be even colder. The shock of the cold is upon us because of the rapid change of temperature. As I sat and watched the cold front come through yesterday afternoon, it was 66. By the time I went to bed it was 36. Put with that the warmth of this last weekend, and this really does feel cold. Welcome to winter. Put on a sweater, be sure to wear your socks, pull on a warm coat and, of course, wear a hat.

As you do all of those things remember that there are people in our community who don't have nearly what you and I have in our lives. This is a great opportunity to remember to support the work of Ministries Unlimited here in Troy. They do some wonderful things to help the less fortunate in our community. Through the food pantry and the Christmas gifts as well as support for those who need help as they travel and those who need help with housing in our community, Ministries Unlimited shows the face of God to those in need. If you have the chance to help out, please do so. This is the time when their resources will begin to be stretched a little thin.

I read some interesting passages this morning. As I read Psalm 108, King David was talking about the victory that God had given to Israel over Moab, Edom and Philistia. Then I was reading in 2 Chronicles 28 and King Ahaz of Judah was defeated by Moab, Edom and Philistia. What was the difference? Why was David victorious while Ahaz wasn't? The difference came in who they trusted and how they lived. David followed God with his whole heart. He wasn't a perfect man or king but he was a faithful man and a faithful king. Ahaz wasn't a perfect man or a perfect king AND he was a faithless man and king. He did not follow the way of the Lord. He paid lip service to it but he did not live it. He made metal images for the Baals, offered up his sons as sacrifices and followed the ways of those nations around him. He was called to serve the Lord with his heart and life and instead he served himself with his heart and life. Because of his sinfulness, God gave the nation of Judah over to the peoples around them.

Faithless towards God. Can that be said about you? We could look at the nation, our country and the way it lives and we might say that we are faithless. We can point to the sins of the people and the lack of faith that is shown. And we would be right. It is that and perhaps more.

But I don't want to do that. Instead I would challenge you to look at yourself. Are you faithful to God or faithless to God? Do you worship Him with your heart and life or do you worship the gods of this age with your heart and life? How often do you read or hear the Word? How often do you worship God, not just with you lips but with your hearts as well?

We are called to be faithful to God. He gives us the power to live according to His will. He gives us the Means of Grace to strengthen our faith and help us in our lives. He touches our hearts and lives with the power of His Word, the wonder of Baptism and the strength of His Body and Blood in the Supper. He is with us day after day. He upholds us in all we do. He never turns His back upon us. He walks with us, talks with us, blesses us and leads us.

How do you and I respond? How do we live our lives? I would like to challenge you to reflect upon your life. And my prayer is that you will be found faithful in the Lord, empowered to live that way through the Holy Spirit.

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