The preacher asked us this morning if we have read John Bunyan’s Pilgrim Progress. I read the simplified version during my early teen years. Does that count?
The sermon this morning is based on Micah 7:8-13 particularly the first 2 verses:
8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
…… Though I have fallen, I will rise.
…… Though I sit in darkness,
…… the LORD will be my light.
9 Because I have sinned against him,
…… I will bear the LORD's wrath,
…… until he pleads my case
…… and establishes my right.
…… He will bring me out into the light;
……I will see his righteousness.
When we commit our lives to God, it is not so much a “happily ever after”, there will be hard and tough times and we need to know how to respond to our God. The Christian pilgrimage is imperfect. “Though I have fallen … though I sit in darkness.”
The preacher reminded us that Abraham, the Father of all nations, lied to save his own skin; David, the man after God’s heart, committed adultery, committed murder; Simon Peter, the disciple closest to the Lord, denied him three times. The preacher reminded us that we have hope because even these great men has fallen at some points of their lives but they still had hope and salvation in God.
But I thought that we must also never forget that this is not the license for us to continue to sin. We must remember Romans 6.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? ~ Rom 6:1-2
We still struggle, we still fall. We must confess, repent and face God. Are there sins in your life that you need to confess before God? The pilgrimage of faith is not an easy one. And we cannot be so engrossed in our own ways that we forget the ways of God.
The only way to master life is to trust in God, and in God alone. There is hope in him. The speaker shared with us this story about Mother Theresa.
- Professor of Christian Ethics John Kavanaugh once went to live at Mother Teresa's ‘house for the dying’ in Calcutta for three months. Somehow he thought that he might find the answers to some nagging questions about where his life was headed. On his first morning there he met Mother Teresa herself. She asked him, "What can I do for you?" Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. "And what shall I pray for?" she asked. He voiced the request that had taken him the thousands of miles from his home in the U.S., "Pray that I might have clarity."
- She looked at him sternly and said, "No, I will not do that." When he asked her why, she said, "Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and that's what you have to let go of." But Kavanaugh replied that she always seemed to have complete clarity about what she was doing and the direction of her life. She laughed and said, "I have never had clarity, what I always had is trust. So I will pray that you trust God”. What a simple yet powerful statement. It’s something we all need to remember that the most important thing in the Christian life is to trust in God. Our problem is we fret and worry about life, instead of trusting in God.
Trust is the only logical respond in our world of troubles. He is hope, he is Emmanuel.
We may have been a Christian for a long time but have we started our journey of faith, trusting him and depending on him for all things? Let God rule in your life. He is God, he is hope.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. ~ Heb 11:1
Picture by Alistair Williamson
Text of Mother Theresa from Thought of the Day