May 16, 2017
Beloved in Christ,
What encouragement do I have for you in the faith this week? Here it is.
STAND YOUR GROUND!
STAND ON HIGHER GROUND!
KEEP YOUR FEET PLANTED IN THE WORD OF GOD!
BOW BEFORE THE LORD WITH CONTRITE HEARTS AND IN HUMBLE REPENTANCE!
RECEIVE HIS MERCY AND HIS STRENGTH WHICH IS NEW UPON YOU EVERY MORNING!
Listen to Jesus: “Everyone then who hears these words of Mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)
The wise man is the one who leans not on one’s own understanding but trusts in the Lord with all one’s heart (cf. Proverbs 3:5). Truth is of God. His Word of revelation is truth, therefore, it is absolute authority. The Lord God does not change (cf. Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8). The Word of the Lord stands always as supreme and is the sole authority for the Christian faith and life. Therefore, stand on Christ, the Truth (Jn. 14:6) and His Word of truth (Jn. 17:17).
What does this mean for you and me today and every day? It means that you and I (armed with the full armor of God–Eph. 6:10-18) do not get sucked into the constant whirlpool of secularism and the politically-correct multiculturalism of today. There are widespread efforts (worldwide but especially here in America) to undermine and destroy historic Christianity and the teachings and confession of Holy Scripture. This masking of falsehood and presenting it as truth has been going on, of course, ever since the fall into sin (recorded in Genesis chapter 3). The devil is behind all of it, for he is “the father of lies” (Jn. 8:44). The devil uses the secularists and progressives and false teachers—the voices of the unbelieving (anti-Christian) people in positions of authority—the heavy influence of the rebellious masses (the majority) and usage of propaganda and media to slam the Christian faith that is grounded in and built upon Christ and His Word. The baptized of Christ—both young and old—must be on guard against those who would seek to deceive them (us), that they (we) would stand—not on the Rock, Jesus Christ but on the loose sand—the quicksand of falsehood. These deceivers (some, who might do so in ignorance) could be any of the following people or sources of influence that might lead a baptized believer to change his or her mind concerning the truth of Christ and His Word. This is not an exhaustive list but just a sampling, to include such influences as: the unbelieving people and culture all about us as a whole (Christians of all ages must be on guard against who they embrace as friends, as even the best of friends can lead you astray.); the powerful force of the internet; the twisted values of Hollywood and some professional athletes; the music industry that offers a growing barrage of anti-Christian sentiment in their lyrics; the decline of ethics in the workplace; the influence of the secular school teacher or university professor that touts a different thinking and authority that clashes with Christ and His Word; and of course, there is the media (news broadcasts, printed news, such as: magazines and newspapers, etc.). Add to all these—our own sinful flesh that is in constant rebellion anyways.
The reason so many have fallen away from the church is due to many of these influences (Satan behind all of them). But the truth is that there is nothing more needed, nothing better, nothing more powerful than Christ Jesus and His Word. For there lies in Him the forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. Faith takes hold of His Word and treasures it! Without it, we die and are punished eternally. With it, and by it (the Holy Gospel), we are saved, solely by grace through faith alone in Christ—(CHRIST ALONE).
This is encouragement for you, dear Christian friends! Our daily and constant need is for Christ and His Word of truth.
On Christ, the solid rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. (LSB 575 Refrain)