Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Deuteronomy 4:6-8: [Moses is sharing with the Nation of Israel,] "Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon Him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this las that I set before you today?"
What makes a nation great? What makes people great. Is it fame? Is it power? Is it wealth? These can be by-products of greatness. Yet these are not the things that make people great. What makes people great is:
Moses is sharing God's Word, laws, and rules with the nation of Israel just before they were to enter the land promised to them by God. For God's Word, His Law, His rules, His grace, and His mercy make the people great...
When they put them into practice. So we have to ask the question. What makes us a great people? From where does our greatness come? What will cause the people around us comment, "There is a great people."
Our greatness comes from the wisdom and knowledge that God gives to us through the Word. God's Word is the source. His Law clearly shows how off the mark we really are. God's Law causes us to fall to our knees in fear, exclaiming to God, "I have sinned against You in my thoughts, through my words, and by my actions. I don't deserve to be called Your son (daughter). I cannot lift my eyes up to You because I am unworthy. Please forgive me. I rely on the work of Jesus, His life, death, and resurrection. I am repentant and contrite."
And God through His Word tells us, "My child, because of Jesus, you are forgiven. Rise and walk and live according to My ways; My grace, My mercy, and My forgiveness. Forgive as I have forgiven you. Walk the path of life I am laying out in front of you. Life the new life that I gave you." THIS IS the knowledge and wisdom of God that makes you a great people.
Jesus says, "Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am with them" What makes us a great people is that we KNOW and BELIEVE that Jesus is with us. We are a great people because of Jesus. So, I have to ask. Do you know it and believe it?
Is your day consumed by decisions that you make, acting and reacting to the situations at hand? Are you doing things without the awareness that Jesus is with you? Are you going through life without realizing that God is wanting to walk with you?
Is this helping you to realize that greatness is defined by God being with you? Are you more fully realizing that Jesus is in your life? I hope so. Because know this: Jesus is with you. His body and blood, broken and shed, was given to you and forgave you of all your sins. Believe and use that belief in Jesus to be the source of your life, your decisions, and your acting and reacting. It is His righteousness that also makes you a great people.
Are you right in all that you do? Of course not. Are you right in more than half of what you do? Maybe. Are you right is less than half of what you do? Maybe. Are you right none of the time? No, you're not never right. So are you considered great because of the right things that you do?
According to the world and its' standards, maybe. According to God, NO. What makes you great is not your right-ness. It is God's righteousness in you.
God is righteous. He is perfect. You are not. Through Jesus, and what He did for you, God bestows His righteousness to you. He gives it freely because of Jesus, His life, His death, and His resurrection. God's righteousness is a gift that leads you into forgiveness, mercy, peace, comfort, and joy. What makes you a great people is His righteousness being lived out through you.
Dear God, lead us to live in Your Word, know You are with us, and live in Your righteousness. Let the people around us see You through us, Amen.
Pastor Robert Hemsath joined Faith Lutheran Church and School as the Senior Pastor in January 2017. Pastor Hemsath comes to FLC from Christ the King Lutheran Church in Waxahachie, TX. He has also served congregations in Aberdeen, ID and Pocatello, ID. He has been a Lutheran pastor for the past 20 years.