Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Deuteronomy 34:1-5

Then Moses went up to Mount Nebo ...
And the Lord showed him the whole land ...
saying ... "This is the land I promised on oath
to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ...
I have now allowed you to see it with your own eyes,
but you will not enter the land."
So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there.
Deuteronomy 34:1-5
 
Do you have a nickname? Look at the last line of today's lesson. Moses' nickname was, "Servant of the Lord."
 
Many people think: How unfair for Moses to risk his life, lead a constantly whiny and stiff-necked people, dwell perpetually in parched wilderness ... and still not be allowed to go into the Promised Land. Yes, God allowed him to look at. But his entrance was flatly denied. How unfair, right?
 
Here's the thing ... We constantly overestimate the value of our efforts in the eyes of God. If we're honest, don't we kind of, somewhat, regularly think: "I did this, this, and this for the church and for the kingdom; therefore, God owes me." 
 
The truth is: God owes you NOTHING. Rather we owe him EVERYTHING! God can accomplish ANYTHING with you or without you. He doesn't need you. He doesn't owe you. BUT he WANTS you.
 
He loves you and wants a relationship with you. He chose you and chooses to work through you. Your obedience brings great joy to him. And your obedience allows you to see his power at work. And seeing his power at work through you brings deeper relationship.
 
The man nicknamed "The Servant of the Lord" obeyed more frequently, saw more power, and developed a deeper relationship with God than any human in history -- except perhaps Jesus Christ, God's own son.
 
Like all humans, though, Moses also from time-to-time sinned and fell short -- see Numbers 20:1-12 for the sin that kept him out of the Promised Land. Therefore Moses didn't receive his reward on earth. He didn't make it into the Promised Land on earth. BUT he did make it into the Promised Land called Heaven! (See the Transfiguration when the curtain between heaven and earth was dropped and Jesus stood beside a heavenly Moses and a heavenly Elijah -- see Mark 9).
 
Therefore, don't think your reward is guaranteed on earth. Rather, trust that God will bless and reward you throughout all eternity and in the Promised Land of heaven.
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy who wants to get better at listening
so he can get better at obeying
so he can see more power
and thereby grow deeper in relationship
----------------------------------- 
At least God allowed Moses to see the promised land ... and he died pretty soon afterward so he didn't have time to mourn the fact that he wasn't going in.  

Moses' life shows that there are still consequences for our actions. They may not be immediate, but they are there none the less.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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