Lie: It’s easier to avoid problems than face them

6th Sunday after Pentecost
2 Samuel 19:1-8

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! In the name of Jesus, dear friends in Christ, do you know what the ball joints are on your car? Maybe about a year ago I started hearing this clunking noise while driving our car. Now, granted, our car is 1995 and is actually the car that I took my driver’s test in when I was 16, but I heard this clunking noise. Wasn’t sure what it was, only heard it when I drove over a bump or on some rough surface, so I ignored it…for about a year. I thought it was easier and cheaper to just ignore the problem, not to face it, the car still drove. Well, last month I was listening to a sermon by another pastor and he talked about how important the ball joints are in the car.  The ball joint is a bolt with round piece on it that that connects the wheel of your car to your car. If your ball joint breaks while you’re driving it could do a lot of damage to your car and more importantly be very dangerous to your safety- it’s nothing to mess around with. After hearing that I did a little research and discovered that the clunking noise was probably a bad ball joint and so after about a year I finally I fixed it.

A couple years ago my daughter Megan was complaining that it hurt when she chewed. My wife and I had thought that it was both easier and cheaper to just make sure we brushed our teeth instead of going to the dentist. Our daughter Megan had never been to the dentist. And when she complained about it hurting when she chewed we told her to chew on the other side of her mouth. Finally we noticed some of her teeth not looking right. We took her to the dentist and found out that she had such major cavities in her teeth that no dentist in town would work on her, no we would have to go down to St. Cloud to a pediatric dentist and she would need child root canals in all her molars with stainless steel caps. It turned out to be much more difficult and much more expensive than if we had been regularly taking her to the dentist.

The lie we’re looking at today is a lie we’re all tempted to believe. “It’s easier to avoid problems than to face them.” Have you believed that lie? Have you found yourself putting something off again and again and again because you don’t want to face it? Then you’re believing this lie. Maybe in school you knew that at the end of the semester there was a large paper due so you found yourself putting it off and putting it off until the week before the due date.  Then you were believing this lie. As a parent do you find yourself rescuing your child in every difficult situation they are in instead of letting them learn their lesson and grow? Then you’re believing this lie (and teaching your children to as well!)

Believing this lie can affect us physically. Perhaps we know that we have a medical history of cancer or high blood pressure or heart disease in our family, but we avoid going to the doctor because we’re afraid of what they will say. Maybe we know that we really should lose weight but we don’t want to face the problem of changing our diet or getting exercise so we put it off again and again. Believing this lie affects us financially. Perhaps we know that we have a spending problem, but we don’t want to face it so we keep charging things to the credit card until we’re broke and can’t pay the bills. There are people who don’t want to do their taxes so they don’t file for one year, then the next year, since they missed the last one are afraid to file again and again and again until they owe thousands of dollars in back taxes. And believing this lie affects our relationships. Maybe we have an issue with a family member but we avoid dealing with it so the relationship gets more and more distant. Maybe we have unresolved issues in our marriage, arguments never settled, issues never dealt with. They pile up and up, we avoid them thinking it’s easier to avoid the difficult conversation and soon we think our marriage is dead and looking for a divorce, when if we had dealt with the problems right away we wouldn’t be in this situation.

The truth is, problems do not just go away if you avoid them, they pile up. Avoiding a problem is not an escape, it’s just a postponement of the inevitable. Whereas when problems are faced, they’re usually not as bad as they are imagined to be.

King David is a prime example of someone who believed the lie, “It’s easier to avoid problems than face them.” One of David’s sons, Amnon, became overwhelmed with lust for his half-sister Tamar who is described as being very beautiful. One day Amnon devised a plan to be alone with Tamar, over powered her and raped her. Then, after he had his way with her, he became just utterly hateful toward her. Tamar happened to be the full sister of another son of David’s named Absalom. When Absalom found out what Amnon did to his sister he was furious. David was also furious- but that’s all we’re told. David never intervened, never called Amnon to repentance. It seems that David thought it would be easier to avoid the problem than to face it.

Absalom on the other grew and grew in his hatred toward Amnon and devised a plan and had Amnon murdered for what he did to his sister. Afterwards Absalom fled and stayed away for 3 years and David never spoke to his son. Again, it seems David thought it would be easier to avoid the problem than to face it and have a difficult conversation with his son. After 3 years, finally, with the intervention of some of David’s friends, Absalom is allowed to come back to Jerusalem to live but spends 2 years without seeing David because David didn’t want to see him. Again, it seems David was avoiding problems than facing them. Finally, after two years they reunite. Then over the next four years Absalom began to conspire against his father, he stole people’s hearts away from the king, saying that if he was king he would rule and judge so much better than David. Four years. It’s hard to believe that Absalom did that for four years right in the same city as David and David didn’t know anything about it. 4 years goes by and David doesn’t intervene – avoiding problems and not facing them? Seems like it. Well, it leads to David having to flee Jerusalem because Absalom leads a rebellion against David, Absalom wages a civil war in Israel between his own army and the army that was faithful to David, 20,000 men die in this battle and so does Absalom. Wow! And it all happened because David tried to avoid problems rather than to face them. Then, in our text, David is mourning for his son Absalom who had tried to overthrow David and kill him and his soldiers feel like even though they won, they lost. David’s about to lose everything, but finally Joab steps in, does the difficult thing, faces the problem and tells the king to encourage his army. And David does so.

Problem after problem after problem. Easier to avoid problems than face them? I don’t think so.  The problem started around a decade earlier and since it was not dealt with it spiraled out of control. But David says something very instructive a few chapters earlier when he was fleeing Jerusalem he said, “It may be that the LORD will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today.” You see, although David’s problems had gotten out of hand for him, they were not out of the control of our gracious God.

What amazing grace that we have a God who does not avoid problems. We have a God who never has had and never will have a problem caused by Him. We have a God who rightly wouldn’t have to deal with any of our problems. And the  greatest problem that none of us can avoid is our sin and the consequence of our sin which is eternal death. So what did our God do? He faced not His problem, but our problems. He faced Satan’s temptations, He faced hunger, He faced exhaustion, He faced ridicule, he faced rejection, He didn’t avoid any problem, He faced them all, then He took our problem head on as He faced the cross of crucifixion and took our problems on himself, faced our punishment, faced our death.  Jesus died and Jesus rose to forgive you for all the times you’ve foolishly tried to avoid problems rather than to deal with them.

And knowing that means we can face all problems in life with the confidence that our God has already taken care of our greatest problem. It is knowing that that gives us the confidence to face every difficult situation in life. Think about it. What do you have to fear? Christ has redeemed you! Your sins are forgiven! You have peace with God! You have joy! Nothing can change that! With God’s grace empowering you, you can face problems.

What a gracious God that not only does he come to us and forgive us for all the times we’ve let our problems spiral out of control instead of dealing with them, but He promises to never leave us or forsake us and he will help us and lead us through the difficult situations we bring on ourselves. Think about your life- times when you were really stuck, had no where to turn, and did God bring you through it?

Since we don’t live in a perfect world we will face problems. Problems give us opportunity to turn to God for strength, comfort, encouragement, and empowerment to face them. Problems give us a chance to demonstrate a Christian attitude and response to the problems that everyone faces in life as an example for those around us. Problems give us a chance to grow in our faith and trust in God who promises to never give us more than we are able to handle.

And did you notice what Joab did here in our text? Joab confronted the king. Joab helped his friend not avoid but face his problems. God’s grace in Christ empowers us to do that too. Not only can we face our problems and deal with them as forgiven children of God, but we can help those around us to face their problems with the comfort we ourselves have from God.

Easier to avoid problems than face them? Nope. Thank the Lord for His grace and forgiveness that washes away all our sin of trying to avoid our problems and thank Him for dealing with our greatest problem, our sin, for us so that as His forgiven children we can face our problems head on. Amen.

Promises Made; Promises Kept!

Christmas Eve

Genesis 12:1-3; 2 Samuel 7:4-5, 11b-13; Matthew 1:1 – Born a Descendant of Abraham and David

There are many things about our faith that are facts of history: Jesus was really born, Jesus really died in the city of Jerusalem, Jesus really rose from the dead. Those are facts of history, no question about it. But then there are other aspects of our faith which are just as true, but regarding which we have only God’s promises. For example, I can’t take your blood sample and prove to you that your sins are forgiven. I can’t scientifically do an experiment to prove to you that when you die, you’ll go to heaven. I can’t logically or scientifically analyze the Lord’s Supper or Baptism and prove that they are powerful acts of God. I can’t prove it; all I have is…God’s Word, His promises. So, how can we count on these things? We need to know that God keeps His promises!  We need to know that when God says something, it happens! So, let’s look at some of these promises…first as to Jesus’ lineage:

Over and over again in the OT and even when we get to the NT there are a bunch of genealogies with strange and hard to pronounce names. We hear things like: Boaz was the father of Obed, Obed the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David, etc. Sometimes we can kind of glaze over these things and wonder, “What’s the point of all these names?”

The point is actually hugely wonderful for our faith. God promised that the Savior would be born from a specific family line: Abraham’s, God further narrowed that promise to the family of David.  Why? So that when the Savior was born we’d be able to recognize Him as the One whom God promised. And what do we find out? “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham.” God’s promise is true! Jesus is the one, Jesus is the Savior. God’s Word is true!

Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23, Luke 1:29-38 – Born of a Virgin

People who live in the world know how this world generally works. You throw a ball in the air and… it will come down, that’s the way it is. Water a plant and it will grow, don’t water it and it won’t.  A man and a woman, a male and a female are needed in order for babies to be conceived. That’s just how it works.  What’s obvious here is that Mary knew where babies came from. She knew the laws of nature well enough to know when they were broken. So she rightly asked, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And we can relate to her question too, can’t we? How often don’t we come up against situations in life which seem impossible? How often don’t we ask? “How will this work, God? How can I handle this? How will I make it through this? It seems impossible.”

And the angel reminded Mary and reminds us of a very important truth, “Nothing is impossible with God.” And perhaps we see another miracle here: Against all the odds, Mary believed it! And it happened just like God said and promised some 700 years earlier: the virgin became pregnant and had a baby! God’s promise prevailed! It’s true! And what about God’s other promises that go against nature? God’s promise that our sins are forgiven? True! God’s promise to work all things out for our good? True! God’s promise to be with you always? True! For nothing is impossible with God!

Micah 5:2, Luke 2:4-5, Matthew 2:3-5 – Born in Bethlehem

Can you picture it? A Roman historian records for us: Caesar Augustus walks into the Roman Forum is pacing before the bachelors of Rome and then explodes: “You’re murdering our future!” In his view they aren’t “fathering their descendants.” So, he enacts laws to give certain advantages to those who settle down and have babies. And then later perhaps to find out whether or not his laws are working he begins a project that later he would label as 8th on his bucket list of his life’s 35 accomplishments: a census of the entire Roman world.

And what had God promised some 700 years earlier? That the Savior would be born in…Bethlehem. But, Mary and Joseph lived up in Nazareth. How will we get Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem at just the right time so that Jesus will be born in the right place? Caesar’s census “forced” Mary and Joseph to travel to Bethlehem at just the right time. Coincidence? Or, maybe, just maybe, might God be ruling all of history – including unbelieving world rulers – for the good of His people and to accomplish His promises?

You know, the world can often seem like a crazy place. We have world events that can trouble us, national events, things that happen in our own community or our own lives. We can easily get nervous, afraid, angry, frustrated.

But today our eyes turn to Bethlehem: we have a God who rules all of history. And He does so for the good of His people and to fulfill His promises. Which means, He rules history for your good! Hear that prophecy of Bethlehem and see its fulfillment and see God’s ruling hand!

Isaiah 53:2, Luke 2:6-7 – Born in Lowliness

This is really a wonder of wonders. This is God. This is God who stands in all majesty, might, and glory.  This is the One by whom and through whom and for whom all of this creation exists. Why should he care about us? Why should He be mindful of us? What do you care about that ant crawling on the floor?  And yet He came!  And He came into our world so ugly with sin, so full of problems and perversity.  And He didn’t just come, but He came so lowly.  The prophet said, “Like a tender shoot…like a root out of dry ground,” so tender, so frail, so lowly. Not in beauty or majesty that we should be wowed by his outward appearance in anyway. The King of all creation and where will we look for Him? If we look for him in palaces, in centers of power, in government offices, we won’t find him, a lowly maiden is His mother. If we look for him in large homes and magnificent mansions, we won’t find him there either, a manger, a feeding trough, is his first resting place and even that, even that he has to borrow from cattle!

Power? Majesty? Might? No, He comes so small, so gentle, so lowly. Martin Luther once said, “There’s nothing to be afraid of in a baby.” He didn’t have to, but he chose to come so lowly. He didn’t come just for the high and mighty, he didn’t come just for the wise and learned, rich and famous, no, He came for all, He came for you and me.  He came not to frighten us with His power and majesty and might, but so small, so gentle, so lowly to woo us, to win us, to draw us to Himself with his amazing compassion, awesome grace, and forgiving love. For He came for one purpose: to rescues us from our sins! That’s a wow! That’s a wonder!

Isaiah 9:6-7, Luke 2:10-11 – Born For You!

But is it all for me?  Is this Savior really meant to be for me?  I mean, I know who I am, I know what I’ve done, I know what I’ve failed to do, I know the guilt of sins past that’s always ready to haunt me, I know my shame, the ugliness of my sin. Is it for me? Is it for you?

Isn’t it interesting to see the prophet’s words or to hear the angel’s announcement? Isaiah could have said, “A child is born; a son is given.” But he doesn’t. He says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.”  The angel could have said, “I bring good news of great joy that will be for all the people” or in verse 11 “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born.” But it doesn’t say that! It says, “I bring YOU good news of great joy” “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you”!  Why?

It’s as if the angel so wants these shepherds to believe this that he just keeps on saying, “This is for you! This is for you! This is for you! And so it is with your God today! This isn’t just “religious talk.” This isn’t just for those “church-going folk.” This isn’t just theoretical. No.

Instead, it’s “for you!” God wants YOU to know that YOUR sins are forgiven. God wants YOU to know that there is a place in heaven for YOU! God wants YOU to know that He loves YOU! God wants YOU to know that this baby, wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger, is YOUR Savior! Why was Jesus born? He was born to save! He was born to save YOU!

God’s Faithfulness

7th Sunday after Pentacost
2 Samuel 11:1-17

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me, so was David’s prayer and our prayer is the same, “Create in us a pure heart that we might live before you in faithfulness and purity.”  In the name of Jesus, dear friends in Christ,

1960 was certainly not the highest time of morality in America, but being about 50 years ago it serves as sort of a benchmark for certain facts and statistics to show how fast immorality is growing in America.  Today the American divorce rate is about twice what it was in 1960.  Between 1960 and 2010, the number of couples who live together (have a sexual relationship) without the commitment of marriage has increase 17 fold.  Couples who live together (having a sexual relationship) before marriage have a 50% higher risk of divorce than any couple of any background who do not live together before marriage.  40 – 50% or 1 in 2 of recent marriages will end in separation or divorce before the death of one of the spouses.  In 2010 40.8% of all births in America were to unwed mothers, so about 4 out of every 10 children born.  The effects of sexual immorality in our world are staggering.  These facts are simply scratching the surface.  There is a host of other problems our world is battling: Internet pornography is a 4.9 billion dollar industry, every second in the U.S. $3,000 is spent on pornography and 30,000 people are viewing it.  And what about all the impure thoughts, emotions, desires that people have?  And who could possibly calculate everything behind these statistics: the pain, the hurt, the scars, of broken couples, broken lives, broken relationships, the negative emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical consequences, but even more the damage it does to children and families.

God commands that the sexual relationship exist only within the bounds of a marriage between a man and a woman and that there be no hint of sexual immorality.  And, think about it, what do a husband and wife vow in marriage?  In the traditional vow of marriage the husband and wife promise each other, “I promise to be faithful to you for as long as we both shall live.”  Marriage is really to be the embodiment of what it means to be faithful, for marriage when it functions as God intended it, is to provide an awesome illustration of the relationship between Jesus at the Church.  Will Jesus ever cheat on His people?  Will Jesus ever walk away from His people?  No way!  So just as Jesus would never cheat on His people and would never walk away from his people, so the husband and wife ought never to cheat on or leave each other.  Just as Jesus is always faithful to His people, the husband and wife are to be always faithful to each other.  Part of the reason that the marriage bond is so important is that it is meant to reflect the awesome relationship between Jesus and the Church.

And so, if we’re not faithful in marriage, if we don’t keep ourselves pure, if husbands aren’t properly loving their wives, if wives aren’t properly respecting their husbands, if husbands and wives are unfaithful to each other, then we’re really making God look bad.  But, when we live purely, when husbands love their wives, when wives respect their husbands, when both are faithful to each other, our lives provide an awesome picture of God’s love for His people.  Our respect for God’s design for marriage provides an awesome illustration of God’s faithfulness.  So, when others see us they are drawn to our faithful God.

But what a mess we so often make of God’s designs for marriage, for sex, for purity, for faithfulness.  And we see it in this account of David.  David, remember, is described as a “man after God’s own heart” and is listed in the book of Hebrews as a “hero of faith.”  But how tragically we see him fall into impurity here!  In a way this account is frightening to us because it shows us just how vulnerable each one of us is.  God doesn’t hide the sins of His great men and women in the Bible but He wants us to be warned and instructed by them.

First, it seems to start out rather small, doesn’t it?  David was at probably the highpoint in his life.  He was secured as King, living in a cedar palace in Jerusalem, his army had won some great victories in battle, the Lord had given him rest from his enemies.  But it is at this point that he’s especially vulnerable.  Sometimes the most dangerous times in our lives, the times when we are most vulnerable to sin and temptation, are the times when everything seems to be goin our way.  When we’re struggling and barely holding on, we can’t help but be focused on God.  It’s when life is good that we are most prone to fall, just like David.  And it starts our small.  Did you notice what the first verse said?  “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war….But David remained in in Jerusalem.”  Why does God mention that little detail?  Is it perhaps to show us that David wasn’t being faithful?  Sure David probably could have reasoned any number of things: Joab is a competent general, Joab is capable of leading the army, if he goes, I can get some other things done here in Jerusalem.  But it was the king’s job to lead the army into battle.  So, we learn something, unfaithfulness in the “small” things leads to unfaithfulness in the “big” things.

So David, with far too much time on his hands, was perhaps bored, perhaps he couldn’t sleep, looking for some excitement and he goes out and gazes over his city and sure enough what does he see? A beautiful woman bathing.  His sin began in his heart as he lusted after her and forgot his devotion to God.  That’s always where sin begins: in the heart.  All of a sudden this sin, this lust, this adultery, this impurity became more important to David than God.  And that’s what’s at the heart of every temptation to sin.  In the moment we think we need to secure something for ourselves, something we don’t already have, something we feel we need in order to be happy.  No longer was God enough for David, he needed something more, something else, something different a moment of sinful pleasure.

And then what began as a seemingly small unfaithfulness in not leading his troops in battle snowballed into what?  Lust, coveting another man’s wife, the wife of one of his best soldiers, then even after being warned that she’s the wife of Uriah the Hittite he commits adultery with her, she becomes pregnant and he could have stopped this roller coaster of sin by going before his nation and saying, “I want you all to know the truth, I have sinned” confessed his sin, sought God’s forgiveness, trusted in God’s help to get him through the consequences of his sin.  But instead?  He brings Uriah home, pretends to be interested in the battle – talk about a hypocrite! – ends up getting Uriah drunk, sends Uriah back to battle with his own death sentence, involves Joab in his sin, and has Uriah murdered.  How was David unfaithful?  He was unfaithful to Bathsheba, unfaithful to Uriah, unfaithful to his army, to Joab, but most of all unfaithful to God.  And where did it all start?  It all started because David wasn’t faithful in the “small” things.  If he’d been out with his army he wouldn’t have faced the temptation to be unfaithful in all those areas.  Wow!

The warning for us is clear: the devil will try to get us to be unfaithful in the small things of life.  He knows that sin begets sin.  Sin leads to more sin.  He’ll whisper in our ears things like: “It’s okay, just take a little peak at that website or that magazine, no one will notice.”  “It’s okay to go to the beach and look at the people there and lust a bit.”  “It’s ok to read that novel or watch that movie or show that degrades sex and marriage.”  When the devil whispers those things, remember David!  Remember how the small unfaithfulness led to all kinds of other things.  The devil loves to get us caught in the moment and get us to forget about the long term consequences of our actions.  What’s even more scary is that David sinned simply because he could, he was the king.

And of course, you and I have been unfaithful to God in all sorts of other ways.  We’ve been unfaithful in giving our whole selves, our whole lives to God, we’ve been unfaithful in giving ourselves to our spouses and loving them completely unselfishly, we’ve been unfaithful in keeping our thoughts, words, and actions pure.

And what’s at stake?  Just where we’ll spend eternity!  What’s at stake is whether we go to heaven or go to hell!  As we look at David in this account, his eternal destiny was in terrible danger!  If he hadn’t fallen into unbelief, he was certainly in grave danger of doing so!  Would that affair have been worth it if he had ended up in hell?!?  Would his unfaithfulness have been worth it if he had ended up in eternal damnation?!?  Whenever you and I are unfaithful, we put ourselves into the danger of being sent to hell forever.

And so what do we do?  Try harder to be more faithful to God?  Try harder to live more purely?  What about all our impurity and unfaithfulness in the past?  Can we make up for that?  Can we live purely as God wants?  Remember God’s standard: complete perfection.  But we’ve failed!

And so it becomes vitally clear that we need to understand how salvation works.  Salvation is God’s work, not ours.  We get to go to heaven not because WE have been faithful and pure, but because GOD has been faithful and pure.  God loved us with the ultimate faithful love: “This is love.  Not that we loved God, but that HE LOVED US, and sent His Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  Jesus lived His life in complete faithfulness to God and to His fellow human beings.  He lived in a completely and perfectly purely.  He never gave in to any of the devil’s “whispers.”  Faithfully He followed His Father’s will – even though it was painful – and He went to the cross.  And all for what purpose?

To save you!!!  To save me!!!  God’s faithful love accomplished that!

And God doesn’t stop there.  God continues to love you and me faithfully, day by day.  Yes, we mess it up over and over again.  Yes, we fail.

But God doesn’t stop loving us!  God continues to open the Word to us, continues to assure us that our sins are forgiven.  God continues to remind us of our baptisms, when He placed His name upon us.  God continues to come to us in the Lord’s Supper, giving us His true body and blood.  He continues to faithfully give us opportunities to hear the Word, to study it, to grow in it.  HE is faithful!  He is ALWAYS faithful!  He will NEVER be unfaithful!  Ultimately, our salvation depends on that faithful love of God for us!

And, that faithful love of God in turn inspires us to be faithful.  That faithful love of God inspires us to be faithful to our spouse, to be faithful to our fellow human beings, to live in a way that’s pure in our thoughts, words, and actions.  That faithful love of God strengthens us to say “no” to the devil’s whisperings.  That faithful love of God gives us confidence to face all of life, and to know that our eternal life is sure.

And so we’ll do our best!  No, not because it earns us anything, but because we want to say “thank you” to the God who has faithfully loved us!  And when we fail?  We’ll continue to cling to the faithful love of God, for God is faithful!  Amen.


Jesus is Your King!

Christmas Eve Sermonettes

2 Samuel 7:11-16

Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Napoleon…what do these rulers have in common?  Oh, they were great leaders according to human standards.  Yet, each one failed in this respect: they died and their kingdoms ended.  Even the Old Testament King David, oh he was great and was called “a man after God’s own heart,” but he too, died, and his kingdom came to an end.  Death seems like the unconquerable enemy, doesn’t it?  Even for us, Christmas time can be difficult when we think about family members who aren’t around anymore.  Death is a powerful enemy.

But a King has come.  God Himself has established His kingdom.  A kingdom whose King is God’s very own Son. A kingdom which will never end.  A kingdom whose enemies, including death, have all been defeated, completely.

This King has come for you.  You are part of Jesus’ eternal Kingdom.  Death no longer reigns.  Death no longer has its slimy grip on you.  Jesus has authority over death.  Jesus has conquered death for you.  For you physical death is only a sleep.  The King Jesus turned death into a door to heaven.  Yes, that newborn King is the greatest King of all because He came to give you life…life forever in His Kingdom in heaven!

Micah 5:2-5 A Peace-Bringing King

“Send out the troops!  Punish that man!  Increase taxes!  Invade that country!  Do this!  Do that!  Obey me!” When we think of king we might think he’d say things like that right?  But do we think of a King when we hear, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest…I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry and He who believes in me will never be thirsty…I am the resurrection and the life.”

There is a King who says these things.  He is the King.  He is not a brutal, commanding, and terrifying king.  He is not a harsh dictator or law giver.  Rather, He is the Good Shepherd who guards His people with the strength of the Lord. He is the King born to bring absolute peace and security.  He is the King born for you!

This King born in Bethlehem gives you peace.  He is the answer to all of life’s unsettling questions, questions like: How do we stand before God?  God loves us as His dear children.  What happens when we die?  We have an eternal home in heaven.  Will we have to endure any unbearable trial or trouble on this earth?  We rest securely in the arms of the Lord.  Is there anything we have done that God won’t forgive?  NOTHING will separate us from the love of God that is Christ Jesus our Lord.   If all of these questions have been answered, do we have peace?  Absolutely!  Because the King of peace has come for you!