"The World versus God"
January 25, 2014
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and shrewd in their own sight! Isaiah 5:20-21
Last week I was sure I had been given the gift of prophecy.
Pam and I were in the grocery store and headed for the checkout lane. That's when I said, "I predict the glossy magazines and cheap tabloids will have great, big headlines screaming about ...
* some movie or rock star whose marriage or relationship or partnership is breaking up;
* some scandalous outfit, statement or behavior made by a famous individual, which has caused a scandal and public outcry;
* some rich or famous individual who has gotten out of or is going into drug treatment;
* some rich person who is going to prison because he knowingly broke the law in his desire to be richer.
Pamie, always the practical one, said, "That's no prophecy. Those magazines always feature stories about such things. The only thing which changes is the names."
Of course, she was right.
Perhaps the greatest lie of our age, or any age, is the idea the world knows what is best for us and God doesn't. Do you need to have a few examples? Okay, here goes:
* The world tells us we can be happy, fulfilled and self-actualized if we avoid carbs, calories and sweets. In contrast, the Lord says following His will is the path to a life of contentment.
* The world tells us we deserve a break today, that we should have things done our way, and that if we have the right deodorant, beer, shampoo, car, coffee and complexion care, we will find love and gratification. In contrast, the Lord says we should first seek out the kingdom of God.
* The world tells us true success will be ours if we only make enough, do enough, work out enough, experience enough, and believe in something hard enough.
All those fine words sound so good, so right, so simple, so desirable ... so full of baloney.
In contrast to these offerings of the world we have the wisdom of the Lord. He who made us knows us better than anyone else. He knows that on our own we are pretty pitiful creatures. We are rebellious, selfish, proud, stubborn and self-centered. More than that, we are sinful and damned.
Seeing our helpless condition the Lord decided to send His Son into the world to seek and save the lost. For His entire life Jesus successfully fulfilled the Law, resisted temptation, and carried our sins. His open grave is the sign which shows God's love for us, the success of His plan to save us and, in Jesus, an opportunity to be given a life that is truly blessed, at peace, and filled with joy.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant me the wisdom to follow Your will, Your path, and Your plan of salvation. Help me reject the silly offerings of the world and see the rightness of Your way. In the Savior's Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries