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(Part 25)


March 24, 2011

Today’s readings:
Jeremiah 17:5-10
Psalm 1:1-6
Luke 16:19-31

“Thus says the Lord: Cursed is the man who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” (Jer 17:5). That is not any of us in CFC-FFL, right?

  • Not so fast. Consider if the following shows a trust in our own human flesh rather than the strength of God.
  • Not attending CFC-FFL meetings because we have better things to do with our time.
  • Holding on to our money and not giving a tithe because of the greater priority of our human needs and wants over the priorities of God.
  • Lording it over subordinates rather than taking the lowest place as a servant.
  • Looking to our human talents and gifts and not as much to the supernatural grace of God.
  • Coming up with many excuses for not giving more of ourselves in service.

When we, wittingly or unwittingly, start to rely on and look to ourselves rather than God, our hearts will begin to turn away from Him. That is the beginning of the end.

What is the antidote? Simply obey God. Stop finding excuses. Stop being neither hot nor cold. Trust totally in Him.

  • Jesus commands us: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” (Mk 16:15). Then go and evangelize, and do it massively (as a community) and with a passion.
  • God says: “For I, the Lord, am your God; and you shall make and keep yourselves holy, because I am holy.” (Lev 11:44a). Then go and “be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct” (1 Pet 1:15).
  • Jesus says: “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” (Jn 13:34). Then go and love your neighbor as yourself, and “while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith.” (Gal 6:10).

There are so many more commandments of God that we can read in the Bible. Our place is to know them and to live them out. “God’s law they study day and night.” (Ps 1:2b). Further, in the past few years since the restoration, God has particularly called us to live out different virtues, in preparation for what is to come. These have come through our themes. In 2007, hope; in 2008, joy; in 2009, trust; in 2010, awe of God and redemptive suffering.

We are assured: “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord.” (Jer 17:7). Further, “the law of the Lord is their joy” (Ps 1:2a). Still further, we see the poor man Lazarus who suffered on earth but who experienced redemption in heaven. As Abraham said to the rich man Dives, that in his lifetime “Lazarus likewise received what was bad, but now he is comforted here” (Lk 16:25).

Let us never trust in ourselves nor rely on our human strength. Since we are doing divine work, we can only succeed if we look to God alone. Then we will be like a tree planted beside the waters (Jer 17:8a; Ps 1:3a). We need fear nothing (Jer 17:8b), and will bear fruit in or out of season (Ps 1:3b; Jer 17:8c). Whatever we do will prosper (Ps 1:3c).

Such is it for one who looks to godly strength. If we have been trusting in ourselves, let that end now. Let us be able to truly proclaim: “My God is now my strength!”

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