Summary: Why does God love you? Because God IS love. God loves you because God loves you. God knows more about you than anyone else. He knows every mistake you’ve ever made, and every mistake you’ll ever make. And yet, He still loves you with an unconditional love
Life is tough, and even Christians get tired and discouraged at times. Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s enough to make a preacher cuss?” A pastor stopped at a yard sale to buy a used lawnmower. There was kid who was doing his best to make the sale. The preacher pulled the rope several times to crank the mower, but it wouldn’t start. The boy, “You have to kick it and say a few cuss words before it will crank.” The preacher said, “Son, I can’t do that. It’s been years since I used a cuss word.” The kid said, “Just keep pullin’ the rope, it’ll come back to you.”
The world is in such chaos, that you may think it’s enough to make a preacher cuss. But I’m not cussing today; I’m discussing how you can stand firm in an unstable world!
There is a lot of anxiety in America today about the future of health care and insurance. For several years now, we’ve been hearing about the advent of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. It was supposed to be a miracle cure for the health care crisis. It was supposed to give access to health care for people who couldn’t afford it, and now the government’s website has glitches.
I’m not talking politics here, because there are moral issues at stake. Christian organizations, like Guidestone Resources in Dallas, are being required by Obamacare to pay for abortion drugs for their employees. Now, if you have a steeple, you’re exempt from this requirement, but Christian colleges and companies like Guidestone and Hobby Lobby are being forced make a choice between obeying this new law or to follow what their faith teaches.
Dr. Russell Moore is the new President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He possesses one of the sharpest minds of anyone I’ve ever known. He will be preaching here at Green Acres in February. He appeared recently on Fox News and was asked about this requirement. He said, “The HHS mandate is just one fiery rafter in a burning house. Religious liberty is under assault in this country in ways that are more pronounced than we have seen since founding era. In addition to the HHS mandate, same-sex marriage, now legal in 14 states and D. C., has produced growing clashes with religious freedom. Photographers, bakers, florists, and others who have refused to participate in same-sex ceremonies because of their Christian convictions have lost in court or suffered financially despite their appeals to the right to freely exercise their religion.”
So, how can we stand firm in the midst of an unstable world? Well, as bad as you may think conditions are now, I think the Paul’s friends in Thessalonica had it much worse. They had NO health insurance, no hospitals, and only quacks for doctors. They had a crazed Roman Emperor who was killing Christians by the thousands. They were losing their jobs when they chose to follow Jesus. Someone had produced a fake letter from Paul saying Jesus had already returned. In the preceding verses Paul wrote them that Jesus hadn’t returned yet. And when He comes, He will win the final victory. But until that happens, he encourages them to stand firm in an unstable world. These words still resonate with us.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-17. “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
In these few verses, Paul tells the believers to do two things: stand firm and hold onto the Word of God. Knowing the truth and hanging onto it can give you stability and peace.
I have always enjoyed reading the Peanuts cartoon strip. In one episode Lucy and Linus are staring out the window at the pouring rain. Lucy says, “Boy, look at it rain. What if it floods the whole world?” Linus replies, “It will never do that. In the ninth chapter of Genesis, God promised Noah that would never happen again, and the sign of the promise is the rainbow.” Lucy smiles and says, “You’ve taken a great load off my mind.” Linus says, “Sound theology has a way of doing that!”