May the LORD bring you into an ever deeper understanding of the love of God and of the patience that comes from Christ.
~II Thessalonians 3:5, LNT
The two enemies of the people are Criminals and Government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the constitution so that the second will not become a legalized version of the first.
As I read the passage above this morning, I thought immediately about my daddy. He and I didn’t get along that well for many years. I was mother’s baby boy and that came with some privileges which I capitalized on at daddy’s expense. The only thing he and I could do together without arguing was finish concrete. I knew he knew more about the trade than I did and so I did whatever he told me to do. On the farm, it was a horse of a different color. I worked for the Newby’s since 7th grade and they did things totally different from daddy. When I would try to convince daddy that there was a better way, he went into orbit. At the time, I thought he was an idiot and I learned not to pay attention to anything he said. He responded with ridicule and I know this is not becoming to my father’s memory but it is the truth. He told me more than once, “You can’t do anything right.” He told me and everyone else, “He will tear up anything you put in his hands.” He probably told me a hundred times that my mouth would be my ruination [yes, he made up words]. I don’t ever remember my daddy complimenting me for anything and I know for a fact, he never sat me down and said, “Son, I love you. The reason I stay on your back is because I care about your future.”
Today, I know my father loved me but when I was young, I did not think so. Getting married and moving away from home accelerated my learning but having children of my own really gave me a bump in the right direction. About age 40, I began to understand things more clearly. As Paul said, “The LORD was bringing me to a deeper understanding of my father’s love.” By God’s grace, my understanding of my father’s love has grown deeper and deeper. Now the exact same thing is true with my Heavenly Father who is perfect. By His marvelous grace, I seem to have a deeper understanding of His love today than ever before. As I shared with the church last Sunday; I began preaching Luke 15 when I was a rookie in the ministry but I focused on the Prodigal Son who is a picture of a sinner who comes to repentance. Then in my middle years, I began preaching more on the Elder Brother who pictures a Pharisee, a religious person is not saved and then about ten years ago, it dawned on me that Luke 15 is primarily about the LOVING FATHER. Unless you are a preacher, you cannot imagine the joy I get from telling folks how much God, who is fatherly to all, loves them. My confidence in God’s love is growing daily.
Hey, if you want to pray Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians over me, go right ahead. Matter of fact, I will join you, “Father, give me a deeper understanding of Your love and the privilege to share it with others.”
- I was hoping for some rain today but they have changed the forecast again. They are giving rain for next four days, hallelujah!
- Doing a little research for Wednesday night message from I Peter on the subject of suffering unjustly for Christ sake. It is my belief that both Peter and Paul’s writings on submission to goverment or civil authority has been misinterpreted. For example: John MacArthur says,”People have mistakenly linked democracy and political freedom to Christianity. That’s why many contemporary evangelicals believe the American Revolution was completely justified, both politically and scripturally. They follow the arguments of the Declaration of Independence, which declares that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are Divinely endowed rights. . . . But such a position is contrary to the clear teachings and commands of Romans 13:1-7. So the United States was actually born out of a violation of New Testament principles, and any blessings God has bestowed on America have come in spite of that disobedience by the Founding Fathers.” Trust me folks, John is wrong on this one. John is intelligent but no more than our founding fathers. Our history reveals that the Quakers and Anglicans adopted the position set forth by King James I and John MacArthur, but the Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists, Congregationalists, and most other denominations of that day adopted the theological viewpoint presented by Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, Rutherford, Poynet, Mornay, Languet, Johnson, and other theologians across the centuries. I wonder what MacArthur thinks about Moses: wasn’t Moses a liberator of people from an oppressive government? John pulled a Jack, “He spoke before thinking things through.” It would be wise to do a lot of study before contradicting our founding fathers.