Friday, November 18, 2011

Job 1 – Live for the Eternal

This week we revisit a theme that we have looked at several times in our weekly readings.  The more I read scripture the more I see the same themes, frequently regarding who God is, His character and nature, and how he deals with mankind, repeated time and time again.  This is true from Genesis through Revelation.  Even though God operates and relates to man somewhat differently (although not as differently as we may sometimes think) in the Old Testament than He does in the New Testament, the nature and character of God, which stands behind both, is unchanged and unchangeable. Job 1 is another great example of this.

This week we again ask the question, “What are you living for?”  So many people are living for the temporal, rather than the eternal, putting their trust in money, power, prestige, and the like.  Job knew better than most that possessions are fleeting and can be snatched away in a second.  He had money, power and prestige, yet he still walked in humility before God, submitting to His will and lordship, even when had the best the world could offer and more, and even when it was all taken away, and while it was clear that little if any of what happened to him made any sense at the time.

So this week we encourage people to live for the eternal and trust in God, as Job did.  We don’t have to know every detail of why God does what He does.  We only need to recognize that He is trustworthy, and put our lives in His hands totally.

I pray this reading is a blessing to you and those who hear it.



To many, the story of Job, one of the oldest in the Bible, may seem strange, or even cruel

Job, by God’s own words, was right and obedient before Him, yet he had tremendous struggles

But whether in prosperity and joy, or in poverty and despair, Job worshipped and trusted God.

Does that sound strange to you?  Does it sound like insanity to allow such things to happen to you?

Then consider for a moment what you are living for.

Job, although he struggled with the meaning behind his circumstances, lived for God, even when he didn’t understand the purposes behind what God was doing.

Job lived for eternity, knowing that His trust in and faithfulness toward God was of more value than everything else.

What are you living for?  What do you strive for, and what keeps you going day to day?

Are you living for money?  Pleasure?  Fame?  Power?

Every one of these things is temporary.  There is nothing wrong with joy, or pleasure, but to live your life for them is the ultimate in foolishness.

The Bible says that we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

We live in a world of sin, and our sin and the corruption it has caused in our world will eventually rob us of everything of value, including our very lives.  Why spend your life striving for something you can’t keep?

John 17:3 tells us that “this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

If you are wise, and we pray you will be, you will live for the eternal, and for the knowledge of God.  That means to know the truth of who God is, the truth about eternity, and the truth about this world. 

The world we live in is not our own, and does not center around us.  It centers around God.

God created us and the world, and revealed Himself to us in His word, to tell us more about what He is like, and how and why He created us.

The Bible tells us that God is love, and that He is merciful.  It also tells us that He is holy, and righteous, and just.

God is holy.  That means He is perfect, pure, and incorruptible.  He is the creator of all that exists, and is the only true standard for all that is right and good. 

Every good thing you have ever received is, at some level, a reflection of His goodness, though that goodness is frequently twisted out of shape by sin.  Every pain or sorrow you have ever experienced is a direct result of sin’s corrupting influence, and of man’s rebellion against God’s truth.

A sin is a moral crime, a breaking of God’s law.  He gave us His law to show us what sin is, so we can see how we compare with His holiness

If you look at God’s law, the 10 Commandments, you will see that you have broken God’s law more times than you can count.

You will see that lying lips are an abomination to Him, and know that you have lied.

You will see that His name is above all other names, and you will know that you have used that name disrespectfully, and thus are a blasphemer.

You will realize that you have committed adultery, either with your body or through lustful, impure thoughts, and see that no adulterer will inherit God’s kingdom

You will know that the true God is not like the god you have created in your mind to suit yourself, and know that you are an idolater.

You will stand before God and fully realize just how good, and gracious God has been in providing for you, and know how covetous you have been, always desiring more.

You will know, as I will know, just how short we have fallen of God’s holy standard.

God is a God of justice, who must punish sin, and a God of wrath, who will punish sin, and punish it completely

Sin will punished in a place called hell.  Hell is not a place of unbridled sin where you will enjoy an eternity with your friends doing whatever you want, and it is not ruled by the devil. It is ruled by God, and the devil is God’s devil.  He may only do what God allows him to.  Hell is a place of pain and darkness and fire that will never end, and no one in their right mind should want to go there.

That is the bad news.  There is a hell, and we all deserve to go there.  But there is also good news, very good news!

Lamentations 3:32 tells us that “Though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love”
The good news is this.  God is not only a God of justice and wrath, but a God of grace, and mercy, and steadfast love.  And because of the love, grace, mercy and patience of our God, you don’t have to go to hell, although every one of us, including me, deserves just that.

2000 years ago Jesus Christ, God the Son, and the creator of all that exists, made a way for your sins to be paid for.

On the cross, sin’s debt was paid.  On the cross, justice was satisfied when God’s hatred and wrath toward sin was poured out on Jesus Christ.

Then, three days later, He rose again from the dead, proving his power and authority over sin and death.

But not everyone will be saved through this sacrifice.  Jesus said “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” and “Unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.”

The only means of escape from the penalty of sin is through Jesus Christ!  Only He died to pay the price for sin, and only He rose to stand at God’s right hand as our advocate, our lawyer for the final judgment.

So, what will you do with this truth?  You may choose to reject God’s incredible gift, and try to earn heaven on your own, through good works or ceremonies or religious rituals.

But if you are wise you trust in God no matter the circumstances, as Job did.  If you are wise, you will turn to the only name under heaven by which we must be saved, the name of Jesus Christ.

Please turn to Him today while He has graciously given you time.

1 comment:

  1. Preached at Orlando Women's Center this morning to God's glory. As always, very helpful notes, thanks!


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