Google+ 03/11/13 remember, No Freedom is Ever Free!

Deuteronomy 7:8-10

 

Rather, it was simply that the Lord loves you, and he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the Lord rescued you with such a strong hand from your slavery

And from the oppressive hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt.

Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God.

He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations

And lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.

But he does not hesitate to punish and destroy those who reject him. 

 

We all love to read the New Testament.  After all, it is full of references to God and Christ's undying love for us.  Unfortunately, many of the modern-day translations have caused us to misunderstand the principles of the New Testament.  Many ministers in today's culture are prone to leave out the harsh realities of God's saving grace through His Son, Jesus Christ.  As the old song goes, as made popular by the worldwide missionary group Up with People, "Freedom isn't Free!"  It never has been and never will be.  In the United States, we enjoy the "freedoms" that we have in lifestyle and religion, because large groups of people through history, have been willing to stand up for God, even if it meant loss of life or other sacrifices for them.  Most of us take these principals for granted in our everyday lives.  We stop at accepted holidays like Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Fourth of July, to honor our fallen heroes, but to illustrate my point, two of these days are rarely celebrated on the actual day.  They are "3-day convenience weekends" that have been created by government!  I wonder how Lincoln and Washington feel about "Presidents Day," since neither of their birthdays fall on the day set aside for them!!!  Our Old Testament lesson today points out what we should always do about noticing both sides of God's love.  There is great news in our Old Testament Scripture today, just like in the New Testament.  Moses begins by telling us that our God is a God of promises kept and covenants made.  Moses reminds the Israelites that they are still alive because of God's deliverance of them out of the slavery of Pharaoh.  Moses makes the important statement that "God is God indeed."  Why would Moses have to make such a statement?  The Israelites have watched God save His people.  There are "first-hand" accounts of the Red Sea in their midst.  Their mere existence is a living testimony to how great and powerful their God is.  What is going on here?  With the help of Moses, I will tell you!!!  Notice that the next-to-last line of our Scripture today talks about God lavishing His unfailing love on  those who love Him.  Here it comes.  Get ready.  His unfailing love comes only to those that "obey His commandments."  Guess what?  As I mentioned before, "Freedom isn't Free."  Hear what Moses and God have to say.  The Israelites have forgotten that they must be obedient.  They are not upholding their end of the promise they made with God.  A covenant or promise is between two people and, in this case, between God and His children.  God says that He will love us and remove us from our "slavery," if we love Him and obey His commandments.   We can't recognize, expect, or enjoy God's love without being obedient.  We can't miss this point, because our Scripture tells us what happens if we do.  God will not hesitate to punish or destroy those who reject Him.  Many of us will dismiss this harsh and truthful passage of Scripture as being of the "Old Testament!"  It makes us nervous and uncomfortable.  Don't be hasty.  Read Revelation in the New Testament.  God will punish and destroy the unbeliever.  We cannot claim to believe, if our actions reject God every day through our disobedience of His will in our lives.  Examine your life and your actions.  Are they obedient?  If not, do what all of the prophets, apostles, and military veterans have done since the birth of Jesus.  Make changes in your life so that you can be obedient to God.  Rest assured that these changes will require sacrifices.  Remember that God must be greater and we must be less.  After all, even with God,  "Freedom isn't Free!"