Sunday, February 29

God Rules!

During the times our family has been gone from the Yukon on sabbaticals, we have attended the Evangelical Free Church of Bemidji, MN. Here is an interesting sermon by Pastor Fred Martin from Daniel 2 on the sovereign rule of God and how it fits together with our personal choice, and how it ought to spur us on to action. A few excerpts:

Two themes weave themselves through the story of Daniel: the importance of personal choice and the sovereign rule of God. We often think of those two teachings as contradictory. They must rule each other out. If God really knows the future and rules the events of this world, then in what sense do our choices make any difference? We must be kidding ourselves into thinking that our choices even matter. On the other hand, if our choices really count for something, then God cannot rule the world. In fact, some people conclude that God can't even know the future. But here in the opening chapters of Daniel both of those teachings are right in front of our faces. We can't escape from either one of them: the importance of personal choice and the sovereign rule of God. Our choices do make a difference, and God does rule over the events of this world....

Think about how the importance of personal choice and the sovereign rule of God work together here in Daniel. They are not opposed to each other. They work together and feed off of each other. Why should Daniel think that his actions can make any difference in Babylon? He's young and a foreigner. He may be a member of the royal court, but he's just one among so many of the king's counselors. Why should he make an attempt to remain faithful to God in such overwhelming circumstances? Here's the reason why: God rules! The living God of heaven and earth can take Daniel's small acts of obedience and turn them into something significant. Our belief in the sovereign rule of God inspires us to make choices because we know that God can do something significant with those choices....

Because God rules, you and I have reason to believe that our actions can make a difference in an ungodly world. The odds against us may seem insurmountable. Why should we speak up about our faith in Jesus Christ when we know that others will either mock us as religious fanatics or accuse us of being intolerant bigots? So why speak up? Why should we stand for right and wrong when it comes to matters of sexuality? Why should you and I take the hard path of obedience, when cutting a few corners would make life so much easier? Why? Because God rules!

God rules. That is not just a dry doctrine for theological debate. It is our conviction that propels us into action. God can take your decisions and your choices and use them to accomplish his good and holy purposes. Therefore, whatever the challenge that confronts you, face it with confidence. You may not know how God is going to use your choice, but you can be sure that he will. So go! Choose to live for God and stand up for his standards. The sovereign God who rules over all the kingdoms of the world will honor your choice and accomplish his purpose through you.
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