One of the most prevalent sins of our world today is the sin of selfishness. I am a part of the Baby Boomer Generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) and sometimes we are also called, ‘The Me Generation.’ We received that nickname because for many of us, everything is about gratifying self. For what it’s worth, the ‘Millennials’ (born between 1980 and 1995) was labelled by TIME Magazine: ‘The Me Me Me Generation.’ We’re not getting better. We’re getting worse.
“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NLT)
One day I was searching on the internet for a book entitled, “The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges. As many of you know, whenever you search for something on the internet, often you are given several options. In my search for the “Pursuit of Holiness”, the internet asked me – “Did you mean: the pursuit of happiness?” If that was not so true, it might be funny. No doubt the internet thought, “Who in their right mind is in the pursuit of holiness? Aren’t we all in the pursuit of happiness!”
Isn’t it amazing the various kinds of personalities that the Lord has given to each of us? Some believers are daring and always ready a challenge, while others seem to be more reserved and comfortable when things are the way they have always been. Some Christians like to have everything perfectly in order, while other Christians are ok with a little bit of chaos. God has fashioned each of us according to His own perfect will and as He blends us together, we become the body of Christ.
“Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalms 46:10
If you are like me, it’s very hard for you to be still. I’m always on the go and I like to get things done. Yet sometimes the Lord doesn’t want me doing so much. Sometimes what the Lord wants most from me is for me to be still and let Him be God.
Sometimes as a pastor, I am asked the penetrating question – “Why do good people have to suffer?” Those who are suffering have asked me why, as well as those who are observing. Though, as the pastor, I am supposed to have all the answers; I don’t. I don’t always know ‘why?’, but I do know ‘Who.’
A word that is often used to help describe God’s relationship to His creation is the word ‘sovereign.’ Sovereign simply means that God is supreme. God is supreme in His excellence, as well as in His power. God is also supreme in His control. That truth is seen in the story of a man called Job.
There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless—a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan. Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” Satan replied to the Lord, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” “All right, you may test him,” the Lord said to Satan. (Job 1:1, 6-12)
Is God in control? That is a question that has puzzled many down through the ages. Some believe that God created the universe and then turned it loose to run on its own; while others believe that God controls every minute detail. The Bible teaches us in Acts 17:28 that we “live and move and have our being in God.” Colossians 1:17 tells us, “He (Jesus) existed before anything else, and he (Jesus) holds all creation together.” Creation could not exist if not for the constant care and intervention of its Creator.