The Pastor’s Piece – May 17, 2020
Fellowship of Christian Farmers
By Kevin Cernek
May 17, 2020
Whenever we open the Bible, God calls us to examine our own hearts. When we do, we will often find that the roots of the sins we see in others are often hidden in our hearts as well.
The Lord of hosts – In Isaiah, chapter one, we read these words:
“Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged,” (Isaiah 1:4)
They are “laden with iniquity.” Imagine that every sin is a rock. And every time they sin a rock is placed in a bag that they must carry on their backs. They live under the weight and burden of this and it increases every day. They do not know the promise of God from 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Isaiah calls God “the LORD of hosts.” In fact, Isaiah speaks of God as the “Lord of hosts” 62 times. “Lord of hosts” means Lord of many. He is captain of a great army. It can be translated as “The Lord, the all-powerful King.” Have you ever come to a place where your doubt becomes so great that you wonder if even God can help you? When you feel like that, take a look at this God – the Lord of Hosts – and see who He is. He is the God of infinite power and His resources are unlimited. He is the God who always accomplishes His own purposes in the world and in His own people. Can you say COVID 19? I say “the LORD of hosts.”
Christ gave His disciples this great promise: “I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you,” (John 14:18). In reference to Isaiah 1:8 & 9, God tells His people: “You will not be like a city under siege, I will come to you. I will be with you. I will never leave you and I will never forsake you.”
Lift your eyes – Psalms 121:1 tells us our help comes when we look up: “I lift up my eyes unto the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Faith – Philippians 4:19 tells us God is faithful. Our trust is in Him: “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” Why can we trust Him? Because 2 Corinthians 1:20 tells us that: “All the promises of God find their Yes in Him,” (Jesus).
Invest – In the Book of Jeremiah, chapter 32, God is about to have the Babylonians take the nation of Israel captive. 70 years will pass before God’s people will return home to their land. But before that happens, He tells Jeremiah to go out and buy some land from his uncle, who is having a fire sale before their country goes under siege. So, Jeremiah does what God tells him to do. He purchases the land, has the title deed signed and filed away legally in front of witnesses. He gets copies – the whole nine yards.
Then after all that, while dealing with his own doubt, Jeremiah goes to the Lord and says: “Ah Sovereign Lord … Siege ramps are built up to take the city. Because of the sword, famine and plague, the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians who are attacking it. What you said has happened, as you now see. And though the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians, you, Sovereign Lord, say to me, ‘Buy the field with silver and have the transaction witnessed.’”
In other words, laying his doubt and skepticism aside, Jeremiah buys the land just like God told him to. Then after finalizing the purchase and taking care of all the legal documentation, Jeremiah goes back to God and says: “Are you crazy?” What sense does this make? We have never been under more dire circumstances. Our country is about to fall into the hands of evildoers. It will be at least seven decades before we are back in business again. And you tell me to buy land in a country that is about to cease to exist as we know it? What a waste of resources!”
And God’s response to Jeremiah’s doubt is: “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jere. 32:27).
Vision – Proverbs 29:18: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
In Matthew 25 we have the parable of the talents – where one guy turned five talents into ten. Another turned two talents into four. But the third man buried his talents. When their master returned, this is what that man said to him: “‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So, take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth,’” (vs. 24-30).
Christians are vested in the Lord. When we look up to the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, we find our faith gives us a grip on our circumstances; our outlook for the future takes on a whole new perspective and we invest what God has given us and look to Him to multiply it for His purposes.
It’s not about where we are right now, it’s about where we are going.