March 28, 2010

Let Not Government Be Our God – Ray Anderson

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 am by kdkelly

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he said,

“Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

(Matthew 6:9-14)

We also find the following statement written in James 1:17 about the goodness of God:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

(James 1:17)

We Christians almost take it for granted that everyone knows how we have been blessed by God and his goodness toward all of us. We believe that God sent his son to die on the cross so that we might have our sins remitted and be reconciled unto the God of heaven. Being justified by the blood of Christ, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. (Romans 5:9).

The psalmist wrote one of the great pieces of poetry that has comforted mankind for ages and clearly presents the goodness of God:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil;

my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

(Psalms 23:1-6)

Finally, Jesus taught his disciples to trust God to take care of our material needs with these words:

“Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore fore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

(Matt 6:25-34)

There are many in our country that seem to place their trust more and more not in God but in the civil government. They rely on government to take care of their every material need. History tells that government cannot long perform this service for its citizens without falling into ruin. We must not think of our government as being able to supply us with our daily bread. It cannot deliver us from evil. It cannot comfort us in the way that the psalmist describes God. Government cannot do what God has said the we should do for ourselves.

We are to do good for all men, especially those of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10) We are to care for the widows among us. (1 Timothy 5:16) We are to “lay by in store” for the time when there are needy saints. Funds freely given in love can be used to meet the need, no matter how large or for how long. These verses present us with principles we are to follow, and we have. We only need to think of the number of times this congregation addressed the needs of those among us. God in his wisdom has placed the meeting of needs close to the giver of the funds that met that need. Consider the blessing you receive when you see the good that your benevolence does. That can never happen when we trust some far away government agency to do it for us.

Let not government try to take the place of God. Our God is able to deliver us from every harm and supply our every need. Amen.

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