Faithfulness & Faltering

posted in: Sunday Stuff 0

Two things can be true at once. A strong resolve to stand for Christ in the face of adversity and a failure to stand in the face of immoral allurements are not mutually exclusive. It’s sad, but it’s been known to happen even among the “best” of Christians. It’s the age-old reality—your external appearance is much easier to manage than your internal passions. The tendency is to give greater attention to our image and how we are perceived by man rather than addressing our unhealthy hearts that are known by God. The church in Pergamum was no exception (Rev 2:14). It is apparent that Satan’s attacks were just as fierce within as they were without. In fact, Revelation 2 tells us that Pergamum was the seat of extreme paganism. Christ commends the 1st-century believers for their faithfulness amidst intense persecution but he admonishes them for allowing their affections to be taken captive by their flesh and its self-serving ways (v13-14). The fear of man and the pressures of our culture can certainly be contributing factors as to why we cave to the passions of our flesh. But might I suggest a more fundamental reason as to why and how we set ourselves up for failure? Christ points to the “teaching of Balaam” as being the stumbling block for these Grecian believers. According to Numbers 25 and 31, at the core of this teaching is a complete disregard for the standards of holiness and purity God expected of His people. By indulging in the passions of the flesh (sexual immorality and eating meat offered to idols), the children of Israel were essentially worshiping themselves. Their affections had succumbed to the exultation of their passions. This of course is telling as to the condition of their hearts and their view of God. It’s not enough to look and sound like a Christian—that is spiritually unsustainable. How we think about God gets to the core of why we do what we do. If we fail to see Him for who He is, we may very well maintain our external appearance for all practical and self-serving purposes, but the worship of God is relegated to a menial lesser position in our hearts. May we give more attention to the care of our hearts and our view of God and less to the managing of our image. If we are to “err” to one side, let it be to the side that exults in God and worships Him above all else. —Pastor Nate

Sunday at Liberty

9AM: Reformation Heroes: John Calvin

10AM: Pastor Nate–Faithfulness & Faltering–Revelation 2:12-17 (sermon notes

5PM: Potluck

6PM: Pastor Nate–God’s Faithful Provision–Exodus 16:1-21

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *