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The Recurring Choice
In this morning’s sermon I referenced Israel conquering the land of Canaan. In spite of the fact that the previous generation of Israelites said it would be impossible to defeat the Canaanites, Israel did in fact win! The point I made was that we will never fail when we are faithfully obedient to God. After the sermon I got into a discussion about what it means to never fail. I realize how easily that statement could be misunderstood or misconstrued.
One of the problems associated with being a public communicator is being misunderstood. Some try to avoid that by giving disclaimers for their statements. For example, “The sky is blue” is a statement that would not seem to need any qualification except for those who might point out that sometimes the sky is gray, black, red, overcast, etc….. To give a disclaimer one would say, “The sky is blue, unless of course it happens to be raining, cloudy, nighttime, dusk, or dawn. Disclaimers tend to clutter communication.
Jesus, it appears, was not a big fan of disclaimers. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, . . .” was a statement made without qualification. Jesus liked to make people think. If you read his statement in the context of all his teachings you would have to conclude that he meant something like “love less” rather than “despise” by his use of the word “hate”. .
I’m a far cry from communicating like Jesus but if I made anyone think this morning that’s good! By the way, what I meant by the statement I made about never failing, is that one will never fail in doing the things that God wants done. I certainly don’t mean that God will give you whatever you want or think you need just because you act or ask in faith. Faith, by it’s very definition, is trusting God.