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.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.


One Response to “The Recurring Choice”

  1. avatar Jeremy says:

    Jesus does like to make us think, he was often seen challenging his own disciples to think outside the Messiah box. I find in Atheistic literature, statements like the one you mentioned are often taken woefully out of the context of Jesus’ teachings. It would be laughable to see the same persons take simple, innocent statements heard everyday by the people around them in the same spirit in which they take those uttered by just about anyone in the biblical story.
    Amanda and I have decided to do the one year bible this year, so far, so good!