Man’s Demand. God’s Response., August 24, 2014

Old Testament Lesson: Psalm 19:1-4; Jonah 1:1-4; Jon. 1:11-17 New Testament Lesson: Romans 12:1-8 Gospel Lesson: Matthew 16:1-4   No one likes to be conned. No one enjoys being fooled about anything of importance. In fact, there is a real sense of violation when we are victimized by betrayal – of any sort. The higher the stakes, the keener the betrayal – the deeper the hurt – the more jagged the scar – and the longer the recovery. The older we get the more we discern the eternal importance of having the right dealings with God. And we derive most of our dealings with God from information we’ve been given about God – usually by ‘religious’ people and association with church. My bet is no one here has replicated Paul’s experience of being struck blind by God for the purpose of turning him into a Christian evangelist; of having direct revelation from Jesus Himself for at least 3 years – possibly much more – all to prepare him for his mission. Most of us ‘learn’ about God by what we hear from other Christians and some from what they read for themselves. Indeed one of the great ends of the Church is to propagate the faith to the next generation. What is taught about God today becomes ‘Gospel Truth’ tomorrow. And charlatans have abounded within and without the Church, such that people are generally jaundiced about those who ‘speak for God’ – especially when such speaking is highly staged and choreographed, with a strong encouragement for the listener to send money. Experience indicates this jaded view is not without...