PILOT KNOB LUTHERAN COMMUNIQUÉ
(Official communication to the public)
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
‘If’, it’s a small word but holds a great deal of power, and potential. It is used in conjunction with a promise, or an uncertain possibility. The uncertainty usually has to do with ones choices or behavior to bring about certain results or out- comes.
When Moses was visited by an angel and they both looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah Abraham asked ‘if’ there could be found, 50, 40, 30, 20, and finally 10 righteous people would God not bring judgment? Abraham knew the power and leverage of the word ‘if’ and what he discovered about God in that brief dialogue is how much he loves people and wants them to live. How only 10 people would have been enough to spare Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns from annihilation. God is willing to show great mercy, grace and restraint for the sake of a small percentage of righteous people within a pagan and secular culture.
Consider your own use of the word ‘if’. You can say to your child; “If you eat all your dinner you can have dessert.” Or, “If you study and get all your homework finished before 7:00 you can watch T.V. A teacher may say to her class, “If you all get a ‘C’ or above on the mid-term we will have a party next week.” A coach may say to his players; “If you practice five days next week instead of the usual three you will ratchet up the teams performance and make the playoffs a real possibility. The examples are endless. The ‘if’ is dependent on behavior and attitude in order to receive a favorable outcome. If the condition is ignored then there is usually a negative consequence.
‘If’ can issue a warning; If you are the cause of a child to sin and move away from God it would be better to be thrown into the sea with a mill stone tied around your neck. (Mt. 18:6). Again this shows God’s great love for children and all people. It’s also a reminder of the great responsibility God has given parents in instructing their children in the Christian faith
Here in 2 Chronicles 7:14 a great promise is preceded by a condition placed squarely on the shoulders of his people. Revival comes when God’s people live by the greatest commandment; Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your strength and with all your mind. Will the true church rise to the occasion?
Next week we look at ‘my people’.
Sunday 3, 9:00 AM Morning Worship and Holy Communion. Sermon: The Decalogue.
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