March 4

Deuteronomy 30-31, Psalm 63

Charles Colson tells the story in his book, The Enduring Revolution, “A Jewish man stepped in and watched a part of Eichmann’s trial and burst into tears. Someone next to him said, “Your anger must be unbearable.” He said, “No, it isn’t anger. The longer I sit here, the more I realize I have a heart like his.” We must all ask ourselves an honest question, do we really think that we deserve God’s blessings or God’s curses. What do we believe our starting point or baseline is? Are we pretty good or pretty bad? Are we really deserving of Heaven or Hell? We have essentially just finished the teaching portion of the Torah with it’s multitude of laws alongside God’s promises. But we constantly hear of people misrepresenting God, calling into question both His goodness and His fairness. This, despite the fact that it is all written down in our language for us all to see. I’ve heard people question God after the loss of a loved one prematurely. As sad as this is, we don’t deserve our next breath. Like it or not, without God’s grace and mercy, we would all suffer and deserve a premature death. I’ve heard so many question God’s love and fairness after the Holocaust (this is what turned the famed evangelist, Charles Templeton away from God). Yet, as harsh as it may sound, we know what sinners we all are and how we all continue to sin, and we deserve none of God’s blessings.

When you read the curses outlined in Deuteronomy 29, we all deserve the curses outlined in this chapter.

Knowing this, knowing the pride of humanity, and knowing what truly keeps anyone away from both peace on Earth and eternity with Him in heaven, both John the Baptist, and Jesus began their ministries with the same teaching point, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2, 4:17). The realization of our own depravity and our need for repentance must be our starting point. Understanding this frees us from the bondage of sin. Despite what we deserve, the amazing thing is He promised in Deuteronomy 31:6, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes before you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

This is still true for all of us today if we would simply approach Him with a repentant heart. Pastor Lloyd is currently in a study in the book of Matthew on the weekend services. He just completed the Beatitudes. If you have the time listen to these messages, which you can get off the website or app. Going through the Beatitudes is the perfect place to humble ourselves before our God, and rather than believing we deserve anything good, we realize we need to empty ourselves of our pride and seek Him from a position of humility and gratitude.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato