Tuesday, December 17, 2013

You Need to Stop Reading So Much

“You Need to Stop Reading So Much!”  This admonition was given to me by one of my customers and friends.  He cautioned me against being too informed about the things that are being done in the government and the world.  He said that I cannot do anything about them, as people are not paying attention.  When I responded that this is the problem, he told me that I cannot change this and that I only cause myself trouble by reading so much.

As a Christian I do find his words to be accurate.  I am deeply troubled on account of my concern for what ought to be, things that I cannot cause to be.  After all, I cannot even make these things to be in my own daily life.  Why should I imagine that I can make these things to be in the activities of the world.

As a Christian I continually face the paradoxical existence of both Saint and Sinner within my being.  Thus, as a saint I desire the Lord’s righteousness.  But as a sinner, I resist Him and His will and His ways and turn from trusting Him to seeking to do for Him what only He can do.

Yet as a saint, I do also have an inborn caring and concern for the welfare of all.  Tyranny and terrorism and war and murder and abortion and child abuse and divorce and spouse abuse and GMOs and processed glutamates and processed aspartic acid and a host of other toxins added to foods and water as well as limitless evils in the world, these all concern me.  I often want to speak out concerning these.

Yet how far can such efforts reach?  Moreover, to what degree do such concerns fall to me?

The Lord does give directives in this regard.  He directs each of us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and to trust that all other things He will see to as well.

Then He also directs each of us to fulfill the duties or responsibilities of our own vocations.  Sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, pastors and teachers, farmers and ranchers, employers and employees, citizens and officials, we each have vocations that bind us to specific responsibilities that are easily perceived.  Of these vocations, some are to be counted as foremost, with others being subordinated to these.

For example, fatherhood is above citizen or even pastor or government official.  Mother is above teacher or employee or employer.  Daughter is above student or student body president.

It seems that Christians frequently forget the proper order and turn things around.  I certainly do.  Sadly, I believe that my blog posts often are a reflection of this.  My daily management of my time reflects this.  How I serve my wife as her husband surely reflects this.

God has blessed me to be a husband.  This is my primary vocation.  I also am a son and a brother.  I also am a son-in-law and brother-in-law.  I also am a friend.  I also am a pastor.  I also am a businessman/arborist.  Husband and head of house both bodily and spiritually is the highest earthly honor and responsibility that God has given me.

It is a great blessing and I will do well to remember this and treat it with the appropriate honor.  Then the blessings attached to all things in my life will be received as the Lord has graciously ordained and godly contentment will rule my life.  God grant this.  Amen.

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Unknown said...


"...that the old Adam is drowned by daily contrition and repentance, and dies; and that day by day a new man arises, as from the dead, to live in the presence of God in true righteousness and holiness."

The faithfulness of God, carefully and precisely noted in the Luther quotation above, divinely effects His assurance that His regenerated child is reborn in His Triune Name. That Name, spoken upon that child at his baptism, endures as the Triune God's effective Word each day, that is, this day and every day of grace.

The vocations which God has assigned His living child are the altars, (to use that word metaphorically) which He Himself builds, altars where that child offers today, to the One True God, sacrifices which flow forth from faith. Each sacrifice at its core is the denial of one's own self interests in the exercise of one's vocational relationship. Self denial is not for the sake of self, but is a living activity which glorifies God. This glorification of God is reflected as the godly interests of the other person are being served as God's spirit leads me to deny myself.

The self denial which arises from baptism and is remains nurtured in Holy Communion is not natural, nor is it self-willed. It is unnatural to the old Adam and reflects the will of God which lives in the new Adam. Godly self denial is super-natural, a miracle of God from the life of the new Adam. Self denial is rooted in The Savior's denial of Himself. His denial of Himself is the redemption price paid for all sinners. Those born again, those receiving His Body and Blood by faith in His Communion, bring forth much fruit, as Jesus put it so simply.

God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is at work in your life, Paul, to will and to act in the ways discussed in your post and in the comments above, to will and to act according to His good purpose. It remains our prayer again today that this proves true for you, your wife, your family, your friends and business contacts, indeed, for all whom the LORD our God will call.

Having the same confidence given you by His Spirit, we are,

Gary and Suanne Cepek

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