Deuteronomy 30:1-20; Luke 12:1-7; Psalms 78:32-39; Proverbs 19:4-5
OT: “This command that I give you today is certainly not too difficult or beyond your reach. It is not in heaven so that you have to ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven, get it for us, and proclaim it to us so that we may follow it?’ And it is not across the sea so that you have to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea, get it for us, and proclaim it to us so that we may follow it?’ But the message is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, so that you may follow it. See, today I have set before you life and prosperity, death and adversity. For I am commanding you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, statutes, and ordinances, so that you may live and multiply, and the Lord your God may bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you do not listen and you are led astray to bow in worship to other gods and serve them, I tell you today that you will certainly perish and will not prolong your days in the land you are entering to possess across the Jordan. I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, love the Lord your God, obey him, and remain faithful to him. For he is your life, and he will prolong your days as you live in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-20 CSB)
Walking in righteousness is not hard – as in, we don’t have to perform great feats of strength or accomplish impossible tasks to walk in righteousness. God has given us everything we need to walk righteously and has implanted it in our minds and in our hearts. The challenge is the choice that is before us. We have control over our will and our bodies. We have the freedom to do whatever we desire – yet the things that we desire are often not the things that lead to righteousness. The challenge comes when we have to choose between what we want (the lusts and drives of our flesh) and what is right. If we choose to follow our desires, walk our own paths, and be led by our own understanding, we choose to live a life separated from the life and blessing of God. If we choose to deny our wants and desires and follow God’s way, we choose to live a life of blessing with the power of God’s life coursing through our veins and radiating from our pores. What helps us make the right choice? Faith in God and in His Son Jesus Christ.
NT: “I say to you, my friends, don’t fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will show you the one to fear: Fear him who has authority to throw people into hell after death. Yes, I say to you, this is the one to fear! Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:4-7 CSB)
After Jesus pronounced woes on the Pharisees and Scribes, He turned to His disciples told them to be wary of and on guard against the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. Eventually, they would be exposed, as will all hypocrisy. That is even something that we are seeing in our day: people and systems exposed for who and what they truly are. We can’t allow ourselves to be driven into hypocrisy and sin through threats from and fear of mortal men. While they are able to and sometimes will end your life, that is where their power ends. The wages of hypocrisy, unrighteousness and sin however, go beyond this life into eternity. If we fear people more than we fear the Lord, we will end up experiencing death for eternity. If we fear the Lord and follow Him, even in the midst of death in this life, we will experience His life and blessing now and for eternity. We are not dispensable commodities to God, nor are we mere pawns in His plans. He loves and highly values us. If we place our faith in Him and choose to follow Him, we have no reason to be afraid. So don’t be afraid of the virtue-signalers, the woke cancel culture, the zealous activists, or the anarchic terrorists that threaten you into submission to their ways. Instead choose life through faith and obedience to our Father in heaven, and His Son (our Savior) Jesus Christ.