Matthew 10:21-42

Matthew 10:21-42

He cares enough to let us be challenged, because without challenge we would never know what faith truly is. We would never truly...understand how much God does care.One of the things that we as the church are famous for is worrying. We worry about this. We worry about that. We worry about our jobs. We worry about our families. We worry about the next car we’re going to have. We worry about whether we’re going to wake up tomorrow and still have our home. We worry about so many things. We worry about, am I going to have my job tomorrow? I know a lot of Christians that do not go to bed in security, and wake up the next morning believing that God is in control, but yet they want to believe. And Jesus says, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. Don’t worry. Don’t worry about what you’re going to say. Don’t worry about how you’re going to interact with the people around you. At that time, you’ll be given what to say…

There is nothing in this world that we should fear. Not our government. Not our neighbors. Not our jobs. Not our lack of jobs. There is nothing in this world that we should fear because God knows what’s going on. God knows our hearts, and He knows the hearts of everyone that’s around us. He knows what we’re going to go through. And even the things that He’s going to share with us are meant to be shared. It says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body.” You know what? You may face some hard times. You may face those moments when you step out of your door and life becomes a real threat to you. You may face those moments where people hate you and despise you. And you may face those moments where people would threaten to kill you because of what you believe in Jesus Christ. It says, “But do not be afraid of those who kill the body but can not kill the soul.”

We’re under the impression, so often, because we get up and we look in the mirror, that this is all there is. We’re told that there’s a spirit inside, we’re told that we have a soul, and we’re told about this idea that there’s an eternity, and we’re going to dwell in that eternity, but you know what? When I wake up in the morning and I stub my toe, it feels like it’s right now, and it hurts like right now. And I’m not thinking about when it’s going to stop hurting in an hour from now. I’m thinking it hurts right now. And Jesus is now telling me that it’s okay if I step out of my door and someone shoots me in the head? Don’t worry about that because, guess what? There’s eternity coming. It’s not about this body, it’s not this life, it’s not about this flesh, but that’s all we know, and so we fear for it. And Jesus says, don’t fear. Don’t fear. Don’t cling to this flesh. Don’t cling to this life. Don’t fear for this life. This life is going to pass. There’s not one of us in this room that can dictate to God that we’ll live to see tomorrow. We don’t know what’s going to happen, so don’t fear for it…

The fact is He knows. He knows the plan for my life and the direction for my life and He is not surprised when anything happens to me. It doesn’t take Him by surprise when someone spits at me, and He’s not caught off guard when I sin against Him. He’s not surprised by us… He knows us intimately. He knows us personally. He knows everything about us. And everything that happens, even when that sparrow falls from the sky, He notices, and it is within His will and His plan. Now of course, we still have choice. We’re still required to choose, but whether we choose right or wrong, does not null and void God’s ability to be in control. It doesn’t mean that God didn’t know. So, don’t be afraid. “You are worth more than many sparrows.” You’re worth more to God that the birds that He’s created. You’re worth more to God than the trees that He’s created. You’re worth more to God than most of what you see around you in creation because guess what? You are special. God created you with a purpose. He created you to have relationship with. And not just any relationship, but a deep, meaningful. love relationship that will take you into eternity…

And this is where the choice comes in. God may already know and have the number of our hairs written out, but He still asks us to choose. He asks us to step forward and let those around us know what we believe even if they don’t like it…

It says, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace.” And see, this is where the lie has been spread. We’re told in our society today that He did come to bring peace, and if you’re not at peace, then you’re not a godly person. If you’re not sharing a message that makes everybody feel good about themselves, then you’re not a godly person. The true Christian loves and accepts everyone no matter who they are or what they’re doing. [No.] Jesus didn’t come to bring peace, and the fact that you share the truth that Jesus is the only way to salvation, you tear that peace apart. You bring division. He says, I didn’t come to bring that peace, but a sword… You can expect division, and you can expect hardship, and you can expect your family to hate you because you have accepted Me. Don’t disown Me, because if you disown Me, I have to disown you. You’ve got the choice, but understand, there is nothing that you’re going to face or endure that God in heaven does not see and know about. He’s in control, and He cares for you, but He cares — and this is the hard part to understand — He cares, sometimes, enough to let us suffer. He cares, sometimes, enough to let us go without. He cares, sometimes, enough to let us be challenged, because without challenge we never know what faith truly is. We never truly come to that place of understanding how much God does care. You know what? I’d never know what it was to heal from a cut on my hand unless I’d cut my hand. Now, I don’t want everybody to go out and cut their hand, but you know what? Sometimes there’s pain. and you meet God, oftentimes, in that pain, and the Lord is standing there to bring you through it.

Pastor Dave Elkins