Revised Common Lectionary - Year C: Second Sunday in Lent - Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18; Psalm 27; Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 13:31-35
A sure salvation
God is greater than our circumstances. God had given great promises to Abraham, yet there appeared no sign that His promises were being fulfilled. The circumstances seemed bleak, and Abraham felt despondent. Abraham was full of questions. In Genesis 15:2, he asks, ‘What can you give me…?’. This is the question of salvation. What does God give? He gives salvation. In Genesis 15:8, he asks, ‘How can I know…?’. This is the question of assurance. We ask for assurance. God gives it – the assurance of salvation, the assurance that salvation has been given and received. Where are we to look for answers to these questions? Are we to look to our circumstances? Are we to look to our feelings? No. We look to the ‘Almighty God’(Genesis 15:2,8). Trusting in Christ, the ‘Passover Lamb…sacrificed for us’, we receive a sure salvation (Genesis 15:6; 1 Corinthians 5:7; John 20:31; 1 John 5:13).
God’s love inspires our loyalty to Him.
God’s love for us inspires our loyalty to Him: ‘Your love is ever before me, and I will walk continually in Your truth’(Psalm 26:3). Loyalty to the Lord involves worshipping Him and walking with Him (Psalm 26:11-12). Walking with God is not easy. There are ‘enemies round about’us (Psalm 26:4-5, 9-10; Psalm 27:2-3,6,11-12). What are we to do? We are to worship God: ‘One thing have I asked of the Lord…that I may dwell in the House of the Lord…’(Psalm 27:4). What are we doing when we gather in the Lord’s House for worship? This is what we are doing – ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage’(Psalm 27:14). Where does our strength come from? It comes from God: ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation… The Lord is the stronghold of my life’. Strong in Him, we say, ‘My heart will not fear… I will be confident’(Psalm 27:1,3).
Christ has claimed us for Himself. He has laid claim to every part of our life.
‘Christ Jesus has made me His own’(Philippisns 3:12). In Paul`s words, we hear an echo of Jesus` words, ‘You did not choose Me… I chose you’(John 15:16). Christ has claimed us for Himself. He has laid claim to every part of our life. We are to ‘rejoice in the Lord always’(Philippians 4:4). We are to bring ‘everything’ to Him in prayer (6). We are to be ‘content in all circumstances’(Philippians 4:11-12). We are to face every challenge with confidence in His strength – ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’(Philippians 4:13). We are to trust Him to ‘supply’our ‘every need’(4:19). In every situation, we can come to the Lord, trusting in His promise: ‘the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’(Philippians 4:7). Whatever is happening, take it to the Lord in prayer and let Him give you His peace.
Repentance and faith are not only for the beginning of the Christian life. They’re for the whole of our life.
Jesus stresses the need for both repentance (Luke 13:1-5) and the fruits of repentance (Luke 13:6-9). God’s Word, planted in our hearts at conversion, is to bear fruit. This requires continual repentance and faith (Colossians 2:6; Galatians 3:1-5). Don’t put it off till tomorrow! Today is ‘the day of salvation’. Don’t ‘neglect’ God’s ‘great salvation’(Luke 13:15-16; 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 2:3). Let there be spiritual growth, affecting the whole of your life (Luke 13:18-21). Jesus was ‘journeying toward Jerusalem’- to ‘finish His course’at the Cross (Luke 13:22,32-33). He came from the Lord (Luke 13:35). Through Him, we come to the Lord (Luke 13:24; John 10:9). There is no salvation in ourselves (Luke 13:25-27). Apart from Him, there is ‘no peace’(Jeremiah 6:14; 8:11). Jesus loves you (Luke 13:34). Make ‘sure’that your trust is in Him. He will never fail you (2 Peter 1:10-11).