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ore groups were a part of life in seminary. This involved 8-10 people who got together once a month to talk about how things were going and to get some pointers from older classmates. It wasn't only for the students. Families were encouraged to be a part of these so spouses and children were often a part of these gatherings.

Kendra Woods was no more than 18 months old. Her parents were hosting the meeting in their apartment and something interesting happened that night. Kendra would get down and go over and look at Jeanie, who was only a couple of months old, then go back to her mom. Kendra would get off of mom or dad's lap and go explore something in another room while we were talking and then rush back into the room and scurry up onto the lap of one of her parents. This didn't happen once but over and over again that night.

It didn't disturb us. In fact, when it comes to God, it demonstrates how much like Kendra I need to be. We need to realize the certain presence, protection and power that are present in the lap of our God. Because from Him and Him alone comes the transformation and restoration that lets us recapture what our purposeful sin has stolen.

I'm going to make some claims about God that sound pretty stuck-up in the social climate in which we live. Although speaking about church politics, it is telling when a Bishop in the Anglican church has the guts to say, "I think it's really very dangerous when someone stands up and says: 'I have the way and I have the truth and I know how to interpret holy scripture and you are following what is the right way,'" he said "It's really very, very dangerous and I think it's demonic."[1] One only has to go back to 2003 to remember that Pres. Bush claimed Christians and Muslims worshipped the same God.[2] And to realize this isn't just something those in power say, you have normal people like the 16 year old "Covertheagenda" on YouTube discussing the same God[3] principle and a 1991 George Barna survey showed 65% of Americans believed Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists all prayed to the same God.[4]

Here's the problem with such beliefs. They don't square with what the Bible says about God. As much as we like to say, "well I think" or "in my opinion", the fact is those don't matter. Let me give you an example. I think, strongly believe, and assert my opinion that it's okay to: (choose one)

·      Sacrifice small animals for religious purposes. 

·      Run red lights when I'm late for a appointment

·      Do what I want with my money

·      Smoke pot, sleep around, or disrespect others

·      That gravity has no effect on me if I REALLY want to defy it

Now you may believe these and even live your life based on them but you'd be wrong. There is absolute truth whether we want to admit it or not. When we like the truth we support it with our life. When we find it uncomfortable we argue, ignore it and try to explain how it doesn't mean what it means.

So if our opinions don't carry much weight was does? The quick and simple answer is God's Word. And here's what the Bible teaches us about God. God is God and we're not! God is eternal. God is setting up a Kingdom which will restore us to the state we enjoyed before Sin entered our reality. In Isaiah God describes and names himself Israel's King and Redeemer.

The title which was David's, King of Israel has passed away from David but it isn't forgotten or laid down. God has always been Israel's King. When Saul, David, Solomon and the rest ruled God was the power behind the throne.  To the Jews who heard this prophesy it carries the promise that they have not been abandoned in their captivity. God is the one who established Israel. They weren't powerful or astute enough to take the land, it was just one sign of God's grace.

He also calls Himself the, "the first and the last". God's not limited by time. God is not limited by space. He's not a regional God. He's not a tribal God. He's not a family God. He is the one who created the heavens and the earth. He created time itself and at the end of "time" he still will exist. God also describes himself as "The Rock". In Israel's history rocks were important. Rocks were opened to provide water for those in the desert. It was a sign of God's providing for His people. In the river of Jordan and on the other side, Rocks marked the place where the people crossed over on dry land. God's provision once more was evident as He called them to begin the process of securing the land. Moses is hid in a clef of a Rock as God goes by. To see God is to die but Moses caught a mere glimpse and his face shone for months following that encounter.  Peter is called Rock by Jesus and it is prophesied that Peter's statement, identifying Jesus as Messiah is the basis for the establishment of Christ's body here on earth.

And each of these, every one of these is set over against the idolatry in ancient Babylon, Rome, work-based keeping of the law in Israel, and the pantheons of gods in our own culture. How are to understand the emptiness of anything but the Lord God? As blind, worthless, ignorant and leading us into shame.

Another unenviable task of the preacher is to announce that not everyone will hear Christ's invitation to come and take of the free gift of the water of life. Most will be outside in the dark. Most will not know Christ's resurrection. Most will refuse to change the direction of their lives. Most will steadfastly worship their idols of stone, gold, homes, people, sex, drugs, and self-directed lives and never know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

But, put aside the foolishness of our idolatry and we discover freedom. When we listen for the voice of God and hear His command to "Come", we can change.

There were all kinds of things that she knew about in her home but Kendra kept returning to her mother and father for security. There was a new baby, and her toys to attract her, but Kendra kept returning to her mother and father. There were other adults who cared about Kendra and would have willing welcomed her but she continually sought out her mother and father's laps. At her tender age she knew where comfort lied. She instinctively knew where restoration took place. Kendra teaches how the protective hugs and peaceful laps of her parents are models for us when it comes to seeking our Lord's voice, acknowledging His uniqueness and exclusive claim and worshipping Him alone.  If we do this we can live. If we don't we are lost. Amen.


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[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/17/religion accessed July 18, 2008

[2] http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35787

[3] http://youtube.com/watch?v=p25bfnc5FiM

[4] http://members.aol.com/dwise1/religion/survey.html

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