February 21, 2021: 1st Sunday in Lent

Let us pray: Dear Savior, thank You for always being there for us!  Thank You for being our physical, emotional, and spiritual Rock upon which we can always rely.  So, in the midst of temptations, surround us with Your mighty hedge which fences off all evil from infecting us and repels all invaders from Your temple of faith within our hearts.  Amen


TEXT:  Romans 8: 37-39

Dearly Beloved By Christ: 

          Is it the “drip, drip, drip” or the deluge that you fear the most?  Most would say that the deluge is far more serious, but the “drip, drip, drip” accomplishes the same outcome.  It’s just a matter of time.

          When it comes to sin and temptation, we fear the deluge.  It knocks us off our feet of faith and threatens to drown us.  It’s scary to see that wall of water approach and we feel paralyzed by it. But, the drip method is insidious, and deadly, too.  We get lulled into complacency by it.  But erodes the foundation until suddenly the edifice topples into the sea.  Think about all those winter storms and watching someone’s house crumble and wash away—all because of a little drip that ended in a deluge.


          The corrosive effects of sin employ both these methods to destroy our Christian faith.  Satan employs both methods to pull us away from God.  The world ignorantly backs such spiritual destruction.  And our old Adam apathetically goes along with this destructive flow.

          I don’t do social media.  To me it’s a huge waste of time.  I prefer to tell the world what’s on my mind, publicly, in sermons.  That being said, social media has fostered a whole culture of taking shots at others while hiding behind anonymity.  People tear others apart while hiding behind internet “handles”  and made up names.  This “drip, drip, drip” of abuse takes its toll, too.  And unless you cut yourself off from it, it will destroy your inner bliss. 

          Sometimes, you get to see the tidal wave coming in advance.  The pending train wreck of an affair can be clearly seen, if you open your eyes, before it destroys your marriage.  A dreaded audit from the IRS will hit unless you declare income and don’t try to hide it.  Abusing your physical health will hit hard if you don’t made good life choices.   The point is: whether it’s a deluge or a drip, the corrosive effects of sin will undermine your faith.

Satan knows all of our weak points.  He uses whatever method, usually a combination of both, to pull us away from God.  This is the nature of sin.  This is the nature of temptation.


          Every Christian has a 6th sense about this.  It’s our faith and allegiance to God crying out for help.  When you lay in bed at 3 am and your mind races over inner upset, well, that’s a cry for Godly help.  It’s a reminder that you cannot handle life all on your own.  And then another temptation comes calling.  You ask yourself: “Where is God?  Why doesn’t He intervene and take away my upset?”  This is the quandary all humans find themselves in—but especially believers since the devil works overtime to subvert us. 

          And that is why God caused this glorious text to be written!  Here is His answer: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

          That list pretty much covers all the floods and all the drips of inner despair that we will ever experience.  Nothing can undermine, crest, or topple Christ, the Rock of our salvation. He literally is our immoveable Object.  And since our faith is built, literally, on Jesus Christ and His loving righteousness, well, the waterlogged sands of life cannot overcome it!

          I draw your attention to the final verse where it says: “Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  What’s vital for Godly salvation is HIS love for us.  Our love for Him is often as weak as we are.  It can buckle and crumble when the right temptation comes along. But His love for us, all of us, is clearly shown by His suffering on the cross for us, and then His resurrection in our place—going from death to life and now remaining in that heavenly life for all time and beyond. 

          My friends, Lent is the time to ferret out and face all the drips and all the tsunamis that we face.  And instead of being overwhelmed by it all, giving up and having  a pity party, Lent is really the time to grasp hold of and pull yourself onto the topmost point of the Rock of Christ, knowing full well that nothing can ever overcome it!  Yes, Paul was right when he said: “We are MORE THAN CONQUERERS in and through Christ our Lord.  Amen


Pastor Thomas H. Fox

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