Life or Death

6th Sunday of Epiphany
Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:15-20 , St Matthew 5:21-37

According to Deuteronomy 30:15-20, every day life and death, blessings and curses are set before us. Blessings are waiting for us if we will love the Lord and walk in His ways and keep His commandments. However, if our hearts turn away and refuse to listen and obey, we will have spiritual death. What will you and I choose; a blessed life or spiritual death?

God’s commandments are for our well being. The Psalmist wrote in Psalms 119:1-2 that those who walk in the Lord’s instructions are truly happy. Those who guard God’s laws are also truly happy for God is in their hearts. Following God’s commandments brings happiness and wholeness to their lives. While the blessing God’s desires for us goes even deeper than that, it means that our hearts rest in God’s Holiness.

In Matthew 5, Jesus makes it clear that if we keep the commandments of God He opens our hearts and gives us a deeper reality of His love for us. We have heard that is said “don’t commit murder”, but it is implied that if we are angry with a brother or sister we will be in danger of judgment. If we say “you fool” we will be in danger of the fires of Hell. We need to be very careful of the curses that rule our hearts, like anger or malice, so it does not rub off into our lives and actions.

Everyday we have a choice. Every second, every moment we choose. Will we choose life in the Lord or spiritual abandonment and the fire of Hell? Will our disobedience reap destruction and consequences? Will we obey God’s commandments and receive the blessings the Lord offers us? God desires to bless us. He desires that we not merely survive but to live in the fullness of His love and blessings.

Today’s message reminds me of the sin of omission and the sin of co-mission. While we would not and do not strive to sin, we all do it daily by not living up to the will of the Lord. Daily we live in a world of sin and death. That is not the way that the Lord desires us to live. We all fall short of the abundance of God’s blessings when we allow the ways of this world to take center stage in our hearts and lives blocking the blessings of the Lord to rule our lives.

May we all seek to center our hearts and our tongues to the blessings of the Lord and not on earthly things.

Let us pray.