DAILY DEVOTIONAL – April 19, 2021
Prayer: Jesus, apart from You we can do nothing. We thank You that You have done and accomplished everything for us on the cross. As we come to You in Your Word, help us to lay ourselves down that we may be again lifted up by Your mighty love and grace. Amen.
Scripture: Romans 8:1-8
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
Devotional – “It Matters”
Most days when I am working I have some kind of music playing in the background. I usually play ambient music or some kind of minimalist instrumental music to help me focus. Last week, however, I must have inadvertently hit a button on my Spotify music player that I had not hit before, and it started playing random songs I had never heard before. Some were ok. None of them really were what I normally listen to. Some of them were horrible. One of the worst random songs that popped up kept on repeating the phrase, “it doesn’t matter why.” The song would describe things that happen in life or certain thoughts or beliefs people have, and then repeat again, “it doesn’t matter why.”
I became increasingly irritated not only by the poor quality of music, but by the nonsense the lyrics kept spitting out. As I turned around to figure how to get the music back to what I normally play, I realized I had apparently selected a button that made my streaming service play the “Top Pop-Rock Hits of 2019.”
Unfortunately, it shouldn’t come as a surprise at all that a song titled “It Doesn’t Matter Why” is so popular in our culture and society today. It is sadly a very accurate description of what our world seems to celebrate with increasing enthusiasm. The world says it doesn’t matter what you believe or why you believe it, as long as you believe something. The world says it doesn’t matter what you do or why you do it, as long as it’s what you want. The world says it doesn’t matter what is true or right or good, or why something deserves to be called good or bad at all, as long as it’s what you want and as long as you believe it’s true and right and good.
As the late apologist Ravi Zacharias said, “We are living in a time when . . . philosophically, you can believe anything, so long as you do not claim it to be true. Morally, you can practice anything, so long as you do not claim that it is a ‘better’ way. Religiously, you can hold to anything, so long as you do not bring Jesus Christ into it.”
It does matter what you believe. What you believe is what you live, it is how you live and it determines whether or not the life you live is found to be truly satisfying and meaningful. Though as Scripture says, this life is but a vapor and like a fading shadow in the light of eternity, this life absolutely matters. This is the life that God has given us, this is the life that God gave His One and only Son Jesus to die for, this is the broken life of sin and death for which Jesus poured out His blood on the cross in order to redeem. It is in this life and this life only that God’s grace, love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation have been made available through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection.
It absolutely matters what you believe and why you believe it. If you believe the lie that all of this life is just a big happy cosmic accident, that the meaning of life is simply to survive, the lie that human life is just a statistical anomaly, and if you believe the lie that we are all just sophisticated globs of inherently meaningless cells, then that is exactly what your life will prove to be. If you believe that you came from nothing, then you can live for nothing and only have nothing to look forward to.
If the message preached by the world through the radio is correct, and “it doesn’t really matter why” you believe, think, say, or do, then it doesn’t matter what either. But the truth is, even the world doesn’t really believe it’s own message. If it really doesn’t matter, then why even bother writing a song about why it doesn’t matter? It’s a pointless and meaningless song. But, you see, it does matter. It matters what you believe and why you believe it, because what you believe and why you believe what you believe has an immediate, direct, and proportionate effect on how you live your life, what you do with your life, and where you spend eternity when this life and this world come to an end. This is what Scripture means when it says in our text for today, “those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” What you set your mind to determines what you put your hands to, why you do anything, and whether or not whatever it is you do has true, eternal significance.
The truth is, in our last day when we stand before our Creator God, the only thing that will matter is what you believe and why you believe it. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” What is the will of the Father? What is the will of God? What is it we have to do to “do” the will of the Father and enter the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus answers that question plainly and clearly in John 6:40, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
What you believe and why you believe it matters for eternity! Believe in Jesus in all that you do and don’t do, my friends, and remember that God has forgiven yesterday, is with you today, and has already taken care of tomorrow. Amen.