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October 26, 2021

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 26 October 2021

An oxymoron by definition is “a noun which is a figure of speech, in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction.” Some examples of such contradictions include the following: act naturally, definite maybe, found missing, good grief, jobless recovery, jumbo shrimp, light heavyweight, liquid gas, numb feeling, only choice, pretty ugly, same difference, small crowd, and unbiased opinion.

An oxymoron is combining two words that simply do not belong together because one word contradicts the other. The ultimate oxymoron is “No, Lord.” “No” and “Lord” do not belong in the same sentence. Jesus said, “‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Becoming a follower of Jesus Christ is a commitment to obey Him.

When a person trusts in Christ Jesus as his or her Savior, the Holy Spirit will indwell the believer. Therefore, the Bible commands, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30). Yes, Lord” is the only proper response when the Holy Spirit elicits conviction of sin (cf. John 16:8; 1 John 1:9). God is to be Lord of the believer’s life, yet “no” is the most audacious response to his convicting and guiding.

Matthew 16:22 is a familiar conversation between the Lord Jesus and Peter. Jesus had just foretold his approaching suffering, death, and resurrection. In response, “Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.’” “Never happen” was Peter’s version of “No, Lord.” Perhaps you have never been as candidly defiant as Peter, yet there are certainly times in which our actions and attitudes are just as bold.

Most assuredly, it is a woeful condition when those who are told of their sinfulness and the need for the righteousness of God – which is received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ – will thoughtlessly persist in unbelief or attempt to merit God’s favor on their own, or even seek to help the Lord by supplementing the finished work of Christ on the cross. Such responses are the same as when Peter took the Lord “aside and began to rebuke Him” for the response is “No, Lord” and/or “You have not done quite enough.” 

In all life circumstances, Christ gives assurance to his followers that his “grace is sufficient” and his “power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). Why seek any other help? To do so is to say, “No, Lord; I have a better plan.” As opposed to availing ourselves of God’s grace, we respond as if the Lord’s provision is not sufficient and his benevolence is not enough for us. To reject the Lord’s will for our lives (as revealed in Scripture) is to live as if our happiness is more important than God’s glory. Followers of Christ are not called to do what makes us happy. The Christian life is not always easy, yet it always necessitates diligence and persistence to do what glorifies God.

Psalm 32:8 - I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

Praise the Lord that as He was merciful to Peter so will He be to us! May we follow the many examples throughout the Bible of those who trusted God and said, “Yes, Lord” to his will. Whenever that is not our attitude, true wisdom involves heeding the Holy Spirit’s rebuke of us. By saying “Yes, Lord,” we have God’s promise that He will instruct us and teach us in the way to go. He even gives counsel with his loving eye upon us (Ps 32:8).

Interim Bible Study

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