Friday, December 7, 2012
Truth is, many of us approach the Word of God legalistically.
The thought going through your head is, “I know I don’t.”
Hang with me. You probably do more than you think. I know I did.
There are two reasons people obey the commands of God. 1) Because they love Him. 2) Because they feel as though they will get something from Him. If we are completely honest with ourselves, we have to admit that yes, sometimes we obey just because we feel like we will get something from Him.
Mr. Nuernburg always makes an awesome point. If you go to college and diligently seek and education, what do you think you’ll get? An education. If you diligently pursue marriage, what will you get? Marriage! That’s logical. But, sometimes people get in their minds that diligently seeking God will get them. . .a successful business? Comfort? Easy life? Or maybe just peace and quiet? But is that logical? If you diligently seek God, what will you find? God!
Hebrews 11 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
That being said, I have to throw out any wrong motive in myself to seek the Lord. If I seek Him with all my heart, I will find Him. He is the great reward. For me, I know that I’ve had motives like, “If I seek the Lord, my relationships with people will always be healthy. If I seek the Lord, my life will be manageable. If I seek the Lord, I can handle problems.”
These statements may be half-way true, but if they are my motives for serving the Lord, I am just like a hypocrite. I am obeying God for a blessing. Mr. Nuernburg often draws like a little flow chart thingy that always goes from love, to obedience, to blessing, to light.
1 1) Love the Lord.
2 2) Love causes obedience.
3 3) Obedience brings blessing (which is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit).
4 4) Blessing causes us to be a light to others around us.
If we skip the love, we won’t have whole-hearted obedience. And if there is no whole-hearted obedience, God cannot really abide in our lives (which is the blessing, by the way. Not riches, or ease). And if He is not abiding in our lives, then we can’t be a blessing to others that need the Gospel.
So, this provokes me to examine my life. If the outflow of my life is not light to other people, then where am I going astray? Most likely on the first step. The greatest commandment we have is to
“Love the Lord, your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37)”.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Let me put it plainly.
I do not care what talents you have or don’t have. I do not care how financially stable or unstable you are. I do not care if you are a gifted speaker or not. I do not care if you feel “called” or not. I do not care if you’ve been a Christian for 20 days or 20 years. I do not care if you have a degree in Ministry or not. I do not care if you go to church or not.
And you know what? God doesn’t care either.
The fact is that we, as the redeemed, have a divine goal. This is to bring glory to God by spreading His name among the nations. We are called to have a heart for the Gospel and the Father’s will – just like Jesus did. We are called to go and make disciples of all nations. Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We must teach them to observe all things that God has commanded us (Matthew 28:19-20).
I have been under incredible teaching at the Evangelical Institute since September. What a challenging few months it has been. I’ve been learning so much. We talk about the life of faith in God all the time. We talk about following God out of a heart of love. We are exploring the definition of evangelism in Ministry 1. To sum, my way of thinking about my life has been turned inside out and upside down. On top of this teaching, I’ve been reading Radical by David Platt. Yikes. If that book doesn’t make you examine your shallow, selfish Christianity, I don’t know what will.
So, adding up all these lessons has brought me to this:
“My purpose, as a ransomed daughter of the Lord, is to magnify His name by sharing in His heart and in His purpose for the world to be reconciled to Him – for His ultimate glory and adoration. His purpose must renovate my way of life, my desires and my goals. His pleasure must be my aim and His glory my passion. I will use anything that God has placed into my stewardship for His purposes, not my own – surrendering all I have to Him (since it was never mine in the first place). I will take His Word literally, taking upon my own back the privilege of making disciples of all nations and expanding the Kingdom of God. This is not my calling – because all believers are called. This is the minimal cost of love for my Adonai.”
What I am coming to learn is that I am not authorized to leave the evangelism and discipleship to the few who have degrees, or are professionals, or who know how. I have the means to equip myself to be a soldier for the Lord. I have the Word of God, my textbook and the Spirit, my teacher. Of course, it is wise for me to have counselors in my life who can lead me. But honestly, I have what I need to live out the great commission. And so do you.
Why are you leaving the Great Commission to the “called?” You, you the one reading this, have been called. Does it mean that you have to live overseas? No. Does it mean that you have to live in a hut? No. But it does mean that you, as a child of God, are commanded to apply the command of the Word to your life. Not theirs. Not his or hers. But yours. Anything less is unbiblical Christianity. 1 John says that we will know we are Christians if His commands are not burdensome (1 John 5:2-3).
God doesn’t care what you have or don’t have, because if you have been redeemed your calling is the exact same as mine. Yes, He does give us specific gifts and blessings so that we can work in different areas – and He will lead us into those – but overall His plan and purpose for Christians are the same.
“Go therefore and teach and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Live your divine purpose with me.