Part 3. If we believe God’s Word to be words from God for us to live by, and we hear the Gospel’s call to change, we must evaluate how we are doing at living by the Book. Jesus said He would build His church, and He has shared the blueprint with us through the Scripture. To be the church Jesus builds is to live the way the Word tells us to live.
This message goes back to the first proofs of a living relationship with Jesus Christ. If we are truly disciples of Jesus, we will love. That sounds easy, but it isn’t. There is one key that can help us, and it changes how we treat one another.
(If you do not see the audio player, CLICK HERE to view the full post.)
You did it. Someone stopped you on the street. A family member was over at your house for dinner. You stopped into a church without any clue as to what awaited you inside. And suddenly it all made sense. God is real. Jesus did everything you couldn’t do. Now you believe. You’re a follower of Jesus. The old is gone, the new has come, and you’re ready to start down the journey.
Before long some well-meaning but misguided person or group is going to start imposing rules on your life. Don’t do this. Do that. Fill your days here and not there. At first it sounds simple and you desire God so much that you go along with it. As the days turn into weeks, months and years, you learn to gauge how well you and those around you are doing at knowing God. You read your Bible and pray everyday. Your car can almost always be found in the church parking lot because you never miss a service.
Some of us really like rules. We like to-do lists and have apps for that. That’s right, we don’t just have one, we have a few. Because we don’t want to miss anything, don’t want to leave anything undone. So we’re going to work at it. One of the categories for your to-do’s is simple named, “God.” Your Bible reading plan is there. A list of prayer needs is there. There’s even a calculator for your tithes, missions support, child sponsorship and food bank donations. Plus a calendar with all of those services you wouldn’t want to miss, your discipleship course, conferences, book reading deadlines, and so much more.
Is this the relationship we are called to with Jesus Christ? Is it about to-do lists and rules? We want to stay close to Him and far from evil. Growth is the name of our game; we aren’t staying still because staying still is moving backwards because it ain’t moving forwards. I wonder what Jesus would have to say about all this doing and obeying.
Continue reading “Rules, Obedience, and Knowing God”
You might be familiar with the “omni” statements about God. The term omni “is a Latin prefix meaning ‘all’ or ‘every’” (Wikipedia). When placed at the beginning of a word it means all or every of that descriptor. Thanks to dinosaur movies many people know that to be a herbivore is to eat plants, a carnivore eats meat, and an omnivore eats it all.
The “omni” statements about God include some very amazing truths about Him. Our God is omniscient, which means that He knows all things. He is also omnipresent, not being restricted to time and space, He is everywhere at once. God is also omnipotent, which means that He is all-powerful.
These three ideas quickly come into play when we start to think about and discuss the will of God. If God is all-powerful, all-seeing and everywhere, surely He can accomplish His will very easily. All He has to do is make someone do it. But God is not in the business of making people do things. Instead He leads us to it and gives us the choice to walk in it or ignore it.
Continue reading “Saying “NO”: The danger of refusing God’s call to action”