Faith Blog

ARE WE ACTING LIKE THE PEOPLE OF GOD?

There are a lot of times during the week when I don’t act like myself.  If I’m hungry, I can be cranky. If I’m tired, I can be loopy. If I’m stressed, I can get easily agitated. Most of these issues have easy fixes. Get a good night’s sleep, look to Jesus for rest, or eat a snickers bar.  But there are some areas that God calls out in me where I’m consistently not acting like His child - areas that have been unaddressed and are in need of soul care. 

 

The words of Isaiah 30:12-33:9 tell us about a time where the people of God were not acting like the people of God.  They were trusting in other gods and other nations for their survival and prosperity. They were looking to other people for their nation’s success. And worst of all, it seemed as though they greatly neglected the things God had called them to do as His children. They were supposed to be a nation that looked out for the poor among them but instead they were taking advantage of the poor and looking out for their own interest. They were supposed to be a people who trusted in the Holy One of Israel but instead they were trusting in oppression and lies. They were supposed to be a people who rested in the confidence of God Almighty but instead they were a people looking for a quick victory. God’s love, compassion, and faithfulness were waiting for them but they instead chose to be like those around them – trusting in wealth, in social status, and in earthly kingdoms.

 

It is something I identify with. It seems natural and easy to trust in the things of this earth. Money, security in relationships, social status, position. These things can seem very fulfilling and very trustworthy. But I know that is not where God has called us to live as His children. Our lives are to be lived as a testimony to what it looks like to not trust in the things of this world but to trust in God alone. As people of God, we are called to be different by loving those around us, by caring for the poor among us, and by protecting those who are weak. “What is important is faith expressing itself in love.” (Galatians 5:6)

 

Today, I’m wondering what would it look like if we really lived like people after God’s own heart?  What if our lives of faith in Jesus expressed itself in love towards our friends, families, and neighbors?  Is there someone you need to forgive today?  Is there someone you need to ask forgiveness from?  I find these questions come up over and over again as I follow Jesus. What does it REALLY look like to be Your child? God, who do You want me to reach out to today? Jesus, help me to have eyes to see those who are hurting and are in need of compassion today. Holy Spirit, guide my steps so that I encounter those who are in need and I can help. And help me do it trusting in You and not my own power.

 

 

Posted by MK Jauchen with 1 Comments

DON'T ENVY SINNERS!

Proverbs 23:17

Do not let your heart envy sinners,  But live in the fear of the Lord always.

There have often been times when I regard strangers with a certain awe.  Not because of anything spectacular they might have been doing but more so with what they weren’t doing.  Too often I feel like I live this Christian life in judgment from other Christians.  What I should or shouldn't drink, watch, do, etc.  So sometimes I look across the street at the pagans who live there and I wonder what it's like to be "free" from that judgment.

In a way, I envy their "freedom" to do whatever they want with a clear conscience.  I say "freedom" because we know that sinners aren't really free, just as we know that there is no condemnation under the law for me and my choices to drink this or watch that. But Proverbs tells us here that my heart doesn't need to envy sinners.  More to the point, it says that I don't need to envy those who don't fear the Lord.  

I think that's where our focus needs to lie.  Proverbs also says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Fear of the Lord is a big deal in the rest of scripture as well.  So maybe I don't need to focus so much on the judgment from fellow Christians, or the supposed freedom that the sinners have, but on fearing the Lord and living my life in a way that reflects that.

Posted by J.T. Nanney with 0 Comments

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