Sunday, December 15, 2019

What to expect!

He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 

God never conceals His expectations from us. We never have to guess how we should live. In response to the misguided ways in which people sought to please God, the prophet Micah clearly explained what God does and does not expect. The people asked: Should we come to God with many offerings? Should we bring a thousand rams and ten thousand rivers of oil? Would God be pleased if we gave our firstborn child to Him to express our devotion? (Mic. 6:6–7). Micah's response was straightforward: “He has shown you, O man, what is good.”Micah listed three things God desires. First, He wants us to show justice. The desire to receive justice is not enough. We must also be absolutely just in the way we treat others. If we have given our word, we should keep it with complete integrity. If we have people working for us, we should treat them as fairly as Jesus would. We should act justly in every relationship. Second, we are to love mercy. The knowledge that we have received undeserved mercy from God should motivate us to show mercy to others. We must resist the temptation to retaliate against those who have wronged us, choosing to show them mercy instead. Finally, God requires us to walk humbly with Him. God does not ask us for spectacular acts of service—He asks for humility. At times we try to make the Christian life far more complicated than it is. We avoid confronting what God has clearly told us to do today. If we strive to be completely obedient in the basics, the more complex assignments will become clear. - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

"At times we try to make the Christian life far more complicated than it is." Oh in this one statement I find so much truth.  

Ever notice that Jesus never handed out scrolls to the Disciples when they were called to follow Him?

Ever notice that Jesus didn't have elaborate or long winded lectures that His Disciples had to memorize?

Ever notice?

Ever notice the rest of what Blackaby wrote?  I always struggle with getting things right the first time.  Yet in my walk with God He gave me room to get it right if I would just put forth the effort. 

I am constantly taken back, more so in recent days, to the story circulating online of a factory worker who showed up around noon at a Church.  The Pastor was at first wary of him. Then he heard him pray.  
After that, the Pastor both changed his own prayer life and looked forward to seeing the man.  A day came when he didn't show. Several went by and no sign. He asked about him at the factory and went to the hospital for he was told he was there.  The people there were glad he finally had a visitor. For nobody stopped by that they saw.  But the Pastor found him in excellent spirits.  Asked him why. 
He explained to the Pastor what the people there couldn't know.  Jesus came to visit him every day around noon just as he had on his lunches.  

Jesus never taught us to make the Christian life complicated.  He never taught from a set of complex points of view.  He taught of the life of a believer needing to be like a child.  Where belief lived.  Where trust resides.  Where love and mercy were the center of things.  

In the next several weeks my life likely will get more complicated.  But Jesus has been with me, as I strive to stay near to Him.  I have had many thoughts in I have been taught in my walk with Him debunked.  He has shown me that a relationship is more than a membership. He has shown me more of who I am in Him.  He is teaching me who I am and to whom I belong.  I have been taught to look beyond ruled set by man in Churches.  To not put the Holy Spirit in a box.  No box can contain the power to resurrect the dead, let alone create the Universe.  People who say you must use a specific translation or must do certain things beyond Baptism that are not in God's Word are missing it all.  They are living a life that is devoid of the real truth of God. 

I have seen God do too much to believe in that kind of box.  I will say that the only key requirement in regards to Scripture is the original 66 books of the Bible.  I will not entertain for even a moment the Apocryphal books.  I want the Word of God in my heart, the Word that has been protected by the Spirit for 2,000 years plus.  That Word is indeed available in many translations but no where is it written in the beginning, middle, or end that THAT particular version is the one true version. 

Jesus said that the Helper to come, the Holy Spirit, would teach us all things.  The only textbook is the Bible.  

Are you living in a relationship with Jesus or trying to live two lives?  Going for weekend visits with Him and doing what you want the rest of the time?

I read a few commentaries to stir my mind, I do not read them to add to the Bible nor to take away.  Many Pastors and speakers stir up your mind when you listen to them.  Scripture says to examine what they say to see if it is so. Seek out the Spirit for teaching and guidance.  Scripture says that if any man lacks wisdom he is to ask of God, who gives it freely.  Do you both to ask? Are you challenged or entertained at Church?

Do you talk with Jesus or are you delivering a grocery list?  Is He your friend or your employee?  Think hard on that one.  Do you have personal barriers between your Savior and you?  If so, why?
You're life is hidden with Christ.  It no longer belongs to you.  Are you deep into things that the Bible warns you to avoid? Have you even looked to check?  Ignorance isn't bliss.  Ignorance is no excuse.  It means hard lessons are to come. 

Think about your life and where you really are with Jesus.  Think about what drives you, what motivates you. What gets you excited.   If it's things of this world you have a problem.  If you aren't interested in a close relationship with Jesus you have a very big problem.  He died to take your place.  Isn't that worth anything to you?

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