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Archive for the tag “walk in God’s ways”

Is this what happened to the Anglo church in America?

Deuteronomy 8 speaks to America’s comfortable Christians by what the Lord said to Israel after bringing the people to the good land:

— God led the people through a great and terrifying wilderness experience, where they often were hungry. Yet he provided for them and brought them into a wealthy land. (vv.15,7-9)

— God’s purpose in the trial was to humble the people and test their character to find out whether they would obey his commands. (v.2)

— When the people arrived in the good land, they were encouraged to praise God and never say to themselves that they had achieved such wealth by their own strength. They were to remember the Lord is the one who gives them the power to succeed. (vv.10,17-18)

— But the Lord warned them to be careful: “Beware that in your plenty you do not become proud and forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands ….” (v.11,14)

— And the Lord explained what happens to the proud: if you refuse to obey the Lord your God, if you forget the Lord your God and follow other gods, you will certainly be destroyed. (vv.19-20)

— God’s people, then, were called to obey the Lord’s commands “by walking in his ways and fearing him.” (v.6)

The Anglo church in America became wealthy, by God’s grace. We began to believe we had done it in our own strength. We began to worship the gods of our Egypt and forgot the Lord who gave us the strength by which we succeeded. We focused so much on the love of God that we forgot his fearsome majesty and blazing holiness. We no longer have any idea what it means to walk in God’s ways and to fear him. And all the organizations we have built, all the programs we have designed — everything teeters on the brink of collapse.

Our preachers call for repentance, and certainly we need to repent, but we need more than that. We need to recover the healthy fear of God and learn once again how to walk in his ways. We need not just repentance but also to learn how to produce the fruit that goes with repentance. (Matthew 21.33-43)

We need a revival of making disciples who obey their Lord by doing justice, loving mercy, and walking in humility before Almighty God. The Lord is going to destroy everything else.

More than verbal witness, more than spiritual rebirth

feeding hungry man

Mark Kelly writes at kainos:

Presenting the Gospel is more than a verbal witness. People who know nothing of Jesus will understand when, in the power of God’s Spirit,  we do three things: tell the message, live like God’s children, and allow God to work through us to do his miraculous work in their lives. …

[You have] “fully presented the Good News of Jesus Christ” [when you are] living the Gospel before lost souls and cooperating with God’s desire to perform miraculous works of healing and restoration in their lives. You are called to live before others in a way that demonstrates both that you love God with “all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” and that you love your neighbor the way you love yourself. (Mark 12:28-34) You are called to demonstrate how to live in a way that honors God, in every aspect of daily life — to teach God’s ways to sinners, so they can turn to him and be saved. (Psalm 51:13) You are called to bring the power of God to bear on their brokenness so they can be healed and be made whole.

The Bible does more than tell us how to be born again; it also is full of teaching about how God intends us to live our lives. From the law of Moses, to the books of wisdom, to the teaching of Jesus, to the letters of the apostles, God’s Word speaks to us about many practical issues of daily life: how we work, use our money, raise our children, help people in need, stay healthy, and so on. The Scripture tells us story after story about God’s love for people that is so strong it can heal the sick, give sight to the bind, make the lame walk, set free captives held by the devil himself, even bring the dead back to life.

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