Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It Is Just A Reasonable Service

He began by reading Rom 11:30 (to the end.)  It reads, "For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.  

O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!  For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen." 

Then the man read on into Romans 12. It says:
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 
This man's message to the church that had gathered that day in 2009, was about how we must always remember God's mercy and grace towards us, especially in the Christian life. (This will help us extends God's mercy and grace towards others.) He talked about the need for what he called,  "true transformation" (of being "born again")  and how this comes only by submitting ourselves, our minds.. our hearts..our bodies, to God in Christ..  He called it being....becoming ." a living" sacrifice."

Thinking of sacrifices... living sacrifices....

I have a friend (more than one in particular, and friends,both male and female) who sacrifices a lot of herself (himself) to give to others... She (He)  gives so much of herself (himself) that this person is y are always doing things that are "good" for others.  I think this is great.  It is exactly what God, in Jesus Christ, did for us. Some would fault my friend for this, tell her to be more concerned with herself... "take care of number one.."and  encourage her to "stop letting people walk all over her;" but truth is, this sacrifice on her part is not done not out of selfish ambition, but out of love; and because she loves, she makes these sacrifices that she does.  It is just the way it is... her nature.  It is her m"reasonable service," (at least in her... and his, mind.)
There is a problem though.  This is that she is running out of resources and has any problems of her own. Like the woman in John Chapter 4.... she keeps going to the well, but one day because it is only water, the well will be dry.. empty.. there will be nothing she can do to help.  Like the woman at the well, my friend has not yet drunken the living water of the savior... Jesus Christ.  I pray for her.(and for "him" too) I pray for this family,trusting that like the woman at the well, she will meet JEsus and thirst for the water which he gives. 
But I digress....
There is, no doubt, something special  about  "loving others as yourself" loving other people, sharing money with other people, taking care of them and their needs and doing good to help them in their time of need... but what about God.. is there anything we can give to him?  IS there anything we can give him that he has not given to us?  I believe this is what this means about being a living sacrifice to God?  Somethings are just a "reasonable service."  Even hard things are not too great of a burden when we do them out of love. but for us humans, not God, our love has limits, even limits completely out of our own control.

A lot of times we think we are God and can "save" people, and maybe "we can, " but it's only temporal at best AND it's only as long as we have resources that do not run dry on us, (like money) but if our resources to "save them"   run out, we can no longer help them, let alone, help ourselves.  This is when despair can easily set in. The thing about despair is that usually it waits until you are at what you believe is the very end then comes defeat.  Without hope, and without love,  it's easy to stop caring..and looking out only for yourself.
Thank God that despair has a counterbalance... hope.
We as Christians have a greater hope in God our Savior...who redeems our life from the pit and who is our very present help in time of need....   limitless, boundless and all wise and all knowing too.  What a mighty God we serve.... and reasonably so, I might add. a I think it's something only somewhat understood by the saints of God.

The guest speaker, after talking about being born again...explained the importance of hearing from God, not simply to be filled with information, but to become that "living sacrifice," holy and acceptable to God.  He encouraged all the people to actually live out the truth of the information contained in the book  in our daily lives. He said we must be willing to put into practice what we hear and know to be true and right and good. He exhorted the non-Christians there that day to renew their minds and hearts and to be transformed by God's promises, and to Christians by the reading of  his Word, the Bible....listening to God's promises and to be conformed to these things, not to the ways of the world.

Not being conformed to the ways of the world, really does depend on believing God. 

Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."
(John 14:1)

PART TWO-Some afterthought.:

"Do you believe in God?"

Do you? 

I do.

Think about creation...

Think about the world and life on Earth; how did life begin?  What do you believe?  Why?

Like black and white. the universal yin yang thing, some say it is pure chance circumstance, an accident,others say it was an orderly mindful act of God.  We are all kinda living in the gray... that place where there is a lot of grace and a lot of justice too and injustice too.  The point is that somehow, in some way, life emerged here on planet Earth and we just make our best guess now.... We keep records of things we believe about such things... all down throughout our history of humanity on earth up till this very day.  wondering if things are really that black and white after all.

I joke a little as I say this, but I  figure that it's the Big Bang theory either way.  Either God is God and true, or God is not real, which would mean that there is no such things as miracles.  IF one does not believe in God, then they believe that  there was a big  "BANG," somewhere in some nothingness which collided, from which something never seen anywhere before suddenly emerged (with a "bang" of an arrival and "oops")  there was  an orderly beautiful marvelous and ever-expanding, living, breathing, moving universe which no one or nothing could get credit for but it had suddenly appeared to be seen by human eyes and THIS for no particular rhyme or reason...just merely shear luck and coincidence, if you will.)  In this understanding of how it came to be, once your dead and buried, you can rest assured, life, your life in particular was meaningless  and basically for naught.  

Of course, there is the belief in God....which takes it's many forms, the most reasonable being that once in time... maybe even before time began and there was nothing but eternity, God spoke light into the dark, and created things carefully one by one and with great care and consideration of what it would be like when he was done.  This being the case in point, maybe he said "Bang" and "Whalla!"...it was so.  We read in the Bible how God spent hours, days... almost a whole week, laboring,on the project of setting the stars in the heavens,and creating things like sea and sky and animals, even mankind to inhabit a place called earth.  One way,  or the other....something came from nothing.  Both are, let's say, "big bang" views...( in my humor-ating opinion regarding BANGS and what they be...) and these two views, wildly opposed, cannot both be "true."  One says there is a God who created everything in the beginning and the other says now way, it is merely random chance. 

The Bible says that it was God... who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,who merely spoke the word and things were so.  Not only that, He has made us upright as human beings, with ability to think and reason, to create and procreate,  even to use our miraculous little thumbs!  I note too that we are not human strivings, or human doings.. but human beings.  HE wanted us to "be" with him and be one with him, (not separated, now by sin.... ultimately by death)  to love one another and get along.  After all we were, the Bible says, made in His image...

If you believe in God, you can see and trust that He has endowed mankind with many gifts and abilities...love (and hate)  reason (and mental incapacity,) logic (and stupidity.) We learn right from wrong.. left from right, up from down and then some, trying to live our lives and somehow to make sense of it all. You might say that despite our weaknesses, greed, envy, hate, jealousy, pride, ect...  we have strengths.  

Despite our now fallen nature, we have abilities, and we think even our own abilities to problem sove the problems of our world.  We think we are wise.  But the most important thing God has given mankind is wisdom.... (think of Solomon,)  and we have two kinds of wisdom that speak into our ears... man's and God's. 

God's wisdom,  believe it if you will, has been passed on to us from the apostles and saints and prophets who were used by God to speak true wisdom unto every man.  Yes, these men, understood the wisdom.  They saw and knew the light of God, the light of the world itself and they spoke of the true and living God.... that they knew up-close and personal, for these men got a glimpse when they saw it living and breathing in the face of the man, Jesus, the  Christ.the holy one of God.

Now, there's a story that has permeated societies and all the world for ages. Jesus is the ultimate and the unlimited  resource we humans need.  He is the true living water for thirsty souls.  It is the salvation that comes by faith in Jesus Christ that give us life... true, good and eternal life. 

 I think about how awesome it is that men and women.who have believed in Jesus down through the centuries of life on earth, have looked to Jesus and how it is that they want to know this person, the things he said and did.  Like sunflowers,
faces following the sun as it passes over the sky their eyes on on Jesus.  But unlike flowers, men walk and move about.... doing the things that men and women do.  It is these SONflowers, as it were, who, in the light of God, bring him glory. Through them they will hear and see and know, the good news of Gods grace and mercy....and promsies to us.

These are those saints of God most high who know him and love him, not because they are so holy in and of themselves.  This is not the gospel.  You see, Christians are sinners... saved by grace.  They love God because he first loved them... and sent his Son as an anotining sacrifice. 

Because of God's love.... these are those who may be troubled on every side, yet not distressed;
       Who may find themselves perplexed, but will not be in despair;
                   They may even be persecuted,
                                             but they know that they will not be forsaken;
                                                                         because Jesus lives...
Because he rose again according to the scriptures...

God is God and as God He keeps his promises. 

Considering God made the earth and everything in it, considering he is so good, so full of love and care that he would die in our place to draw us to him when our earthly lives were through.... trusting God with all of our being, (heart, mind and strength of being....) is, after all, but our reasonable service.

Streams of Living Water Flowing

No comments:

Post a Comment