What should a mature Christian life look like? Is it the things we do, like going to church or reading our Bible? Is it the “big sins” we don’t do, like getting drunk or stealing? What did Paul mean when he said, “walk worthy of the calling with which you have been called” (Eph. 4.1)?
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Isaiah 55 & 56:
Spending wages for what does not satisfy
These have to be two of the most glorious chapters in all of the Old Testament! We see that God’s offer of salvation is for all who will come to Him, believe, and accept His gracious free gift. Ethnicity and race don’t matter, physical condition doesn’t matter, all can come!
Yet we so often keep God at arm’s length, not wanting to give up what we perceive as better—our freedom to live life our way, to experience what the world has to offer—and only discover after much grief and heartache that we have spent “money for what is not bread, and wages for what does not satisfy.” Continue reading →
As we saw yesterday God had done wondrous things through Asa as he worshiped and trusted in Him. After a great military victory over the Ethiopians, God sent the prophet Azariah to encourage him. His prophecy ended with these words, “… be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!” (2 Chron. 15.7).
Then God was with him as he called the people to repentance and removed his own mother from power because of her idolatry. And God blessed his reign for 35 years. But he began to decline in his relationship with God. Most likely he quit praying and seeking God. He quit listening to godly counsel and even threw Hanani the seer in prison for giving him God’s message. And instead of trusting in God, he relied on a pagan king to deliver him from trouble.
It seems so foolish from our historical perspective, but we often do the same thing. When we’re in a desperate situation, whether financially or medically or in some other way, we pray and seek the Lord. But when God blesses us with a better financial situation, good health, medical insurance, or greater wisdom and maturity, we start handling things on our own. It’s not that we shouldn’t take care of our financial responsibilities or utilize our insurance, etc., but our ultimate trust must be in God and not in our ability to “handle things.” It’s no wonder God puts us in desperate situations over and over. For many of us it’s the only time we seek Him. Continue reading →
Chapter 11 contains all the dietary restrictions God set for Israel. They were being taught to obey God in the daily details of life. That’s a tremendous truth for us, as well.
In Luke 16.10 Jesus is talking about how we use our resources, but the principle is the same. He said, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.” If we’re not faithful in the little details of life, we won’t be faithful in the big things.
Would there be enough evidence?
Another thing these dietary laws served to do was to help them, and us, understand that as believers in the One True God, we are to be different, set apart from the world around us. Those around us should see a difference in us. Someone posed the question, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Continue reading →