2008-04-13 - Daniel
Chapter 12: Part 3 ~ Installment 97 ~ The Final Installment
Unfortunately selfism has, like most other worldly sins, moved into the church. So often we hear people looking for churches based on what they can get, instead of how the Lord wants to use them. - Or we find it difficult to reach out to others, because we have been taught, by society, that we must look out for ourselves first, and then, - if convenient - to help others. Certainly we realize this focus isn't what God intends, but selfism is so ingrained that we tend to respond this way naturally. It is only as we reject the worlds view, and our own fallen nature, that we can move towards the standards God has set for us.
This means all of our relationships need to be based on how would God desire us to respond in specific situations. It means that the Christian walk is living for God - and therefore for others. It means obeying the two great commandments.
"...'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments" (Matthew 22:37-40).
We can do nothing about the future. God's word will be fulfilled as He desires it to be. Anti-Christ will come, though I believe none of us will have to see this period of trial on the Earth. But the spirit of Antichrist is in the land today, and we can do something about this.
First and foremost, we can truly walk as Christ would have us. We can give men the opportunity to at least see the values of the world contrasted with the standards of God. Second, we must recognize there is a time of great suffering coming for those that do not know the Lord, be it in the Tribulation or in the coming judgment. Those around us need to hear the gospel. Our concern can't be striving to avoid making waves with those around us. Our concern must be giving all the opportunity to hear God's word.
Finally, as we reach out to the lost around us, and for that matter those believers who have fallen by the way, we must be in constant prayer. We must remember the lesson we saw a few weeks ago, and that is that our real battle is spiritual. We must pray that the Holy Spirit will open the ears of those to whom we go, and prevent Satan from closing them off to the truth of their need for God.
Our walk and our words must be grounded in prayer, the Scripture and the empowering of the Holy Spirit. And though we won't have any effect of the final fulfillment of that which is to come, we can still be used to influence the lives of those around us. This is our primary purpose in ministry. According to the Westminster Catechism, the chief purpose of man is to glorify God. Our call is to love Him and others, and our command is to make disciples. All else is simply the framework in which we work out this call. We need to examine all we do: work, relationships, child rearing, everything in light of this truth, for it is only as we build for the Lord that we build that which will truly last.
It is the knowledge that we have received the greatest sacrifice, Christ's shed blood, that motivates us to sacrifice for others. And it is the comfort that the Lord is soon coming for us, which will carry us through the struggles that come with serving Him. Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Personal application: May this week be one of glorifying God with our praise, our walk and our testimony.
It may be at morn, when the day is awaking,
Comments or Questions?