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Archive for the ‘commandments’ Category

“More people are coming to Christ now than at any other time in history.” – Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Church

The church has a real responsibility.  It is revealed in the Word of God.  It is real work.  It amounts to the work of people.  People make up the church.  Therefore, the work of the church has plenty to do with the people who come into the church and are touched by the church.

The church has a responsibility to the Lord for how it handles people.  Its ultimate responsibility is to answer to the Lord and His commands of them.  It represents the Lord on this earth.  Its works shed light into the darkness of this world and offers mankind a reason to glorify God the Father in heaven.

The church is called to reach people.  We reach people with people and through people.  We do the work that touches people and impact lives on this side of heaven.

The church is called to receive people.  The Lord adds to the church.  That part is on Him, but we have a responsibility, too.  We are to serve as wise stewards over what He provides for us.  We need to handle what (and who) God gives to us in a manner that blesses God.

“Jesus commanded us to make disciples.” – Ted Haggard

“People need to feel needed.” – Myron Rush

“God has ordained the church as a place of truth.” – Bob Russell

“Ministry is a marathon.” – Rick Warren

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5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. 6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. – Nehemiah 8:5-6 (ESV)

The people of God were in some bad shape.  In fact, the people of God were in real bad shape when it came to the Word of God.  They had strayed from God and His commandments and it cost them dearlyThings were not going well for them economically, socially or spiritually. Yes, the walls and gates had been rebuilt, but the people of God were in need of reconstructing their own spiritual lives. 

Nehemiah chapter 8 begins to unfold their journey towards rebuilding their spiritual lives.  In order to rebuild your spiritual life, you are going to need some connection to God and His Word.  The psalmist clearly states that his own affliction and troubles were for his own good since they caused him to go to God’s WordJeremiah’s lamenting leads to his praise and thankfulness for God’s new mercies and His faithfulness despite our fickleness.  What we learn about getting spiritually straight is that His Word lays the foundation upon which we need to build the change.

The Word will set the stage for the following three things in succession:

 

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It is good for me that I was afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.
– Ps. 119:71 (NASB)

 Trouble comes your way.  You may not have done anything in particular.  Trouble found its way to you and now you have to deal with it.  That’s part of how things go down in life.  You may or may not be the cause of your trouble, but it’s right there in your face with your name on it in bold.

The writer of this psalm helps to understand how some people have to be broken down in order to be built up.  Some have to be humbled before they are ready to accept help.  Others  have to be hindered in order to just stop where they are and see that they are in need of help.  In other cases, some folks have to be hurt before they can ever be ready to receive anything that resembles help.  You may not have experienced all of these different changes before God stepped in on your behalf, but I would suspect that you have at least experienced one of them.  Let’s be honest about that.

The issue isn’t whether you had to experience any of these.  The true burning issue is whether you learned the lesson or not.  The psalmist said that his affliction provided an opportunity to learn God’s statutes, His decrees, His Law.  We are not told whether he went into deep, secluded personal Bible study and devotional time during this period or whether he meditated on what he could recall of the Law of the Lord, but it does say that he learned God’s statutes at this point due to being afflicted.  Did you learn your lesson? Did it drive you to seek out His Word? Did it lead you to Him? Check the record today.

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The church has a duty to both God and its people. The church must honor and give glory to God. That is simple. Most people won’t argue with that one. Yet, the church also has a duty to its people. The church must teach and train its people. Look at Ephesians 4:11-12, 13. we’ve been put into position for a distinct purpose,”for the perfecting of the saints.”
We should teach and train our people. We need to teach our people the principles that come from the Word of God. Many will call them the statutes or tenets of our faith. however you would call or name them, these principles should be taught to the people by leaders and teachers within the church. Then, we must train our people in the practices of our faith. Teaching tends to fall by the wayside when we fail to follow it up with training. The teaching sounds good but does us no good because we have not applied it to our own lives through daily practices of life application. the two go hand in hand. wemust teach and train our people to put the principles into practice throughout their daily lives.

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Have you ever read Malachi? No, I mean have you really taken the time to read and understand the issues that came up and went down during this last Old Testament book of the Bible? What you see is the people’s frustration with the church officials and the church’s corruption along with the people’s resolution, and then God has to step in between them both to settle the matter.  God puts it down and states His case, and that’s that.  That’s final.  No need to question it or ask about it.  God said it and it’s over and done with for real.  Then, all of a sudden, God stops speaking.  It’s hundreds of years before we get another word from God.  Prophets no longer prophesise of coming events and the man of God doesn’t seem to carry that special quality of the Word of God.  All of a sudden it is chic to quote the Scriptures since nothing new is being said.  Suddenly, there is birthed a new reliance upon the prophet’s word about the Messiah.  Almost overnight, Moses, Joel, David, Isaiah, and Jonah become biblical superstars in the darkest of times because God is no longer speaking to His chosen people.  It is as if the people had to move beyond the silence in order to discover what God had really meant for them to hear and understand all of those prior generations.  It’s a shame what we do that causes God to use extreme meausres, even silence for hundreds of years.

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“God is the Potter; we are His clay.” – Charles Swindoll
Isaiah 64:8; Romans 9:20-21

The Bible makes a clear distinctionbetween that which is created and the Creator Himself. God is the self-existing, creative force that spoke and light shined, life came into being, and He saw that it was good. What is troubling is when that which is created seems to forget that it is under the power of the Creator. God created us with a free will, the ability to choose and make decisions for ourselves, and it is that very free will that brings about challenges with our own thoughts and intensions versus the ways of the Lord. We are to submit to the Lord’s will, not our own. We are to pray that our heart’s desires and wishes match up with the Lord’s will. It is by keeping within His will that we stay close to the Creator. Pray daily that your footsteps are along the path that the Lord has set for you that day.
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Thou art near, O Lord; and all thy commandments are truth.– Psalm 119:151 (KJV)

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“The aim of good works is that God may be glorified.”- Andrew Murray

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