Alas, sinful nation, A people laden with iniquity, A brood of evildoers, Children who are corrupters! They have forsaken the Lord, They have provoked to anger The Holy One of Israel, They have turned away backward.- Isaiah 1:4 (NKJV)
God shared a vision from above. God revealed His vision of Israel with His prophet. He showed Isaiah exactly what He thought of this “sinful nation.”
How the faithful city has become a harlot!…- Isaiah 1:21
For Jerusalem stumbled,
And Judah is fallen,
Because their tongue and their doings
Are against the Lord,
To provoke the eyes of His glory.
– Isaiah 3:8
And so it shall be:
Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench;
Instead of a sash, a rope;
Instead of well-set hair, baldness;
Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth;
And branding instead of beauty.
– Isaiah 3:24
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!
– Isaiah 4:20-21
What is the view from above today? Does God look down upon us and smile pleasantly as we sit passively and await change to come about by osmosis? Is God delighted as we watch and sit by silently as man and woman go on with earthly merriment and continue to move towards eternal damnation?
Imagine if God were to grant a vision to those who lead the body of Christ today. Just think it over for a moment. Let the thought of God’s view from above sink into your mind, heart and spirit. Thoroughly think through and over what words might fall from heaven as the Lord describes His views of the Christians on earth below. Let your thoughts wander to the multiple metaphors and various visual images God’s words would conjure up in your mind.
Just take a moment and imagine the view from above.
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11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. – Titus 2:11-14 (NKJV)
Good works are to be part of the Christian church’s DNA. Paul stressed that to Titus, his “true son” in the ministry of sharing the Good News, as he instructed him about establishing elders and setting things in order in Crete. Paul instructs Titus, as the appointed pastor over the Cretan believers, to show himself as a pattern of good works. The people are to learn to become zealous for good works as the Lord’s “special people” by following after the Lord’s example and the example set by their spiritual leaders in the name of the Lord. The people have to hear about it by sound doctrine and they have to see it by demonstration. The church becomes more engaged with good works due to what the Lord showed and shared with the world over 2,000 years ago and what the pastor shows and shares with the congregation as the spiritual leader day by day.
We are not to simply sign up and show up for opportunities to do good works. That’s not the essence of the message from Paul to Titus. We are to become “zealous for good works,” according to Titus 2:14, demonstrating a fervent spirit for our calling to do good works in accordance with Ephesians 2:10. Paul stresses that godly people should not only “be ready for every good work,” as in Titus 3;1, but also learn to “maintain good works” in Titus 3:8, 14. According to Titus 3:14, our good works lead to our fruitfulness as we meet urgent needs.
- Is your ministry demonstrating a “pattern of good works?”
- What sort of trail are you leaving behind? Good works and good fruit?
- Are others learning to minister to others based upon the example that you are providing?
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works – Hebrews 10:24 (ESV)
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Posted in change, choices, Christianity, connected, encouragement, example, exhortation, faith, growth, inspiration, instruction, Jesus, new nature, salvation, solutions, teaching, trust on June 15, 2010|
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Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.Philippians 2:5 (NKJV)
It’s all in your mind. What makes a difference is already within you, if you believe in Christ as your Savior, but what may be holding it up, what may be blocking it from becoming your way of life, may also exist within you, too. It may be what’s in your mind.
God wants you to have the mind of Christ. God wants your thought process to change. He wants your thoughts to mirror the thoughts of Jesus. He wants your mind to operate like the mind of Christ. The New Century Version says that we should “think and act like Christ.”
Yet, a lot can clutter our mind, especially in this “information age.” We are so connected these days through Facebook, IM, Twitter, Gmail, and other means that we can often grow disconnected to the serious business of being a Christian. We can easily lose our way and find ourselves thriving in worldly success and failing at faith.
God is calling you to be like Christ. He wants you to become like the Son. He is not asking you to be Christ. He is not asking you to die on the cross for the sins of the world. He is not expecting you to be Christ, but He does expect you to be like Christ.
We should embody the very essence of Christ’s being, starting with a change within us that manifests through our actions and interactions, even our words. Yes, we were created in His image at Creation, but we have not been transformed into “new creations” until we accept and embrace being changed by Him to become like Him.
For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
John 13:15 (NKJV)
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