God at Work
I have seen signs dotted all over our landscape wherever men were working building buildings or repairing roads like, “CAUTION: MEN AT WORK.” From the first chapter of the Holy Scripture it is clear GOD WORKS. It was God who created and gave harmony to the world according to Genesis Chapter One. When God spoke, things took shape. The story of the Exodus magnifies God’s mighty power and shows there is no one like Him. Egypt had a host of so-called “gods,” but Creator God stands alone. The demonstration of God’s power to produce chaos in the land of Egypt and then restore things to order demonstrates the Almighty’s power.
I am so thankful for the many different ways God is working in our fellowship. We should rejoice in the fact GOD IS AT WORK. We as a church family are so blessed to put the Lord on in baptism and start walking in the light of God’s grace (1 John 1:7). The spiritual enemy who wars against God and His people is always trying to convince us God is not at work and He doesn’t care about us. These are foolish positions to take, but Satan has been somewhat successful with some people. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Hebrews 7:25 - Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.
God is Rich in Mercy
1 Timothy 1:13-14, Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. As believers we must never lose sight of the fact that we do not deserve mercy (Ephesians 2:1-5). The Apostle Paul plainly admitted he was no better than anyone else. In fact, he called himself the “chief of sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).
Paul’s life had been touched by mercy and grace, both of which he did not deserve, nor do we. This truth alone, gives us a foundational reason to show mercy and be gracious. Jesus said, Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy (Matthew 5:7). Grace and mercy are often linked together in the scriptures and when they are peace is always nearby. Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love (2 John 1:3). The Christian life is not about judging, condemning, and looking down on others. It is about loving others and following a God who is willing to extend grace and mercy to people who do not deserve it. His mercy towards us requires something of us. Micah 6:8b, And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
The Danger of Leaning Towards the World
When I was a young boy I played as much baseball as possible. All my friends played baseball because it was fun and cheap entertainment. All you needed to play was a glove, a ball and a bat. We could make or find something that could be designated as bases. I also watched a lot of baseball on television in those days. Lou Brock was one player that especially fascinated me because he was so fast at running the bases. Lou Brock’s name became synonymous with stealing bases. He had stealing bases down to a science. Pitchers were always trying to pick Lou off base because he would take such large leads prior to stealing the base. You may know that the pitcher out of the corner of his eye, tries to see how far the runner is off of the base. He is especially looking to see which way the runner is leaning. The key for the pitcher to pick off a base runner is to throw to the base when the runner is leaning in the opposite direction. That is similar to the way Satan tries to get at us. Let us be careful which way we are leaning. There are only two ways to lean, we are either leaning towards the world or toward Jesus. When we have our spiritual armor in place, we are not simply leaning on Jesus we are standing with Jesus and His Word.
The Promise of LIfe in Christ
There is a little phrase found in 2 Timothy Chapter 1:1 that I absolutely appreciate. The phrase uplifts our souls and helps us experience a spiritual freshness. The phrase is found in the KJV, NKJV, ESV, NIV, and the NASB reads this way: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus. The promise of life is what it is all about! The promise of life is at the forefront of Paul’s thinking as he writes his second letter to Timothy around A.D. 67. This great soldier of Christ is sitting in a Roman prison and will soon be executed for his faith, yet he still maintained his passionate heart for God.
We might ask what does a passionate heart for God look like? Here is the short answer. Passionate hearts ruled by God will always desire to please God and keep His Word. A passionate heart will always be in pursuit of eternal things. It is the heart that will be a faithful steward of God’s Word till the very end. The passionate heart for God is a beneficiary of the promise of life and thus desires to serve God till it takes its last beat. A passionate heart motivates us to love – God’s way – till our last day on earth! Remember God doesn’t only want us to have a passionate heart for Him; He has a passionate heart for us, (John 3:16).