Service to God

“This is why God chooses people not merely to salvation but to service. Every saved man or woman or child is intended by God as a messenger and worker to make known God’s grace and power to others” (page 19, Baptist Beliefs)

E. Y. Mullins, Baptist Beliefs, 2009 by Judson Press, Valley Forge PA, 1912 by Baptist World Publishing Company, 1925 Judson Press, Revised 1991.

Advertisements

Romans 8:28 NIV – Bible Verse and Reflection

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose.

When we love God we are focused on him; he is the center of our world. We join him in his work; we fulfill His will and his purpose for us.

God is…

These are my reflections from the teachings of a sermon series called God is…

Who is God to me and more importantly how can I grow to know him more fully in order to establish and foster a relationship with him.  During our study we looked at scripture to first glean why it is important to God that we know him.

Jeremiah 9:24(NIV) …but let him who boasts boast about this: that he who understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight, declares the Lord.

We can learn who God is by his own words and how he describes himself. In the earlier verse (v.23) he chides us about our own placement of importance on such things as wisdom, strength and riches. We have a tendency to boast about these things and place them high on the list of how we feel about ourselves and our accomplishments. We decide that being smart and having the money to purchase and use the latest smart phone is important. These things have no value to God; they are not important to him. What is important, God declares, is our knowledge and understanding of him, that we know that he is the Lord. He teaches us in his word that our knowing his attributes, what he does for us, his purpose, his love for us – in all of these he delights.

Another scripture we studied in the God is… series was Isaiah 6:1-3 where Isaiah looked upon the Lord and described him seated on a throne with a robe that filled the whole temple. Seraphs or angels called to one another:

Isaiah 6:3 (NIV) Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty, the whole earth is full of his glory.

We learned that triple repetition of the word holy denotes God’s infinite Holiness; a way to exclaim before there were exclamation marks. Holy is defined in Webster’s dictionay as revered, set apart, awed. The majesty, splendor and grandeur of God is described by Isaiah who is so awed and inspired that he answers God’s question to be the one God sends to deliver his message. Will we be so inspired and not run away from the tasks, the challenges that God puts before us? Will we listen and obey; will we run to him and welcome the relationship offered to us. God’s invitation is clear.

We can learn who God is by exploring how God describes himself. This time we looked at scripture where The Lord asks:

                 Isaiah 40:25 (NIV) “To whom will you compare me?”… and in V.28 Isaiah responds “The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth.”                 

There is none to compare to him. He can name every star by name; he most assuredly knows who we are and wants us to know who he is. He wants us to understand who he is and to develop a relationship with him.  We are to be in awe of his power and his majesty but we also are to be aware of his love, his kindness and his righteousness provided for us the faithful, obedient people he created. God you truly are Awesome, awesome, awesome to me. You are wonderful and to be praised.

Esther 6:1-3

“That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. “

“”What honor and recognition had Mordecai received for this? ” the king asked. “Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered.”

We find the specific purpose of God being fulfilled when Mordecai saved Xerxes life. Although there were no immediate rewards,  the reward came“… at just the right time…” (Romans 5:6).

Could God be waiting for “just the right time” to give you a special blessing?

“Can We Pass Job’s Test?” – Trust – Reprint from 09/29/2011

 

 

When we read the book of Job, we are reminded of Job’s tests and how he responded to them.  Jobs’ tests:  One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “ The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off.  They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking another messenger came and said , “The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking  yet another messenger came and said , “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off.  They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

While he was still speaking another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house.  It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!”

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head.  Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: 

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised.”

In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. (Job 1:13-22)

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head.  Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity?” Curse God and die!”

He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God and not trouble? ”

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

Can we pass Job’s tests? Can God rely on us to offer Him praise when we are going through trials and afflictions? Do we trust God enough to shout in victory before the battle is won?  Scripture teaches us, “ I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble. But take heart I have overcome the world. (John 16:33).

As I re-read the story of Job, I thought about how often I’ve heard Job’s story preached from a pulpit. The focus of the sermon was usually Job’s loss of family, material things, and the instant decline in his health, at the hands of Satan.  It culminated with Job’s restoration only after he prayed for his friends.  I’d like for us to look at the book differently.  Let’s look at Job as God did when he allowed Satan to test him.  Job was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:1).  Satan presented himself to God along with the angels (Job 1:6).  He seems to remind God of who he is and what he does (Job 1:4-7). 

God demonstrated his confidence in Job’s unwavering trust in Him as his provider of temporary things that obviously did not stand up under Satan’s attack.  Satan was utterly defeated and unable to break Job’s faith and trust in his God.

As for Job, these tests had nothing really to do with him; he was just an instrument God chose to use to prove a point to Satan.  Since Job, like us really belong to God; he could be used in any way God saw fit.

Job’s greatest suffering was not his losses; it was his feelings of alienation from God during his trials. Job had to trust the process and wait on God to accomplish His purpose.  What test is God sending you through at this moment?

“Can we pass Job’s tests?”  Are we passing our tests without losing faith in God?

Reverend Glenda Brunson