As Christians we face the challenge, daily, of going out into a hostile world in which we hope to show God’s love by the way that we live. We hope to live the way Jesus showed us according to the scriptures we read and study. We hope that the people of the world will notice God’s work in our work and we hope that we might encourage others to acknowledge God by our example.This quest can seem monumentally difficult if we forget that we can do nothing without God. We must remember that it is not us or our goodness that has the power to conquer people’s hearts. We are merely vessels through whom God can demonstrate his love, his compassion, his forgiveness.
And when we do appear to be successful, and people begin to respond positively, when congregations grow and souls are saved, we must remember to whom the glory belongs.
He has not saved us because we deserved it, he has saved us because he loves us, by his grace. So therefore when ever a soul is saved, the glory is the Lord’s, and only the Lord’s.
Deuteronomy 9:1-6 NLT
“Listen, O Israel! Today you are about to cross the Jordan River to take over the land belonging to nations much greater and more powerful than you. They live in cities with walls that reach to the sky! The people are strong and tall—descendants of the famous Anakite giants. You’ve heard the saying, ‘Who can stand up to the Anakites?’ But recognise today that the Lord your God is the one who will cross over ahead of you like a devouring fire to destroy them. He will subdue them so that you will quickly conquer them and drive them out, just as the Lord has promised. “After the Lord your God has done this for you, don’t say in your hearts, ‘The Lord has given us this land because we are such good people!’ No, it is because of the wickedness of the other nations that he is pushing them out of your way. It is not because you are so good or have such integrity that you are about to occupy their land. The Lord your God will drive these nations out ahead of you only because of their wickedness, and to fulfil the oath he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You must recognise that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land because you are good, for you are not—you are a stubborn people.
I find it terribly hard not to worry about how my basic needs will be met. I often worry about my job prospects or how long it will take to pay off my debts or how I will ever fully understand how to keep my wife happy all the time! I am generally stubbornly negative quite a lot of the time. But since I have been walking in the way of Jesus, I have found that whenever I remember that the Lord will provide and I am not in control of anything, things work out better. When I stubbornly hold on to my worry, my worries mount up, one on top of the other. My goal is to let my worries go. My goal is to surrender to the will of God instead of stubbornly holding on to my worries.
Deuteronomy 9:1-10:22, Luke 8:4-21, Psalms 69:19-36, Proverbs 12:2-3