WHAT DOES GOD WANT US TO DO?
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I am confident that we would all like to do whatever it is that pleases God.
- We desperately want to do what is right even though we are tempted with what is wrong
- Our heritage (Restoration, Churches of Christ) aimed at restoring the ancient order of things. The idea was that doing things the right way, we would not only be pleasing to God but we would also create a set of basic Christian practices that everyone could agree with. Later, some called these practices the identifying marks of the church in other words, the church that gets it right.
- I have been my the side of the dying and they want to know that they have done enough to please God they want to know, Did I do what I was supposed to?
- I have had people ask my advice about doing Gods will they wanted to know, What am I supposed to do?
- I have been a part of studies, especially on difficult Scriptures or controversial subjects, and inevitably someone says what we are all thinking: Oh, I wish God had made this one plain as day! Just say right out HERE IS WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO!
I would like to show you some of those plain statements over the next few weeks. But first, I want to make sure you hear it the right way:
- You can do nothing to save yourself You are saved by God, through Christ Jesus.
- What we do is both a response to what God has done/is doing and putting our faith in practice.
- Through Christ we are justified and sanctified We are saved and being saved (made holy) [Youre a saint!]
These practices are very reliable marks (characteristics) of Gods people of Christians, of his church.
Micah 6 Background and reading
- Gods case against Israel
- The people want in to worship God and ask: What shall we do? How can we enter your temple? Your sanctuary?
- They bargain: They offer sacrifices of increasing seriousness. They have a fix it mentality. A pay-off mentality. A by the book, policy and procedure mentality. Theres only desperation and worry in this type of worship. They are mixing up the right antidote to keep the God-monster appeased and missing out on what God wants ...
God asks of you the following
- It really isnt that hard to figure out
- It shouldnt be a secret
- Its what God has always wanted
- Here it is plain as day - "HERE IS WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO!
- Do (Make) Justice.
- Love mercy: Chesed = loving kindness. Loyalty. Steadfast Love of the Lord. Showing Care. Hope and Healing.
- Do we want this as much as God does. Do we love it like God does?
- Do we love mercy as much as Christ does?
- While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"
- On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
- If we are more focused on sacrifice then we are going to condemn the innocent (Matthew 12). When we are so mechanical and duty-bound to keep the rules that we neglect mercy, the innocent are too often the sacrificed.
- How merciful is sacrifice? Sacrifice allows us to ignore the need to be kind to others.
- God wants you to learn what it means to desire mercy loving kindness. Get this other commission right and the great commission will follow.
- Too many people have left Gods way because we have loved sacrifice more than mercy!
- Walk humbly with your God.
- Halakah is derived from the Hebrew halakh, which means "to walk" or "to go"; the best translation is not "law", but rather "the way to go".
- Walking is ethics. It is how we live. We cannot separate belief and faith from the way we live. We live in response to what God has done for us and what he is doing through us
- What were the disciples called in Acts? The Way!
Follow Jesus Walk with Him.
Says God, Of all those who have ever lived, no one does justice, loves kindness, and walks with me better than my son Jesus. I am very pleased with Him, so follow in His footsteps and you will do well.
- (Credit for this Quote goes to an excellent sermon on this text by David Fleer at the Rochester Seminar for Preaching)
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 11 April 2010
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