Deuteronomy 30 A Call To Action July 2007
A call to action!
Two cows were grazing alongside a highway when a tank-truck of milk on its way to the distributor happened to pass. On one side of the truck in big red letters was a sign that read,
"Pasteurized, homogenized, standardized, Vitamin A added."
One cow turned to the other and remarked,
"Makes you feel sort of inadequate, doesn’t it?"
—Something each of us has in common. Every single day... every single moment we make choices.
—What to eat. What to wear. What to say. What to do. How to act.
—You’ve made a thousand choices before you arrived here this morning!
—A choice to argue with your wife. A choice to yell at the kids. A choice to spend some time with the Lord in prayer. Choices.
The choices you make today are the ones you’re going to have to live with tomorrow.
A.W. Tozier said:
The man or woman who is wholly and joyously surrendered to Christ can’t make a wrong choice – any choice will be the right choice.
The Christian life is not difficult.
The same Christ who lived a perfect, obedient, and sinless life stands prepared to live it again through you
(Gal. 2:20). “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith I the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Furthermore, GOD’S will is not hard to discern.
o He has given us the Scriptures, which reveal His will, (GOD WRITTEN REVELATION)
o and He has placed His Holy Spirit within us to guide us to His perfect will in every situation
Our greatest challenge will be to wholly commit our lives to follow God's will obediently as He reveals it.
>>Moses gathered the Israelites around Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim before they were to enter the Promised Land.
--There, God described what they had to do in order to obey Him.
--God gave detailed instructions so there was no mistaking what was expected of them.
--Then God asked them to make a choice.
--If they chose to disobey His commands, they would face His wrath.
--If they chose to obey, they would receive His blessing.
11–14. For this commandment … is not hidden … neither is it far off
—They could not plead ignorance of its existence and requirements.
-- It was not concealed as an impenetrable mystery in heaven, for it had been revealed
The apostle Paul (Ro 10:4-10) has applied this passage to the Gospel, for the law of Christ is substantially the same as that of Moses, only exhibited more clearly in its spiritual nature and extensive application; and, accompanied with the advantages of Gospel grace, it is practicable and easy.
God's Word comes to you in the same way.
Evangelist Fred Brown used three images to describe the purpose of the law. First he likened it to a dentist’s little mirror, which he sticks into the patient’s mouth. With the mirror he can detect any cavities. But he doesn’t drill with it or use it to pull teeth. It can show him the decayed area or other abnormality, but it can’t provide the solution.
Brown then drew another analogy. He said that the law is also like a flashlight. If suddenly at night the lights go out, you use it to guide you down the darkened basement stairs to the electrical box When you point it toward the fuses, it helps you see the one that is burned out. But after you’ve removed the bad fuse, you don’t try to insert the flashlight in its place. You put in a new fuse to restore electricity.
In his third image, Brown likened the law to a plumbline. When a builder wants to check his work, he uses a weighted string to see if it’s true to the vertical. But if he finds that he has made a mistake, he doesn’t use the plumbline to correct it. He gets out his hammer and saw.
The law points out the problem of sin; it doesn’t provide a solution.
CHRIST PROVIDES THE SOLUTION!!
It is not too complex to understand. You don't have to struggle to discern God's will about adultery or forgiveness or honesty. God's Word is perfectly clear.
The question is, how will you respond?
LIVE: spelled backwards is ’evil’.
Today men and women are living their lives backwards and the result is a society with unspeakable evil. Something needs to happen to get us turned around and going back into the right direction
“Every time you are making a choice, you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different than it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with other creatures, and with itself, or else into one that is in a state of war and hatred with God, and with its fellow creatures, and with itself… Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or the other." C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 92.
Q. Why is life important?
A. Because it is a gift from the God who loves you.
He has given all human life dignity.
Q. Why is life important?
A. Because God has created you - and all others in His image, with an innate value. Therefore, you
must treat others with an appropriate dignity of their creation.
Q. Why is life important?
A. Because there is purpose in each life which must be fulfilled. God created you with talents and
abilities that are meant to be shared with the world. …You are not an island, self-sufficient, or independent of others. …..Life has meaning, depth, and value when
you share, interact, love, and care for others.
Q. Why is life important?
A. Life is important because it is a gift from the God who loves you with a deep, caring love. Q. Why is life important?
A. Because God who created you is to be worshiped. God created you for a purpose: to love and worship God, and love and serve each other.
Q. Why is life important?
A. Because life is not an accident: it is a gift
from God. **On the Day of Judgment, God will hold you responsible for whether or not you treated your life
and the lives of others with dignity.
v The story of Jesus on the cross is a record of the price God paid for our victory, our sin and death.
Philip Yancy defines grace as “a gift that costs everything for the giver and nothing for the recipient.”
|Paul spoke of “buffeting his body daily” so he would live a winner for God. He also saw life as a footrace, where he would “finish the course.”|
When a true believer is made aware of any area of his life that is not yielded to Christ, he will yield it.
When he is made aware of a Christian principal to be followed, he will follow it whatever the cost.
Joseph Bayly in Psalms of My Life
Lord of the compost heap you take garbage and turn it into soil good soil for seeds to root and grow with wildest increase flowers to bloom with brilliant beauty. Take all the garbage of my life Lord of the compost heap turn it into soil good soil and then plant seeds to bring forth fruit and beauty in profusion.
"No good tree bears bad fruit...the good person, out of the treasure of her or his heart, produces good,"
The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:43-45)
For no good laundry detergent leaves stains on a shirt collar, nor does an inferior detergent get these stains out; for each product is known by its effectiveness. For cleanliness is not obtained from dirt, nor is softness obtained from industrial cleansers.
The good man out of a character based in ethical principles produces good, and the evil man out of a character based in unethical principles produces evil; for a man's words and actions reveal his true character.
We all know the saying, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Ø We intend to give up those habits that are destructive in our lives.
Ø We intend to spend more time learning about how to pray more fruitfully and how to meditate more effectively.
Ø We intend to be more loving, more sensitive, more compassionate, more present to other persons.
Ø We intend to reexamine our values and our priorities and our whole way of life.
But we're awfully busy. We have so many other things on our minds that we haven't time to follow through on our good intentions.
Again and again He made the point: accepting His teachings was not enough; they had to be acted upon; they had to be applied; they had to be assimilated into our everyday living.
If you don't make up your mind, your unmade mind will unmake you.
In a hundred ways He exhorted His disciples to get on with it. He prodded them to action. "Enter by the narrow gate," He told them.
That was a call to action! "Be like the good healthy tree that bears good fruit," He told them.
When my 4-year-old son, Matthew, was dressing himself for preschool one morning, he chose to wear a pair of underpants with a Fruit of the Loom label inside. "Mommy," he explained to me, "I want to wear these because they have the fruit of the spirit in them!"
The fruit of the Holy Spirit are, it seems to me, largely fruits of sustained interaction with God.
Just as a child picks up traits more or less simply by dwelling in the presence of her parent, so the Christian develops tenderheartedness, compassion, humility, forgiveness, joy, and hope through "the fellowship of the Holy Spirit"
--that is, by dwelling in the presence of God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son
Love, joy, and all that other good stuff are the fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of our efforts. We can't produce them on our own. Period.
***The fruit comes only as we submit our lives and let the Spirit control us.
A woodpecker tapped with his beak against the stem of a tree just as lightning struck the tree and destroyed it. He flew away and said, "I didn't know there was so much power in my beak!"
When we bring the Gospel there is a danger that we will think or say, "I have done a good job." Don't be a silly woodpecker. Know where your strength comes from. It is only the Holy Spirit who can make a message good and fruitful. God's Plan for creation's total enrichment.
Each of us has the opportunity to make a unique contribution to the fulfillment of God's Grand Design.
Each of us has the opportunity to begin to know eternal life now, and to act accordingly.
Each of us has been challenged to make our life story a story of the "Good Life."
From television, from the news and advertising Media, from the whole milieu in which we live, we are receiving an endless assortment of "good life" models to choose from. "This is the 'Good Life'"... "No, this is the 'Good Life'" ... "No, no, this is the 'Good Life'." We hear it all around us. They've even tried to reduce it to a six-pack of beer. ("It doesn't get any better than this," the beer barons hammer away at us.)
**And that's just one of hundreds of examples of "the blind leading the blind,"
*When we open our lives up to the Spirit of God, the ignorance is removed, and we are given the power to know and to see what the "Good Life" really is.
"The fruit of the Spirit," Paul says "is love...joy...peace...patience...endurance...kindness...generosity trustfulness...gentleness...self-control. Paul is telling us that to live the "Good Life" we must cast off all traces of self-centeredness, egoism and pride.
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done", and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done". All that are in Hell choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it.
C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce