legalism vs. Christianity; law vs. grace. We’ve come to believe in God by faith, but do we act like legalists when it comes to keeping a relationship with God? Some will say that if they don’t “behave” and do all the right things, then God is mad with them. That’s not in the Bible. God’s grace is big enough for all of us sinners. However, it is only after discovering our sin that we need a Savior to work out good things in our lives. God’s love compels us to obey and serve Him, not to bicker and devour one another with the law.
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God doesn’t exist to serve us, we exist to serve God. God is not a short-order cook, granting our every wish. God is more sovereign, more good, more loving and His ways are higher than our ways. When we begin to understand that God’s love will never fail, and God’s presence is always with us, we learn to trust in His glorious power and sovereign will for our lives. Don’t let circumstances sway your view of a Holy God.
We are born with a sinful, selfish mindset… Me first. It takes a relationship with God, through Jesus, to be more generous and giving in life. When you encounter the living God, you grow in faith and in awareness of others, so much so, that you want to give to others, more than receive from them. What kind of mindset do you have? Are you stingy and selfish, or thoughtful and generous with your giving? We want to grow in God and become generous like his Son, Jesus Christ. This happens when we let the Spirit of God lead our lives and lean more into Godly living.
Jesus tells us to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow him. We like the following part, but find it harder to do the “deny ourselves” part. Sometimes when we give of our time to others and serve them, we reap a reward of God’s blessing. We walk with God to learn how to give more service away and honor God by blessing others.
We are in a series on the Heroes of the Faith in Hebrews 11, and the author of Hebrews names the prophets as heroes of faith. We wanted to cover what the prophetic books were about in relation to today’s culture. If you were asked to speak for God as a prophet to your culture, what would you say? Would you have a message of love for today’s generation of people? How can you help people grow in their faith with God, today? What message would you give?
Samuel the young boy, is beckoned by the LORD, to hear his voice. The priest, Eli, tells young Samuel to say to the LORD, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” Can you say that in your own life? Do you listen when the LORD speaks to you? How do you show character and faith in God when God wants to say something to you? God is loving, gracious and kind. He wants to speak with you and wants you to listen. Are you listening?
Jephthah was given the power of the Holy Spirit by God, to win a battle against the Ammonites. After receiving the power of God, he turns and makes a deal with God, that whatever comes out the door when he returns from battle, he will give to God as a burnt offering. This is the worst kind of deal to make with God. Who should come out of his front door, but his daughter. God isn’t looking for you to make deals, God is looking for your faithful obedience. God wants you to remain faithful to Him, He doesn’t want to bargain for our stuff.