Sunday, 14 June 2009

A Living Faith #10: Our manner of Life #2


Our Manner of Life

 
Having explored in some measure a broad overview of some of the attributes of character that disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must develop if they are to truly be his disciples, it is time to draw our thoughts towards a conclusion. Jesus in his prayer as recorded in John 17 has this to say:

“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 

This sums up the crux of the matter. The whole purpose of life is not to have existence for the sake of living, but rather that the created order of things fulfils the purpose of its creation. The purpose of Yahweh was not that we should have life merely to exist, but that we, as created beings, give Him pleasure by reflecting His Divine Glory. Yahweh has graciously extended His love toward you and me; He has invited us to be part of His great divine family. Because of our response by accepting baptism and becoming ‘in Christ’ we have been adopted into that divine household. Adoption has brought many joys, many privileges, many hopes, but also an immense responsibility. 

The wise man wrote:

“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come... .. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13-14

Now is the time of opportunity. Now is the time to seek Yahweh. Now is the time to keep His commandments. The commandments govern and guide all aspects of daily life and continuing the line of thought about personalising those commandments some areas to examine could be:

         My place in the Body of Christ and my Ecclesia.
         My private and public worship.
         My relationships with my brethren and sisters. What is true fellowship?
         My relationships within my work and with other people in general.
         My character and behaviour

All things are open to the sight of Him who created us, it is easy to deceive oneself but Yahweh sees all, our every thought and action is known to Him. He knows our frame, He knows our sorrows and joys, our motives are laid bare before Him. Our love may be feeble and faith frail, yet mercy triumphs over judgement (James 2:13).  If we truly love the Lord our God, if we have a living and active faith holding fast to that which so good, then with David we rejoice:

“O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.” Psalm 139:1-4

Surely with such lofty thoughts in mind our hearts are filled with awe and indeed David continues:

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. (v6)

Thus we are brought to realise our own imperfection and limitations. It is not within man to guide his own footsteps, nor within us to foresee the path must we take. Yahweh knows what is best for each of His children; His goal is not our present comfort, but our eternal welfare. All present joys and sorrows are transitory and ephemeral, only having meaning within the context of Yahweh’s plan and purpose with His creation. 

How great a love has the Lord our God and Father bestowed upon us that we should be His children (1John 3:1). Is your love for Him such that with David the heartfelt response comes:

“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” Psalm 139:17

Only a living and active faith will look deep inside the inner person and know the honest answer.

  Andy Peel

Next:  ‘My place in the Body of Christ and my Ecclesia’.