14th July 2020
'lean not on your own understanding'
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight' Proverbs 3:5-6
'To walk out of His will is to walk into nowhere'. - C. S. Lewis
Do we have a desire to walk in God's will?
We all have competing interests - we all have
'sinned and fallen short of the glory of God'
and we might not always do the right thing,
even when we want to. St. Paul wrote;
'I want to do what is good, but I don't.
I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. Romans 7:19
But if we want to walk more closely with God,
we first need to find out what God's will for us is.
The prophet Micah says,
'He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice,
and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?' 6:8
How do we do this?
One key to finding out what God wants of us to do
is considering God's word and not dismissing it out of hand
if we disagree with what it is saying.
How often have we heard someone say about some statement of scripture,
'Oh well, that applied to the culture of the time, it isn't relevant now.'
'It doesn't really mean that.'
God loves us and wants the very best for us.
Not something good for us, but the very best.
And the place he tells us how to find it, is in the Bible.
So when we read something we don't like, it helps to keep an open mind -
and read it again.
It might be we misunderstand what it is actually saying,
or it really might not apply to us.
And there's always the possibility that we are wrong and God is right!!
The good thing about taking the Bible as - well, as 'Gospel' -
is that it isn't a rule book full of unpleasant things we have to bear.
It is, first and foremost, a wonderful and enriching means
by which we can know Jesus and receive the blessings of God,
despite whatever wrongs we might have done.
Jesus is so powerful that there is no sin his forgiveness cannot blot out.
We know we are loved, forgiven and saved,
for if we walk with God he sends us the Holy Spirit to guide
and keep us from too much suffering,
no matter how dire our circumstances may be in human terms.
And so, we can live by God's will by living in love. 1 John 3:16 states,
"We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us -
and we ought to lay down our lives for another."
Our purpose, our motive, cause, reason,
and justification for everything we do is rooted in God's first action.
God first created us to walk with him.
Jesus first loved us by laying down his life in love for us.
This is our purpose, our reason, for loving honouring and loving God
and loving others.
Our purpose is rooted in God's action;
our response is to love God and others
because he first loved us.
Praise and thanks to him.