Monday, June 18, 2012

"If the LORD is God..."

I (Aaron) recently preached a sermon in our Kraków coffeehouse/house church about a simple (but not easy!, difficult (but not complicated) subject: knowing God's will.

The message revolved around four central texts the Holy Spirit has placed on my heart lately, including two from the Old Testament and two from the Old Testament.

1.) "Elijah went before the people and said, 'How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.'" -I Kings 18:21 (NIV) 

In the midst of a very tense standoff with the king of Israel, 450 false prophets, and a large crowd of desperately thirsty of his countrymen, the prophet Elijah succinctly summarizes the problem facing the people of God (then and now): "If God is God, then follow him. But if a false god -Money, Comfort, Power, whatever- is god, follow that." 

Like I said: simple, but not easy. And what, exactly, does "following God" look like? 

2.) "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." -Micah 6:8 (NIV)

Justice. Mercy. Humility. This is the life we're called to; it's often difficult, but never complicated! Unfortunately, even Jesus' closest friends sometimes struggled to grasp this simple idea. 

3.) "Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?" -Matthew 6:46 (NIV)

Ouch.  This one hurts. But it's so often true! So what should we do in times of confusion? Of sloth? Of selfishness? What is this life that Christ calls us to?

4.) "Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

"'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" -Matthew 25:34-36, 40 (NIV)

THIS. This is it! This is the life we are called feed the hungry, replenish the thirsty, love the stranger (and the homeless), clothe the naked, nourish the sick, and love the prisoner. For of such is the kingdom of heaven!

In other words, we are called to be like Jesus. To obediently love the Father and compassionately love his creation. Every day.

It's simple (but not easy), often difficult (but not complicated).
It's our calling.

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