Do you recognize you were bought with a price?

“for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor 6:20)

We are to seek to glorify God daily by living according to His will. We should seek to glorify God, not to earn favor from Him, pay for our salvation, or pay Him back.

Instead, we are to align ourselves with His will out of gratitude for what He has done for us. Jesus, the Son of God, has come. He lived a perfect life, perfectly keeping the Law. He did not deserve death. He didn’t deserve the Father’s wrath. But He died and absorbed the Father’s wrath on our behalf in order to redeem us. He paid the ultimate price on our behalf, ransoming us from the wrath of God. As those who have been bought by Him, we should seek His glory.

As well as we are to align ourselves with God’s will seeking to glorify Him with our bodies because we have been freed from the grip of sin. We no longer have to live according to the flesh. We are no longer dominated by Satan. He is not our master. We have been transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. We should use our bodies to glorify the one who has redeemed us.

Do you recognize you were bought with a price? Are you living for Christ? Do you follow Him?

God showers blessings on those who align with His will

“Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!” (Psalm 128:1)

Blessed means that God looks favorably on you. You experience divine favor. The psalm highlights God’s blessings. You are able to enjoy the fruit of your labor. Life goes well. You wife is fruitful and your children are like olive shoots. In other words, your family is growing and operating well. You experience prosperity and long life. Those who follow the Lord, who live aligned with His will experience peace and a good life as God showers His divine favor on you.

Aligning yourself with God’s will, then, not only pleases and glorifies God but we also experience benefits from God’s pleasure and glorification. These benefits are not earned per se. God is not in our debt because we align ourselves with His will. He instead willingly pours out blessings on our life at His pleasure and for our benefit.

Our God is a loving Heavenly Father who desires to give good gifts to His children. Those who desire Him live in a loving relationship with a generous and caring Heavenly Father, experiencing His blessings on their life.

Our Response to God’s Kingship

King Lake

Since God is our Creator and King, we should worship and obey Him. Worship and obedience, however, is a foreign idea to most people today. God isn’t naturally viewed as a King we should worship, but John paints a different picture for us in Revelation.

In 4:11 John writes,

““Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”” (Re 4:11)

So God is someone we should worship. We should worship Him because He is our Creator. Everything we see, the Lord created, including you and me. His Creative power, His sovereignty, and ownership should lead us to worship Him.

What Does It Mean To Worship God and How Do We Worship Him?

Worshipping God means we show a deep respect and love for Him. We worship Him by praising Him, as well as by exalting or holding Him in high regard. When you come to church on Sunday, we do all these things. We praise God by singing of His attributes, abilities, and actions. As well as we hold Him in high regard by reading, studying and learning from His Word.

Not only should we worship, by praising and exalting Him, but we should also worship Him by obeying Him. Obeying God means we think, do, and act as He wants. In other words, we live according to His will.

How do we know God’s will?

God reveals His will in His Word — the Bible. The Bible then isn’t just a book of stories, nor is it just a book of rules. The Bible is a book about God and man. It reveals who God is, who we are, what He has done, and what we are to do. So if we want to know about God, we go to His word. If we want to know about ourselves, we go to His Word. If we want to know what God has done, we go to His Word. And if we want to know how we are to live, we go to God’s Word.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Why is it important we read and study God’s Word?
  2. If we worship God through living obedient lives, what does that imply about where we can worship God?

Resources

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Wisdom Apart From the Lord is a Counterfeit

Walk in the Forrest

Where can we find wisdom? Man says in Philosophy, the arts, or by looking to ourselves, but God tells us something different. Here is what He says through Job:

But where shall wisdom be 
          found?
     And where is the place of 
          understanding?
Man does not know its worth,
     and it is not found in the land 
          of the living.
The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
     and the sea says, ‘It is not with 
          me.’
It cannot be bought for gold,
     and silver cannot be weighed as 
          its price.
It cannot be valued in the gold of 
          Ophir,
     in precious onyx or sapphire.
Gold and glass cannot equal it,
     nor can it be exchanged for 
          jewels of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of 
          coral or of crystal;
     the price of wisdom is above 
          pearls.
The topaz of Ethiopia cannot 
          equal it,
     nor can it be valued in pure 
          gold.

“From where, then, does wisdom 
          come?
     And where is the place of 
          understanding?
It is hidden from the eyes of all 
          living
     and concealed from the birds of 
          the air.
Abaddon and Death say,
     ‘We have heard a rumor of it 
          with our ears.’

“God understands the way to it,
     and he knows its place.
For he looks to the ends of the 
          earth
     and sees everything under the 
          heavens.
When he gave to the wind its 
          weight
     and apportioned the waters by 
          measure,
when he made a decree for the 
          rain
     and a way for the lightning of 
          the thunder,
then he saw it and declared it;
     he established it, and searched 
          it out.
And he said to man,
     ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that 
          is wisdom,
     and to turn away from evil is 
          understanding.’ ” - Job 28:12-28

Where Do We Find Wisdom?

Wisdom isn’t found with man. It can’t be bought. It can’t be searched, or mined out of the self. Wisdom is found only in the Lord, and specifically in fearing the Lord.

Wisdom is found only in the Lord.

Wisdom, then, is learning and obeying God’s commandments. It is living according to God’s ways and not man’s ways.

So then, if you aren’t following God, you aren’t wise. Your wisdom is counterfeit because true wisdom is found only in the fear of the Lord.

Questions for Reflection

  1. Where do you believe Wisdom is found?
  2. Do you agree with Job?

Resource

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Why Are We Not Doers of the Word?

The Bible

In his epistle, James challenges us to be doers of the Word; to be people who live according to God’s commands (James 1:19-26).

After teaching through this section of James, I have been thinking, if God expects us to live according to His Word, why do some disregard this command? I thought of three responses, but I am sure there are more, so let me know what you think.

Why We Are Not Doers of the Word

(1) We are ignorant of what God’s Word says on a particular issue.

This can be corrected by studying God’s Word. To get the most out of God’s Word we must saturate ourselves in it, which we can do by:

  1. Reading it
  2. Studying it
  3. Singing it
  4. Hearing it preached

In order to learn as much as possible about God’s Word, it is important Christians be:

  1. Apart of a church.
  2. Be committed to attending that church.
  3. Get together apart from church times to study Scripture.
  4. Center their conversations around what God is teaching them through their study of God’s Word.

(2) We know the truth, but we are rebelling against God’s Word.

This can be corrected through accountability. It is the job of church members to hold each other accountable, and speak into each others’ lives when they see blatant sin.

Life changing accountability requires:

  1. Deep community.
  2. Commitment to one another.
  3. A strong desire to see God glorified.

Without deep community, commitment, and a strong desire to see God glorified, accountability will not take place.

(3) We are unbelievers who do not see a necessity to live out God’s Word.

This can only be corrected through salvation. Salvation comes through evangelism and the Holy Spirit working on our hearts.

What Are Your Thoughts?

These are three reasons I came up with regarding why we do not live according to God’s commands. After thinking through them and the questions below, let me know your thoughts.

Questions for Reflection

  1. How do you saturate yourself in God’s Word?
  2. How often is God’s Word apart of your everyday conversations?
  3. How much more do you think God would be glorified and your church act as a witness to the community, if you saw accountability as a necessary part of your church body?
  4. How are you personally attempting to reach people with the gospel in your own circle of influence?

Resource

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Abraham: A Model For World Missions

Have you ever thought about how Abraham, a Jew, serves as a model for the Gentiles mission? I have been doing some reading and thinking in this area lately. Here is what I have discovered.

No Distinction Between Jews and Gentiles

In Galatians 3:27-29, we learn that there is no distinction between Jews and Gentiles. All who put their faith in Christ are offspring of Abraham. They are kingdom citizens who are grafted into Israel, and, as such, are heirs to the promise God has made to Abraham (Rom. 11:11-24; see also Eph. 3:1-6; Rom. 4:13-17).

This means the kingdom of God is a multinational community of faith, which includes Jews and Gentiles alike. That means us, all those who are non-Jews. We are apart of God’s kingdom. We are the offspring of Abraham. As his offspring, we are apart of God’s mission to bring redemption to the world.

Abraham: Our Model

In Genesis 12, Abraham teaches us how we might accomplish our mission. God comes to Abraham and tells him that He will bless him if he would leave his country and go to a land that the Lord would show him. In Genesis 12:4, we are told that Abraham listens to the Lord and leaves. In doing so, he exercises faith and obedience to God (Rom. 4; Gal. 3:6-29; James 2:20-24; Heb. 11:8-19).

If we use Abraham as our model, we learn that to be successful in, and apart of, God’s mission, we too must exercise faith and obedience. This means that Abraham’s faith and obedience to God are not merely models for personal piety and ethics. They are also the essential credentials for effective participation in God’s mission [1].

Christopher Wright says,

“Those whom God calls to participate in his redemptive mission for the nations are those who exercise saving faith like Abraham and demonstrate costly obedience like Abraham” [2].

He continues by saying,

“So then, what God promised Abraham becomes the ultimate agenda for God’s own mission (blessing the nations), and what Abraham did in response to God’s promise becomes the historical model for our mission (faith and obedience)” [3].

Questions for Reflection

  • Why do you think it is true that the faith and obedience of Abraham is a historical model for our mission?
  • Do you believe, like Abraham did, that God will use you as His kingdom agents to bring redemption to the nations?
  • How are you doing with exercising faith that God will use you?
  • How are you doing at being obedient to God’s command?

Resources

[1] Christopher Wright, The Mission of God’s People, 80.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.

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