“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Let’s continue some guiding principles/commands of Jesus for his church:
Make Disciples/Ministry of Reconciliation
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all what I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
2 Corinthians 5:18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
We typically think of this as evangelical in nature. I would argue that this is for maturing the church. Yes, we are to share the gospel freely with all, but shouldn’t that happen naturally for a spirit-filled Christian? Of course, there is such an office as evangelist, but that is a special calling. No, sharing the gospel is a privilege, but we can see this only when we are in tune with our God. How do we get “in tune”? By maturing each other in Christ (make disciples) and building their relationship with the Father (ministry of reconciliation). Let’s not forget, salvation is God’s business. You and I cannot save anyone. However, we are commanded to make disciples of those who are following Jesus. Again, yes, we are to share the gospel, but that is a natural outpouring of the love we have for Him. When we build up that love, our love cannot be hidden. Do you see what I mean?
Psalm 1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Folks, this should be an easy litmus test. If there isn’t a spark of self-motivation to study scripture, you may not be dealing with a true believer. If, after you have fanned tinder, so-to-say, and nothing happens, you most likely are dealing with someone whose ears and eyes have not been opened by God. With a little encouraging and support, believers can’t get enough of the bible. It says so right here in Psalm 1. Yes, we can be expect these blessings when we delight in the Law and meditate on it day and night. On the other hand, this is also descriptive of the righteous. Because we are new creations (2 Cor. 5:17), we delight in the Lord and meditate on it day and night. Therefore, we should continually fan these flames. Is there any reason that all cannot read the bible every year? Is there any reason that believers would not want to? Could there be anything to hold us back?
Malachi 3:10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
An argument can be made that tithing is not established in the New Testament. That may be true. Certainly, we cannot go wrong by trusting the Lord enough to give up a portion of what he has gifted to us for the sake of the kingdom. Besides, we have ample witnesses as to the blessing he bestows on those who tithe. Honestly, folks, if a believer isn’t willing and eager to tithe after a full biblical explanation, one must wonder. Now, having the ABILITY to tithe is another matter altogether. For people who will not live within their means, that’s a problem for them. For those whose means are meager, that’s a problem for the church. For a glimpse into my thinking on this, read my previous blog: https://hislightshines.com/2019/05/31/2019-05-31-a-radical-idea/
Let’s stop there for today.
Father, teach us.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers