Do you ever shake your head in bewilderment at God’s people in Old Testament days? Despite many blessings, God’s faithfulness and the repeated demonstration of His power and redeeming love, they refused to share the glory and knowledge of their merciful God with the peoples about them. Instead they chose to turn away from the true & living God to pursue the gods and lifestyle of the culture around them. How could they do this? (we ask!) I know I have thought this way in the past, but perhaps we need to examine ourselves here in 2012, as God’s blessed people.
Consider these words from David Platt: “God blesses His people with extravagant grace, so they might extend His extravagant glory to all peoples on the earth. This basic, fundamental truth permeates Scripture from beginning to end. . . (yet) we live in a church culture that has a dangerous tendency to disconnect the grace of God from the glory of God. Our hearts resonate with the idea of enjoying God’s grace. We bask in sermons, conferences and books that exalt a grace centering on us. And while the wonder of grace is worthy of our attention, if that grace is disconnected from its purpose, the sad result is a self-centred Christianity that bypasses the heart of God.”
(“Radical” by David Platt (2010), p69-70).
Ouch! Basking in conferences, sermons and books! (That’s me.)
So have we also been keeping God’s blessings to ourselves? In our modern (western) world we have freedoms and luxuries unimaginable in past eras. Consider our education, our health, our homes, our families, our incomes. Are we using them to make ourselves comfortable or to spread the extravagant glory and grace of God to all peoples? Do we use our technology, our maturity in Christ, our education and knowledge of the Bible to bless others? Our blessings are given that we might bless others – this was the essence of God’s promises to Abraham (that all the world would be blessed through Father Abraham’s great nation).
Let’s not be content to sit on our blessings – particularly the blessing of salvation.
Unlike those OT people, we have the gracious gift of the Holy Spirit at work in us, moulding and shaping us to be more like Christ and giving us the desire to serve Him. Pray that we would not be content with self-centred Christianity. . . let’s not keep the blessings to ourselves.
Jeremiah 31:33 – “But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (NLT)