Wednesday, April 29, 2009

...recovering a reverence for God in the church

Because He is God, He must be reckoned with. Because He is God, He must not be trifled with. Because He is God, we must love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength-and love our neighbor as ourselves. Because He is God, we ought to worship Him in spirit and truth. Because He is God, we esteem Him with an undivided heart as First Love. Because He is God, we must approach Him clothed in contrition and we tremble at His Word. Because He is God, we give Him the preeminence in all things.

Because He is God, he has given us His grace instead of His wrath; His love instead of His enmity; His mercy instead of His justice; joy unspeakable in glory instead of torment in hell for perpetuity. Because He is God, I have no right to myself. Because He is God, I must walk in love, and love others, as Christ loved me and gave Himself for me. Because He is God, I must be willing to forgive as God in Christ has forgiven me. Because He is God, we love the brethren. Because He is God, I cannot harbor anger, wrath, clamor, bitterness, and malice in my heart toward another. Because He is God, I must turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and give someone my cloak if they want my coat too. Because He is God, I must be willing to suffer the loss of all things, to gain everything. Because He is God, I can rest in the surety that He is orchestrating all things for our good and His glory. Because He is God, I cannot repay evil for evil, wrong for wrong, hurt for hurt. Because He is God, we may rejoice when our hearts are breaking and our world has been shaken. Because He is God, our trials are blessings-invited guests and not strangers.

Because He is God, we keep our vows to our spouse even when he or she seems unlovable, unapproachable, unteachable, or uncaring. Because He is God, we train our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Because He is God, we cannot take another to court and sue for reparations. Because He is God, we have the right to be wronged. Because He is God, we love His Word more than daily food. Because He is God, pastors should preach the Word of God instead of being clever raconteurs. Because He is God, the church must discipline sin and not wink at it. Because He is God, I cannot cherish my sin, but must daily repent of it. Because He is God, I've made a covenant with my eyes. Because He is God, I must guard my heart. Because He is God, I must not be motivated by mans applause, but by His "well done." Because He is God, we cannot become unequally yoked with an unbeliever in any spiritual ministry or enterprise. Because He is God, all our possessions are for the Master's use-they are not ours; they belong to Him. Because He is God, we must deny ourselves, daily take up our cross and follow Him.

To do all to His glory, according to His divine purpose, under the authority of His Word, to seek His will more than earthly reward, to embrace the fellowship of His sufferings rather than the pleasures of this world even for a season, to live self-sacrificially in unreciprocated love and service to others-to do all this for no other reason than… because He is God!


ann_in_grace said...

Oh how true, but how difficult... To strive towards these divine standards is like trying to reach the stars...
And in spite of the obvious and real imperfectness this is exactly what every Christian is supposed to do.

Interesting You should post this very text today. Only yesterday I read in my local newspaper, on occasion of three new pastors coming to a church in town, what they were proclaiming about their pastoral program:
"...Those pastors have plenty of ideas on how to revive their church. The most essential thing they speak about is NOT BURDENING (emphasis mine) people with speeches about morals and rules - what should come forth is the heart of faith."
/This is about a lutheran church, somewhere in southern Sweden./

How in the world can one present the heart of faith without the basics? What we deal with here is typical customers' church, where God is hardly ever mentioned other than as the Good Father of all people. Any other picture of God would be BURDENING.

A lesson in humbliness. A daily fight with this big ego that sits inside and demands our undivided attention. This is a really narrow road described by You, and the only right one. I was thinking about the meaning of "narrow". Because it does not mean that it is limiting the numbers to come on it, does it?
When the road is narrow, you cannot walk with crowds all at once. You follow in a line, rather than marching four and four. That means you walk alone at a given time and space, but you still see others, before and after you, and you are still able to give and to get a helping hand. This helping hand is necessary, both to give and to get, to constantly be a part of a whole, a part of Christ's Church.

2Co 9:13 Because of the proof that this service of yours brings, you will glorify God because of your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and because of your generosity in sharing with them and everyone else.

Vicki said...

I so appreciate your posts, Steve.

The Blainemonster said...

"Because He is God, I have no right to myself. Because He is God, I must walk in love, and love others, as Christ loved me and gave Himself for me." I'm so far from the mark here! I'm so thankful for His grace that teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness. Grace has nothing to do with license. Grace teaches us obedience and brings glory to God. But I am digressing a bit.

Because He is God! Praise the Lord!

vince said...

Hi Steve

I followed you here from twitter ( ). This is a great blog and an excellent post. I love the contrasts in your writing of what God brings to us in promise and experience because of our salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It’s reminiscent of the structure of some of the puritan prayers. Are you familiar with the book The Valley of Vision published by Banner Of Truth Trust? There is a prayer called Privileges contained within it’s pages. It inspired my son Matt to write a song called The Grace Of My God, which you can read below and hear at

1. The grace of my God, an unbreakable chain,
for those He redeems, He in grace will sustain.
I will treasure the cross and rejoice in the Prize,
This unspeakable Gift! This the gospel of Christ!

2. Without Him my eyes would be downcast in guilt,
And in trembling shame would my lips have been sealed.
Yet my mouth fills with praise, when I call on His name
And my eyes may delight in the wonders of Christ!

Yes, wave upon wave of grace reaches me,
He deals with my sin and He washes me clean.
And each accusation is drowned by His blood,
For Jesus has paid with immeasurable love!

3. Without Him is hell, where His wrath will consume,
In perpetual fire; an eternity doomed.
Yet in Him is all love, and my soul is at rest,
For hell's gates have been barred through His glorious death!

4. Without Him the darkness is all I can see,
And the terror of sin would abound within me.
Yet a boundless horizon of glory is mine,
When Christ in the depths of my heart is all light!

5. By grace my affection is drawn to the Lord,
And by grace I'm renewed by the power of His word.
It is grace that will strengthen my will and resolve
To live for my Christ 'til I kneel at His throne!

Matt Giles © 2008 Honeycomb Music Publishing Ltd

With every blessing, Vince.

vince said...

audio link is:

Puritan Lad said...

I needed this. Thanks...