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by Sylvia Huffnagle
6/16/2007 / Bible Studies
An article in a Christian magazine identified one problem in Christianity today-- selfishness. Of course this is anomaly because Jesus died on the cross to save us from that very malady--selfishness.
The article cries out against the imbalance that immature Christians fall into when they spend too much time in one aspect of God's word and too little elsewhere. In this case--too much time with the "Promise Box" and too little time in the instruction book (the Bible).
As the article pointed out, Christianity is about faith, standing in the face of adversity, and putting God and others ahead of ourselves, but it's also about the rewards for having done so. This is very important because it is what God is trying to get through to us. He is teaching that he is life--if you want it come and get it. He is teaching that he is Father--the inevitable result of receiving him as your God and Father is that you will have him as your God and Father. The benefit is that you will have the best, most perfect, most wonderful, and most capable God and Father. The inevitable result of making Jesus your Lord, Savior, and Shepherd is that you will have the one who qualifies better than anyone to be your instructor, guide, example, and overseer and the only one who qualifies as Savior. He is teaching us that the inevitable result of hooking up with life, light and love is that you will reap the benefits of them. Our relationship with God is a two way street, he in us and we in him. The result is that he has children and we have the parental authority, guidance, and provision that is so vitally necessary to our well-being. God's commandments and precepts are never given without the promises that pertain to them. God teaches us to do it his way for that very purpose--so that we can be our best and have his best. I know this because of the way the Bible teachings are constructed. Therefore it is imperative for us to keep the balance of the word. Anytime we change the balance of the word we become unbalanced. True Christianity is to walk in love. A baby must learn balance in order to walk. Christians must learn balance in order to walk in love. The word of God is balanced. Never underemphasize anything that the Bible emphasizes and never overemphasize what the Bible teaches. Keep the balance.
Immature Christians' preoccupation with their own lives and stuff is repulsive in the light of the true gospel. But what is needed is a knowledge of the Son of God. (Ephesians 4:11-16: And he gives some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.) We need to preach the gospel of the kingdom along with the gospel of salvation. They go together like love and marriage.
Now that I have emphasized the benefits of enjoying God our Father, let me present the balance. We are to consider ourselves his servants. We are to take up our cross daily--giving up our self-interests, comfort, and security in the interest of serving others. Though that may sound like a hardship, it is not, because God lives in us to will and to do of his good pleasure. His good pleasure is to love us and to love others.
There is the balance. Trust and obey God and be happy.
Action and reward - references:
Genesis 1:7, Genesis 9:11, Genesis 12:1-3 , Deuteronomy 28:1-14 1,
Deuteronomy 30:19.20 19, Joshua 1:7,8 7, Proverbs 3:1-19, Isaiah 11:1-16,
Isaiah 61:1-8, Jeremiah 24:6,7, Ezekiel 36:24-30, Malachi 3:1-18, Matthew 6: 32,33, Matthew 7: 7-12, Mark 11:22-24, Luke 6:38, Luke 15:31, Luke 17:10,
Luke 18:29,30, John 3:16,17, 4:14, 6:47, 8:12, 31,32, 10:10, John 14,15,16, I Corinthians 3:21-23, II Corinthians 1:20, I Peter 2:9-11, I John 5:14,15
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