June 12, 2016 No Comments »

By David Faust

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.26.19 PMWe don’t take God seriously enough.

• Listen to our conversations. Do we take his name in vain?

• Look at our money. It says, “In God we trust,” but do we trust him above all else?

• Observe our worship gatherings. Are the songs about God or about us? Are we there to praise the Lord or to get a spiritual fix?

• Listen to our prayers. Do we approach God’s throne with humble respect, or treat him like a Big Daddy in the sky?

• Consider our politics. Do our leaders honestly want this land to be “one nation under God,” or do they use religion as a vote generator?

• Notice our educational systems. Liberty leads to anarchy when human wisdom replaces God’s truth. Are we educating our youth to realize “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7)?

• Consider our lifestyles. Are we diligent in the pursuit of holiness? disciplined in our speech? reverent in our conduct?

Don’t Disgrace Grace

God’s grace is a great biblical theme. We’re saved by grace. We live by grace. We can’t survive without it.

Jesus was filled with grace and truth, but notice the combination: grace and truth, not one without the other. Grace and truth aren’t opposites; they are complementary. Both are rooted in the nature of God.

Truth without grace leads to legalism. It makes us judgmental and mean. But grace without truth can be equally damaging. A wise Christian friend warns, “Don’t disgrace grace.” In other words, don’t diminish God’s grace by trying to take advantage of his kindness. The Bible warns about “ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality” (Jude 4). The apostle Paul found it unimaginable that anyone would “go on sinning so that grace may increase” (Romans 6:1, 2).

The more we understand about God’s power, the more thankful we should be for his mercy. The more we respect God’s authority, the more we appreciate his grace.

When God Sings

The prophet Zephaniah took God seriously. He predicted divine judgment that would “sweep away everything from the face of the earth” (Zephaniah 1:2). The coming day of the Lord would be “a day of wrath—a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness” (v. 15).

Yet the very same prophet who predicted so much doom and gloom went on to encourage the remnant of Israel. In one of the most uplifting descriptions of God in all the Bible, Zephaniah said, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (3:17). This verse portrays the heavenly Father as a happy parent taking delight in his children and rejoicing over them—so overjoyed that he bursts into song.

Hebrews 11 mentions one person after another who lived by faith: Noah’s holy fear, Abraham’s obedience to God’s call, Moses’ courageous vision. The believers listed in Hebrews 11 were imperfect and they needed God’s grace just as we do, but they all had another thing in common: They showed earnest, deep-rooted respect for God.

May we do the same. Seriously.

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2012, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.


Daily Readings

June 13


Hebrews 10:19-25

Encouraging Others

June 14


Hebrews 11:1-6

Pleasing God

June 15


Hebrews 11:7-12

Obeying God

June 16


Hebrews 11:13-22

Trusting God

June 17


Hebrews 11:23-28

Serving God

June 18


Hebrews 11:29-39

Commendable Faith

June 19


Zephaniah 3:9-14, 20

The Joy of Restoration

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