|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Personal Responsibility”
Our Bible verse for today: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Life in a good church helps”
By way of review, we spent all of last month considering matters of personal responsibility that God has revealed to us in the Bible. We learned that they create a pattern of living God calls His people too which will honor Him, bless others, and create for us our best life possible. We’re continuing our study of those lifestyle habits in February.
However, to guard against simply creating a New Testament version of Old Testament legalism, it’s essential that we understand these matters of personal responsibility as guidelines for living, rather than as a checklist of dos and don’ts. They help to create the conditions within which our relationship with God flourishes, and we will then find ourselves living our best life. God gives us these matters of personal responsibility for our own benefit.
But we need help creating those nurturing conditions within which our relationship with God will flourish, and that’s where life in a good church family can comes in. A good church creates an atmosphere where prayer, study, worship, and service are taught, modeled, and exercised. For instance, in the Old Testament passage cited above, from Micah 6:8, we find a general approach to the life of faith which includes justice (fair treatment of all); mercy (kindness and compassion, especially towards those who are suffering); and a humble attitude before God (a healthy relationship with Him). Life in a good church helps to create those conditions.
By way of example, as I’ve mentioned before, at Oak Hill Baptist our church life is based on the Acts 1:8 model of ministry. This model leads us, as a congregation, to be continuously involved in ministry projects outside the walls of our church buildings in our community, state, country, and in the world. Therefore, although we do pay close attention to keeping our internal church life healthy and vibrant, our primary focus is on others rather than on ourselves, it is outward rather than inward.
That’s consistent with the guidance God gives through the words of Micah, and it goes a long way towards helping us to stay spiritually healthy and vibrant. As a church and as individuals we’re involved in something larger than ourselves, something that truly matters and which makes a real difference. That’s the kind of life God wants His people to live.
Life in a good church helps to create the conditions within which a deep relationship with God is nurtured and grows. It’s the kind of help we need and therefore I encourage you to gather with your church family this Sunday.
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