2013-08-12: Put Our Faith in Action?

It is easy to compartmentalize our lives. While sitting in church we can approvingly nod at the biblical lessons that call Christ’s followers to sacrifice, deny themselves, and leave behind earthly pleasures to store up treasure in heaven.

But come Monday morning when self-denial has a quantifiable price tag, nods at ancient principles are often replaced with rationalizations regarding the impracticality of letting go of some very concrete and preferred realities.

We must be bold to call ourselves out on our own hypocrisy. We dare not applaud the Abrahams, Daniels, and Stephens of the Bible when we won’t willingly risk our own monetary advantage, or sacrifice something of our social status or corporate “success” for Christ’s glory or the advancement of God’s kingdom.

Thinking clearly about how each biblical principle might practically be applied in our everyday lives will make Bible study an entirely different experience and will inject a kind of sobriety that is due the eternal and timeless commands of God’s authoritative word.

So let’s go ahead and affirm the truth of every biblical sermon, while always being ready to put it all into practice regardless of what it may cost.

Does God change his mind?

Verse:  Hosea 11:8

Many would say that since God knows all things, he does not change his mind. Yet the Bible frequently speaks of God’s mercy in terms of God relenting from threatened judgment. God’s intentions—both for blessings and punishment—are often tied to our response. God in his sovereignty can make promises that are conditional, dependent upon the obedient response of his people. God’s judgments can also be conditional, dependent on the continued refusal of his people to repent (see Jeremiah 18:8-10).

God wants us to see him as a God who cares passionately for his people and longs to have a loving relationship with us. To dramatize the depths of God’s love for Israel, Hosea spoke of him changing his mind, still looking for some glimmer of response from the people.