What does God require of me now?

June 21st, 2017

Last week we celebrated Easter. We looked at the crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. We saw how Jesus paid the price for our sin and how we need to trust in Him for our salvation.

We looked at Easter being the greatest intervention of all time and four reason why Jesus intervened. They were…

  • He intervened to give us abundant life
  • He intervened to give us hope
  • He intervened to break the curse of sin and death
  • He intervened to save us

In light of the Easter story and Jesus giving His all for us. It raises a question for me – what does God require of me now?

Many Christians wonder what God wants them to do with their lives. While God does not give us all a definite road map for us to follow in the Bible, He does give us a number of general principles that He has given to His people in a few places.

In this message I will share a few passages and then I will summarise them at the end. I just want to let the Scriptures speak and paint a picture for us. Kind of like putting a jigsaw puzzle together.

1. Deuteronomy 10:12-13

The first one is Deuteronomy 10.12-13. It says…

12 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

In these verses we see five things that God required from the people of Israel that we can draw from today.

  • Fear God – this means to have a deep respect and reverence for Him. A holy fear.
  • Walk in His ways – the best way to know how to walk in His ways is to look at the life of Christ.
  • Love Him
  • Serve Him with all of your heart and soul – give Him everything you have
  • Always obey His commands and decrees

As we can see from the above five points, there are some general points God wants us all to put in to practice. They are a good place to start if we want to please God.

2. Micah 6:8

The second passage that gives us some pointers as to what God wants from us comes from the Old Testament Book of Micah.

Micah 6:8 says “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.”

Again there are some general principles that God requires of us. This time there is three of them…

  • To act justly – this means to be fair and honest in the way we do things.
  • To love mercy – loving mercy is about making sure we show mercy and work to bring mercy to situations where it is lacking.
  • Walk humbly with God – God wants us to walk with Him in a way that lifts Him up and placing ourselves under His authority.

These three points are about being in relationship with God. They are about walking with Him and it is about it making a difference how we live our lives and interact in the situations we find ourselves in.

3. Luke 10:27

The third verse in this message of what God requires of us comes from Luke chapter 10. It is often called the Great Commandment. It came from a Teacher of the Law who asked Jesus what one must do to receive eternal life.

Luke 10.27 says… He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”

This verse has two points that Jesus commended the man for saying in verse 28. Again, they give us an idea of what God requires…

  • Love God – We see loving God is about loving Him with all of our being. To really love God our hearts, souls, strength and minds must be involved.
  • Loving our neighbour – God wants us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. This means to want what is best for them, support them and see that they are not lacking and in need.

It is interesting that after these verses Jesus explains to the listeners what it is to be a good neighbour. It is commonly known as the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 15.30-37).

4. Matthew 6:33

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”

There are two things contained in this verse.

  • Seek God’s Kingdom above all else
  • Live righteously or live right.

This doesn’t need much explanation. It is pretty straight forward. It simply means to put God first place in our lives. A have a helpful acrostic about putting God FIRST.

F – Finances – Are you putting God first in your finances? Does He get the first portion or the leftovers? Are you living generously?

I – Interests – What are you most passionate about? What do you dwell on most of the time?

R – Relationships – Is God first in your relationships? Is He your most important relationship?

S – Schedule – Where does God fit into your schedule? Is He first or squeezed in somewhere? Is He left out?

T – Troubles – Where do you look to or lean on when troubles come your way? Is He your anchor in the storm?

5. Proverbs 3:5-6

The next passage in this series comes from Proverbs 3:5-6. It says…

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

This is a great short passage. It was one of my very first memory verses and I can see why. At the heart of it is two things.

  • Trust God – it asks us to trust God with all of our hearts. We can do this because He is a good God who cares for us, wants what is best and He holds the world in His hands.
  • Lean on His understanding – as humans we always try to work things out ourselves. I know I do at times. But God wants us to lean on His understanding and wisdom. It makes sense because He knows the beginning and the end of all things.
  • Acknowledge Him – acknowledge Him in everything you do. When I was preparing this, I asked Natasha what she thought this meant. She said, “notice Him and include Him”.God wants us to trust Him, to put Him first and seek Him in all we do. When we do this, we will receive His guidance and direction.

6. Colossians 3:12

“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tender-hearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Clothe yourself with good things. I am not sure if you remember my message last year with the white shirt? I stuck labels on them?

  • Mercy
  • Kindness
  • Humility
  • Gentleness
  • Patience

God wants us to live a life that is clothed with these five things. These are the things that make a real and lasting difference to the lives of others. They help us to shine our lights for Christ.

7. Hebrews 10:23-25

Now we come to the Book of Hebrews in chapter 10.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

  • Hold tight to your hope because God is trustworthy.
  • Spur one another on to love others and do good deeds.
  • Keep meeting regularly with other Christians.
  • Encourage each other in the faith until Christ returns.

God wants us to stand firm in our faith, keep meeting with other Christians and to encourage each other to love and good deeds and to remind each other that Christ’s return is immanent.

8. 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

The second last passage comes from 1 Thessalonians.

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody”.

  • Lead a quiet life
  • Mind your own business
  • Work and make your own living so you do not rely on others

These verses speak about living in such a way that is both responsible and admirable to people outside the church. It is about living in a way that brings honour to Christ. Billy Graham once said, “He prayed that God would take Him home before he ever did anything that would dishonour Christ”. He turned 98 last November!

9. Matthew 28:19-20

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

  • Make disciples
  • Baptise them in God’s name
  • Teach them to obey Jesus’ commands

You have heard me talk about this about this verse many times. It is a big reason why we exist as a church. To help people come to Jesus and learn what it is to follow Him wholeheartedly. This is why I work so hard at my preaching and the Bible studies I attend. It is a key part of making disciples.

10. Ecclesiastes 8:15 NLTThe final verse is Ecclesiastes 8:15 NLT. It says…

“So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.”

  • Have fun
  • Enjoy life

I have finished with this verse on purpose because it is about enjoying life. Often as Christians we can get so caught up in the mission we are “doing” for God that we forget to enjoy ourselves. We want to see we have been baptised in water, not vinegar!

Solomon, who was the wisest man to ever live (1 Kings 3:1-12), wrote this verse. He had great wealth, great power and all the things a man could want? Still realised that it was important to enjoy life.

As Christians we have to include things in our lives that give us fun and enjoyment. We need downtime because life can get hectic and hard sometimes. One of the things I love seeing is photos on Facebook of all the fun cool things you do. It makes me happy when I see you enjoying yourselves.

Summary

Now I just want to summarise this whole area. In saying this though, there are so many other verses or ideas that I could have included, but I just wanted to give you a broad picture. Here are the 28 headings from the previous points…

  • Fear God (deep respect and reverence for Him)
  • Live in a way that pleases Him
  • Love Him
  • Serve Him with all of your heart and soul
  • Always obey His commands and decrees
  • Act justly in all you do
  • Walk humbly with God
  • Seek and work for mercy
  • Love God with all of your heart
  • Love your neighbour as yourself
  • See first the Kingdom of God
  • Live righteously
  • Clothe yourself with your new heavenly nature
  • Trust God with all of your heart
  • Lean on His wisdom and understanding
  • Acknowledge or notice Him in all you do
  • Stay strong in your faith
  • Encourage others to do good
  • Keep meeting with other believers
  • Encourage others as you wait for Christ’s return
  • Lead a quiet life
  • Mind your own business
  • Work and make your own living
  • Make disciples
  • Baptise them
  • Teach them all Jesus commanded
  • Have fun!
  • Enjoy your life and all of God’s blessings

When we do these things, we pull together many of the things in the Bible that God says that He requires of us.

If I had to summarise it down to two thoughts it might be…

Love God and walk in His ways.

If we love God and walk in His ways, I am going to love others, seek first His Kingdom, encourage others and so on.

Amen

 
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