Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Devotion 12.31.14

Planning/Life and Discipleship

Non-conformist and non-conformity.  In truth, we all like to believe we have at least a degree of that.  To defy conventional wisdom or to defy the popular. 

Yet our non-conformity is still trendy.  Very few of us go find a remote place to live and never again interact with society.  Many of us live in large populated areas and conform to the rules that exist.  We pay our taxes.  We obey traffic laws.  We observe a level of a code of decorum.  We may speak of our dislike of certain things such as government, rules where we work, and such, but we conform to them for the most part.  We strive to be, in effect, citizens in a republic (if TR doesn't mind).

Our sinful nature, however, has alienated us from a distinct and certain way of living.  In the Christmas hymn, "Oh Come Emanuel," one verse says, "And ransom captive Israel."  Ransom?  Captive?  Yes, Christ will pay a ransom for a nation captive to its sin, our sin.

Isaiah speaks well of our rebellious nature:  "Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is till to come. I say, 'My purposeness will stand, and I will do all that I please.'... Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from my righteousness.  I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed.  I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel." (Isaiah 46:8 - 10; 12-13)

Want a New Year's Resolution?  How about conformity?  How about conformity to the living God's ways?  How about learning more about conforming to the ways of Christ and seeking his ways?  What God "made known from the beginning," Christ, has come and will come again.  Pray that we seek Christ and help others to learn of Christ.  Pray that we seek his ways, and turn to him in repentance when we fail.  Pray that we seek opportunities in worship, study, prayer, and service. Pray that walk continue from now until we meet Christ.

Peace in the blessings given to us through Christ Jesus,

Hope Men's Ministry 2014 (soon to be 2015)

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