Friday, February 08, 2008

God is a righteous Judge... (Ps. 7:11,12)

The following is a blog from VOMC's Volunteer Ministries Coordinator, Malcolm MacLeod originally posted on January 22 on his weblog VOMC Ambassador Network.  Hope you will check out his blog from time to time.  Malcolm frequently has some pretty significant things to say. - GP

This morning I'm a little overwhelmed as I think of the infinitely holy nature of our God. Habakkuk 1:13 springs to mind, 'You are of purer eyes than to see evil and cannot look at wrong...' (ESV). Crystal clear and solemn as this text is, it was another passage that stimulated this time of meditation: Psalm 7:11 and 12, 'God is a righteous Judge, yes, a God who is indignant every day. If a man does not turn and repent, [God] will whet His sword; He has strung His [huge] bow and made it ready [by treading it with His foot]' (Amplified Bible).

What an awesome thought and sight (if, like me, you have a pictorial mind!) Could it be that the 'free' church has largely forgotten this vitally important aspect of God's character? I fear so. God hates sin with a hatred which, like His love, is beyond our understanding. He hates half-hearted Christianity. He hates and is infuriated by superficial professions of faith. If there is no genuine repentance and a running after holiness (cf. Col. 3:1-17) in the life of the man or woman who claims to 'walk with God', to be in a living relationship with Him, there is trouble on the horizon.

These thoughts lead me to consider the importance of the lessons taught us by persecuted Christians. Even supposing Christians were not persecuted today, there is ample evidence from the New Testament Church and also the Church of the early centuries to teach us, without a shred of ambiguity, what it really means to be a disciple of Christ.

So what are some of the lessons learned from the Suffering Church? What are some of the marks of true Christianity that I have witnessed in the lives of persecuted believers? Four come immediately to mind: 1) Uncompromising faith in God and submission to His perfect unfolding plan. 2) Devotion to Christ and the furtherance of the gospel, irrespective of the personal cost. 3) A love that is sincere and sacrificial towards the Body of Christ and 4) Perseverance in the face of a rising tide of hatred and opposition.

There are many more lessons, but, oh how convicted we should be by the four mentioned! Were brother Yonas (of whom I wrote recently) to visit your church and mine, would he witness the four 'marks' I mentioned and saw in him, and his companions in the Lord while visiting them? Food for thought.

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